Buying + Selling in SeattleHow ToTips + Trends October 16, 2021


Image of tiny wooden craft house on wood table with the word "Rent" spelled out in Scrabble letters, along with an internet search box with the phrase "Should I buy a rental property"

Rather than the typical “move-up” buyer of the past, who sold their previous home upon buying a larger one, these days many Seattle-ites [who can afford it] are instead turning their first home into a rental. There’s a LOT to keep in mind, however, when making the change—including regulations on short-term rentals, the city’s RRIO program, and current state & local laws.

For instance, here are some recent changes to landlord-tenant laws, in effect as of November 7th:

  • Required notice for rent increases changed from 60 days to 180 days.
  • Requirement for landlords to pay equal to three months of rent for low-income tenants who depart after rent increases of 10% or more.
  • Any term lease signed prior to 11/7 is “grandfathered” in until the next renewal.

With frequent shifts in the sands of rental property ownership, I always suggest that clients talk with the experts before launching their own rental: a real estate lawyer who specializes in investments and/or a knowledgeable property manager. And while you’re at it, go beyond the uber-political headlines to understand the true history, context, and intent around landlord-tenant laws in our area.

Ready to go deeper on the renter protection debate? Start here.