Republicans fight against bill forcing rental property owners to renew expiring leases


Lawmakers spent hours both Saturday and Sunday on the virtual House floor debating a bill that would make it nearly impossible for a rental property owner to stop renting property to a tenant whose lease is expiring. John Sattgast reports.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: House Bill 1236 would force rental property owners to renew a tenant's expiring lease; rent month-to-month unless the tenant agrees to a longer term; and allow occupants to stay on the property even if they damage the property beyond the security deposit amount or move onto the property without permission.

House Republicans said the bill creates an imbalance against rental property owners. This is Republican Representative Jeremie Dufault (DOO 'FOH) of Selah.

DUFAULT: “But allowing trespassers, gang members, folks who are engaging in illegal businesses, people who are engaging in racial harassment, and people who are doing damage to properties in excess of their security deposits, Madam Speaker, don't deserve super protections that we're giving – don't deserve a right to force a property owner to renew an expired lease.”

SATTGAST: In a seven-hour debate that spanned both Saturday and Sunday, more than 25 amendments were offered by Republicans. Most were rejected.

Port Orchard Representative Michelle Caldier, who serves as ranking Republican on the Housing, Human Services and Veterans Committee, says the bill will make it very hard to be a rental property owner in Washington state.

CALDIER: “People will no longer want to rent anymore. They will sell those homes and our housing crisis will get worse.”

SATTGAST: The bill passed the House, 54 to 44, with Republicans voting no. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration. John Sattgast, the state Capitol.

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