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Rental Housing Code (TMC 1.95)

The Latest News and Information on Washington State and City of Tacoma Tenant Protections

 

Rental Assistance Available for Tacoma and Pierce County Residents

Rental assistance is available for Tacoma and Pierce County residents who are behind on rent.  More information and the application is available at piercecountywa.gov/housing

 

Governor Jay Inslee Issues an Eviction "Bridge" Proclamation

Washington State, under the authority of Governor Jay Inslee,  issued a “bridge” proclamation on June 24, 2021 between the eviction moratorium and the housing stability programs put in place by the Legislature. The bridge is effective July 1 through September 30.

 

For more information about the Eviction Bridge and other Washington State measures to address the pandemic, visit coronavirus.wa.gov.

 

To file a complaint, visit the Attorney General’s page

 

Eviction Resolution Pilot Program

Pierce County tenants have an added protection through the State of Washington's Eviction Resolution Program. The program require landlords to undertake efforts to engage tenants in pre-filing resolution efforts including direct negotiation, facilitated conciliation services, and, upon agreement of both parties, formal mediation provided by the participating Dispute Resolution Centers. For more information visit the Washington State Courts page for more program information. To learn how to get started, visit the Center for Dialog and Resolution's web page.

 

Washington State Passes "Just Cause" Eviction

On May 10, 2021, the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18, RLTA) went from “No Cause” to a “Just Cause” requirement as it relates to termination of tenancy.

 

The City of Tacoma is currently updating the Rental Housing Code (TMC 1.95, RHC) to align with the state law and also add structure around shared housing. The Rental Housing Code is currently out of alignment with the RLTA, which limits our ability to enforce on violations. Currently, we only have the authority to enforce on violations associated with the landlords failure to distribute information to tenants, retaliation, and relocation assistance.  

 

Proposed Changes to the Rental Housing Code:

  • Establish Just Cause Evictions (JCE) standards 
  • Establish Shared Housing (e.g. Transitional, Clean and Sober, Renting Rooms) standards 
  • Establish Late Fee standards 
  • Notice of proposed sale of low-income housing
  • Restriction on filing evictions if the housing provider does not have a City of Tacoma (COT) Rental Bussiness License

To provide comments on the proposed changes or to ask a question, please contact TacomaRHC@cityoftacoma.org.

 

 

Learn More and Provide Feedback at Our Events: 

May 13 Rental Housing Code Community Feedback Workshop

Join us to learn about the proposed changes to the City’s Rental Housing Code and reasons for proposed changes.

 

 During the Workshop we will:

  • Talk about the 2019/2020 legislative changes to the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18, RLTA) and it's impacts on the current Rental Housing Code.
  • Review the information from the survey conducted in 2020.  

Please join at the time most convenient for you on May 13

 

Thursday at 12 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82062145440?pwd=aE5jRVYvZ2NJYkRhTlJ1TFpVTWROZz09

(253) 215-8782

Webinar ID: 820 6214 5440

Passcode: 351040

 

 

Thursday at 5:30 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81227501135?pwd=MWNoRzhYWHFNaVFEOWIyclRLMnJuQT09

(253) 215-8782

Webinar ID: 812 2750 1135

Passcode: 232238

May 14 Rental Housing Code Landlord Feedback Workshop

Join us to learn about the proposed changes to the City’s Rental Housing Code and reasons for proposed changes.

 

 During the Workshop we will:

  • Talk about the 2019/2020 legislative changes to the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18, RLTA) and it's impacts on the current Rental Housing Code.
  • Review the information from the survey conducted in 2020.  

 

Please join at the time most convenient for you on May 14

 

Friday at 12 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89815659522?pwd=ZDExS1VMcG5pTUFaOVRpb3Vpd1ppQT09

Call in (253) 215 8782 

Webinar ID: 898 1565 9522

Passcode: 417886

 

Friday at 5:30 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84567107415?pwd=L0hOV093VE0vK3pSZGg2UkZERXFRdz09

Call in (253) 215-8782 

Webinar ID: 845 6710 7415

Passcode: 245015

 

Requirements for Landlords:  

  • 120-day notice to vacate and relocation assistance for low-income tenants when a landlord intends to change the use, substantially rehabilitate, or demolish a dwelling unit 
  • 60-day notice to vacate for no-cause termination of tenancy 
  • 60-day notice requirement for rent increases
  • A requirement that landlords distribute information about tenant rights as well as landlord and tenant responsibilities 

Tenant Protections: 

  • Prohibits retaliation against tenants for exercising their rights under the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18, RLTA) 
  • Allows installment payments for various deposits and fees 
  • Codification of relocation assistance when the City declares a building uninhabitable 
  • Provides relocation assistance for qualifying termination of tenancy of low-income tenants 
  • Allows tenants to file a complaint and for the City of Tacoma to investigate and enforce the code

Does this Ordinance Apply to Me? 

If you own, operate or rent residential rental property within the Tacoma city limits, the Rental Housing Code applies to you.  Verify if your rental property is within the Tacoma city limits.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Rental Housing Code?

On November 20, 2018, the Tacoma City Council passed the Rental Housing Code (TMC 1.95).  The Rental Housing Code (RHC) provides protections for tenants and provides specific guidance to landlords who own or operate residential rental property in Tacoma, and includes a provision for relocation assistance to low-income tenants who are displaced under certain circumstances.   

The Rental Housing Code permanently replaces the City’s temporary Ordinance 25508 which will sunset on January 31, 2019.  

Why did the City pass the Rental Housing Code?

The City of Tacoma recognizes that the rental market in Tacoma is drastically changing. In an effort to gain and sustain housing stability and to protect the most vulnerable populations, the City, working in collaboration with stakeholder groups that included housing providers, tenants, realtors, and legal representatives, established Tacoma Municipal Code 1.95.

Does the Rental Housing Code replace the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18)?

The Rental Housing Code does not replace the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18, RLTA).  However, it does expand certain protections under the RLTA and allows the City of Tacoma to regulate and enforce on violations.

What is required in the Rental Housing Code?

The Rental Housing Code includes:

  • 120-day notice to vacate and relocation assistance for low-income tenants authorized by RCW 59.18.440, when a landlord intends to change the use, substantially rehabilitate, or demolish a swelling unit
  • 60-day notice to vacate for no-cause eviction
  • 60-day notice requirement rent increases
  • A requirement that landlords distribute certain information
  • Prohibits retaliation against tenants for exercising their rights
  • Allows installment payments for various deposits and fees
  • Codification of relocation assistance when the City declares a building uninhabitable
  • Provides authority to enforce violations.    

When will the permanent Rental Housing Ordinance become effective?

The new ordinance will be fully in effect February 1, 2019.

The "Notice to increase rent" portion of the ordinance is effective December 7, 2018.

Does Rental Housing Code apply to me?

The Rental Housing Code applies to anyone who owns, operates or rents residential rental property within the city of Tacoma limits.

Contact Us

 

Customer Support Center
747 Market Street
Tacoma, WA 98402
311 or (253) 591-5000

 

Helpful Links

 

Rental Housing Code

Rental Housing Code Flyer

Washington State Residential Landlord Tenant Act