Urging all MHCW members to Electronically Sign in Opposition or Sign in to Testify Virtually in Opposition of SB 5160 & SB 5139

Click Here to download an informational handout about the above bills

The 2021 Legislative Session has begun and we are already facing bills that will affect our industry. We need your help to let the Legislature know that we are against these restrictions. Since the 2021 Session is virtual, it is now easier than ever to participate and have your voice heard.

SB 5160 – Eviction Ban

  1. Mandates that housing providers renew any rental agreement or month-to-month tenancy for 2 years after the end of the emergency period ends, unless the property owner sells the unit, or moves into the unit themselves.

  2. Will prevent any eviction for nonpayment of rent that occurred during the COVID emergency period.
    Requires any debt that is outstanding during the emergency period can be pursued in through collection actions only if the housing provider has offered a payment plan as defined in the bill.
    Mandates that all tenants have access to state funded counsel in an unlawful detainer, automatically seals court records, and increases the filing fee for unlawful detainers.

These two policies will have a devastating effect on small housing providers who are already strapped financially from increasing costs and missing income in 2020. Many small housing providers are desperately searching for a way to have their units create income to pay taxes, utilities, mortgages, and keep staff employed.

The Legislature should be focused on polices that protect both housing providers and tenants who have been damaged through no fault of their own by the government shutdowns in response to the COVID pandemic. This is not the year to pursue broad changes to the eviction process, or contested landlord-tenant laws.

SB 5139 – Rent Control

SB 5139 will prohibit a housing provider from increasing rent or other charges for the first 6 months after the end of the Governor’s emergency eviction ban.

After the first 6 months expire, housing providers are then limited to only increasing rent by 3% over the previous year’s consumer price index, for a subsequent 6 months, based on the rental rate as it was on March 1, 2020.

SB 5139 would seek to aggressively limit rent increases in a period where lawmakers have decided to prevent the enforcement of rental payments. Small housing providers are faced with a total lack of protections for large increases in property taxes, utility costs, and potential devastation of their credit with lenders.

Rent control has proven to be a terrible policy for both housing providers, city planners and tenants alike. The policy creates perverse incentives, shadow markets, and punishes maintenance and reinvestment in residences. It locks tenants into their rental properties forcing people to commute farther and farther to their places of employment, and allows more affluent renters to pay reduced rent rates, blocking the units from being available to those in need.

Please also contact the members of the Senate Housing & Local Government Committee Urging them to OPPOSE SB 5160 & SB 5139

Senate Housing & Local Government Committee Members

Sen. Annette Cleveland - District 49 (D) - 360-786-7696
Sen. Mona Das - District 47 (D) - 360-786-7692
Sen. Phil Fortunato - District 31 (R) - 360-786-7660
Sen. Chris Gildon - District 25 (R) - 360-786-7648
Sen. Patty Kuderer - District 48 (D) - 360-786-7694
Sen. Liz Lovelett - District 40 (D) - 360-786-7678
Sen. Jesse Salomon - District 32 (D) - 360-786-7662
Sen. Shelly Short - District 7 (R) - 360-786-7612
Sen. Judy Warnick - District 13 (R) - 360-786-7624