2022 Legislative Session Update

The Joseph Group Jan 2022

Ian Joseph

“Clients first!” – is a huge part of the DNA that Ian Joseph and his Team have established at The Joseph Group. This motto helps them focus on striving for the highest level of customer experience, for their clients (landlords) and customers (tenants). In fact, Ian strongly believes that in life, family and business, you must strive to give more than you receive. “You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." - Zig Ziglar

Week 2 of the 2022 legislative session was busy with new housing bills in the House. The House heard public comment on HB 1904 on January 18 and HB 1300 was voted out of committee on January 20. The Senate Housing Committee voted to move SB 5576 out of committee. On January 20 SB 5576 was passed to the Rules Committee.

In 2022, all Washington State Representatives and two dozen Senators will be up for election. One of the key swing districts year after year is the 26th , which includes Gig Harbor, Port Orchard and Bremerton. In recent decades, the Senate seat has been held both by Democrats and Republicans including Republican Jan Angel and Democrat Derek Kilmer.  Senator Emily Randall (D-26), who has two Republican seatmates in Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-26) and Rep. Jesse Young (R-26), is up for her first reelection bid in 2022 having won by only 104 votes in 2018. Young has filed to challenge Randall, in what will undoubtedly be a very expensive race and high priority for both caucuses. Senator Randall has introduced several voter-friendly bills this session.  On Monday, January 17, the Senate Transportation Committee heard SB 5488 (Randall, D-26). This bold bill pays off the $772 million outstanding debt on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from the general fund, making it a toll-free bridge. Senator Randall also introduced legislation republicans have been clamoring for in SB 5909 this week. SB 5909 gives the four corners of the legislature the power to terminate Governor Inslee’s state of emergency. The bill would similarly allow the four corners to terminate prohibitive emergency orders like vaccine mandates or an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. 


Local Bills

Seattle eviction moratorium extended through February 14, 2022
Burien eviction moratorium extended through March 31, 2022
Spokane Ordinance No. C-36164 effective January 11 through December 31, 2022


State Bills

HB 2017 Addressing housing concerns for individuals impacted by the criminal legal system. 
HB 2023 Addressing enforcement of tenant protections.
HB 1987 Establishing a task force on creating a new state housing and homelessness department.

SB 5749 Concerning rent payments made by residential tenants.  Hearing on January 19, 2022.

· Requires a landlord to accept a personal check, cashier's check, or money order for rent payments.

· Prohibits a landlord from including in the rental agreement a provision in which the tenant agrees to make rent payments through electronic means only.

SB 5576 Addressing landlord-tenant relations by providing technical changes to eviction notice and summons forms and modifying certain eviction processes and programs. Executive session on January 19, 2022. Passed to Rules Committee on January 20, 2022.

· Updates the 14-day pay or vacate notice and eviction summons to improve readability.

· Clarifies that for rental arrears accrued through six months following the end of the Governor's state of emergency proclamation, a 14-day pay or vacate notice may not be issued until expiration of 14 days after a repayment plan is offered and the tenant fails to accept the offer.

· Requires courts to accommodate virtual representation by legal counsel appointed for indigent tenants, as well as virtual participation for tenants, upon request.

· Authorizes landlords to use an alternative form to satisfy the additional notice requirement under the eviction resolution pilot program.

· Removes the prohibition on judicial discretion in eviction proceedings if a tenant receives three or more pay or vacate notices within the previous 12 months.

HB 1904 Protecting tenants from excessive rent and related fees by providing at least six months' notice for rent increases over a certain amount, allowing tenants the right to terminate a tenancy, and limiting late fees. Hearing on January 18, 2022. 

· Requires landlords to provide at least 180 days and no more than 220 days’ notice for rent increases over 3 percent.

· Allows a tenant to terminate a tenancy for any rent increase over 3 percent without notice.

· Limits late fees to 1.5 percent of the tenant’s monthly rent.

· Create a new term "base rent".

HB 1818 Promoting successful reentry and rehabilitation of persons convicted of criminal offenses. Hearing on January 21, 2022.

· Extends the period for which the Department of Corrections (DOC) may provide housing vouchers from three to six months.

· Allows the DOC to provide housing vouchers to any person releasing from a state correctional facility if vouchers will support the person's release into the community by preventing housing instability or homelessness.

· Eliminates supervision fees charged to persons who commit criminal offenses.

HB 1300 Addressing documentation and processes governing landlords' claims for damage to residential premises. House Committee executive action on January 20, 2022.

· Defines "wear resulting from ordinary use of the premises" for purposes of the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.

· Establishes additional parameters with respect to damage claims and expressly requires:  (1) certain documentation to reasonably substantiate damage charges; and (2) a landlord to provide a walkthrough prior to termination, if requested by the tenant, and to supply a post-walkthrough checklist.

· Establishes a one-year statute of limitations with respect to any action taken against a tenant to recover sums exceeding the amount of the damage deposit.


House and Senate hearings week of January 24-28


HB 2017 at 8:00 am
Landlord may not use deny or take adverse action based on an applicant criminal record (with a narrow exception).

HB 2023 at 10:00 am
Creates a new enforcement for tenants to sue their landlord in superior court when the landlord has violated a provision in RCW 59.18, violated a provision of the rental agreement.


How to State Your Position on a Bill Without Testifying

1.    Select the committee and meeting date and time, then select the bill for which you would like to register.

2.    Select “I would like my position noted for the legislative record.” Registration will close 1 hour before the start time of the hearing.

3.    Ensure your registration information is accurate. Your registered position will be made available to legislative members and staff of the committee, and will be included in the legislative record for bill and meeting archival purposes, but will not be used as part of testimony summary materials on the bill report.


How to Register to Testify in a Committee Hearing

1.    Select the committee name and meeting date and time, then select the bill for which you would like to testify.

2.    Select “I would like to Testify Live During the Hearing.” Testimony registration will close 1 hour before the start time of the hearing. Anyone who does not register before this deadline will be unable to testify before the committee.

3.    Ensure your registration information is accurate. It will be a part of the legislative record and used by TVW for online and television graphics.


In order to testify, you will need to register at Committee Sign In, and follow the on-screen instructions for how you want to testify. 

· Written testimony may be submitted up to 24 hours after the start of the hearing. 

· You must register to testify Live at least one hour before the start of the hearing. 

· Those who register for remote testimony will be emailed a Zoom link to the meeting upon registration. Each link is unique to the registrant. Registrants are prohibited from sharing links. 

· You may participate via videoconference or phone.

· There is no guarantee that those who register to testify will be allowed to speak or be able to speak at specific times. You may be required to limit your comments. 

· Maintain proper meeting decorum, including waiting to be acknowledged by the Chair before speaking and following rules for testimony established by the Chair. 

· Committee and technical staff may not be able to address any connection or technical issues you may experience before or during the committee meeting. 

· Anyone who fails to follow the rules for testimony established by the Chair may forfeit their opportunity to testify. 

Additional resources: 

· Here is a link to the committee membership. 

· Here is information about testifying in committee.  Like last year, the House is using an electronic sign-in procedure.  

· Here is information about signing in to testify. 


Subscribe to Our Blog

Subscribe to receive real estate investment news and industry insights.