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Tacoma’s Citizen’s Measure 1 has the potential to create serious challenges for local landlords, which is why some argue that Tacoma residents should vote “no” on the measure. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of why this initiative might hurt local landlords:
Reduced Control and Flexibility:
The initiative places restrictions on landlords’ ability to manage their rental properties effectively. It prohibits most evictions during the school year and in the winter, as well as economic evictions for households with students or children under 18. While the intent is to provide housing stability for vulnerable groups, these restrictions could limit landlords’ ability to address issues such as non-payment of rent, lease violations, or problematic tenants promptly. This reduced flexibility might hinder their capacity to ensure the overall quality and sustainability of their rental units.
Extended Notice Periods for Rent Increases:
Under Measure 1, landlords would be required to provide more extended notice periods for rent increases. They would need to send two separate notices, significantly in advance of the rent increase. This means that landlords might struggle to adjust rents according to changes in the local housing market or to manage their financial stability effectively. The increased notice requirements could impact their ability to maintain rental income at a sustainable level.
Financial Burden from Relocation Assistance:
The initiative expands the circumstances under which landlords must provide relocation assistance to tenants. This includes cases where tenants decide to move instead of accepting a rent increase. While this may offer more financial protection to renters, it places a greater financial burden on landlords. They may have to provide substantial relocation assistance, especially when implementing significant rent increases. This financial burden might strain landlords’ budgets and affect their ability to maintain or improve their rental properties. Additionally, the city of Tacoma would be mandated to oversee and disburse the relocation fines (section 4 of the initiative). The city has no such department or person to do so and is likely unenforceable.
Fee and Deposit Restrictions Called for in Measure 1:
Measure 1 places restrictions on various fees and charges that landlords can collect from tenants. This includes limits on late fees, pet damage deposits, and other charges. While the goal is to protect tenants from excessive fees, these restrictions could limit landlords’ ability to recover legitimate expenses related to property management. This may affect their ability to maintain and upgrade rental units, which could ultimately impact the quality of housing available to tenants.
Those of us who support local landlords argue that Tacoma’s Citizen’s Measure Initiative No. 1 may have unintended consequences that could negatively impact their ability to operate rental properties effectively. The potential reduction in control, extended notice periods, financial burdens from relocation assistance, and fee restrictions might lead to challenges for landlords. With all these restrictions and burdens places solely on local landlords many will have no choice but to sell their properties to “Big Corporate” landlords. It’s for these reasons why some residents are urging a “no” vote on the initiative.
If you have any questions, feel free to call Spinnaker Property Management.