New Law: Source of Income – Part 1 – Effective today, June 7, 2018

The first of two parts of the Source of Income law become effective today – June 7, 2018.

Beginning today landlords who rent to low-income tenants using a housing subsidy program or voucher are eligible for reimbursements from the State Landlord Mitigation Fund.

 

WHAT IS THE STATE LANDLORD MITIGATION FUND?
The program is designed to provide financial assistance to landlords of private market units to mitigate qualifying damages caused by tenants who use HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program to pay for their rent.

WHO CAN APPLY?
A private landlord who wants to rent or who rented to a tenant using a housing subsidy program or voucher.

HOW MUCH CAN BE REIMBURSED?
For a property that needs improvement in order to pass an inspection before renting to the tenant: – up to $1,000 after paying the first $500 of the cost for improvements. Reimbursement may also include up to 14 days of lost rent from the date of offer until move-in date when the condition of occupancy is based on the property passing inspection. RCW 43.31.

-OR-

For a property with damage in excess of $500 beyond normal wear and tear – up to $5,000. RCW 43.31.

AM I REQUIRED TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS?
A landlord is not required to make the improvements necessary for the property to pass inspection.

WHAT DAMAGES ARE COVERED?
Damages, beyond wear and tear, that are eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to: Interior wall gouges and holes; damage to doors and cabinets, including hardware; carpet stains or burns; cracked tiles or hard surfaces; broken windows; damage to household fixtures such as disposal, toilet, sink, sink handle, ceiling fan, and lighting.  Unpaid rent, unpaid utilities or a judgment obtained through an unlawful detainer (eviction) or small claims may also be submitted for reimbursement. Other property damages beyond normal wear and tear may also be eligible for reimbursement at the department’s discretion.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR APPLYING?
The application and submittal instructions are available for download. After submitting the application and supporting materials, the Department of Commerce will notify the landlord within 10 days that the application was received and ask for additional information or clarifications, if needed. The department will process applications on a first come, first served basis. If all criteria for reimbursement are met, payments will be provided to the landlord within 45 days from the date the application is received.

All reimbursement requests must be clearly substantiated by paid invoices of work performed. The department cannot disburse funds for requests based solely on estimates.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2018 – PART TWO

On September 30, 2018, part two of the Source of Income law becomes effective – RCW 59.18. This new section of the law would make it illegal for a landlord to deny a prospective tenant based on their source of income.

I will update you with more information about part two before September 30, 2018.

If you have questions or need more information about either part one or part two of the Source of Income law, please email me at jim@landlordsolutionsinc.com.

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