Source of Income Law: Part 2 effective September 30, 2018

Part two of the State Source of Income law goes into effect on September 30, 2018. This new law prohibits a landlord from denying and applicant or tenant based on their source of income. RCW 59.18.255

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW LAW:

  1. An applicant or tenant’s source of income must be lawful and verifiable.
  2. A landlord may not advertise, display or communicate any preference, limitation or requirement based on any source of income. For example, a landlord can’t say they accept one source of income over another.
  3. How a landlord calculates an applicant or tenant’s income has changed. If the landlord as a income requirement of two times the rent and the rent is $1,000 per month and tenant has a voucher for $900 per month, the tenant needs to be able to show income of $200 per month to meet the landlords minimum income requirement.
  4. A landlord may deny an applicant or tenant if:
    1. The source of income is conditioned on the unit passing an inspection;
    2. Written estimate for cost to improve the property in order to pass inspection is more than $1,500; AND
    3. The landlord has not received any funds from the landlord mitigation fund program to make unit improvements.

WHAT IS SOURCE OF INCOME?

Source of income includes benefits or subsidy programs including housing assistance, public assistance, emergency rental assistance, veterans benefits, social security, supplemental security income or other retirement income programs, and other programs administered by any federal, state, local or non-profit entity.

WHAT IF THE SOURCE OF INCOME IS TEMPORARY?

A landlord may not deny an applicant or tenant based on the duration of source of income even when the source of income may be for a period less than the lease term. Landlord may consider signing a shorter term lease or a month-to-month rental agreement.

What do landlords need to provide?

  •  Obtain a Washington Statewide Vendor Identification number.
  • An executed written Rental Agreement between the Landlord and the Tenant(s).
  • A Rental Assistance Agreement (or adequate proof of housing assistance).
  • A Rental A ssistance Inspection Report from a subsidy program.
  • A completed Move-In Condition Report (this is not a Rental Assistance Inspection.
  • Report) signed and dated by both Landlord and Tenant(s).
  • A Tenant ledger showing any unpaid portion of rent and other charges being claimed and application of Security Deposit (if post-move out).
  • Notices to Tenant(s) related to unpaid charges.
  • Photos of damage and photos of the affected area following repairs.
  • All repair invoices for damages that are included in the claim.
  • Complete the entire online claim submission form.

FAQ

 

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