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New Tacoma Rental Regulations are now set to go in effect

New Tacoma Rental Regulations are now set to go in effect. These new rental regulations are the biggest changes, that effect areas I manage rental properties in, that I have seen in the 16 years I have been doing property management.  I think everyone should understand these new regulations and what they mean, particularly if you own property in the city of Tacoma.

Recently Heather Pierce, Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the Rental HousingAssociation of Washington State was kind enough to sit down with meand explain these new Tacoma rental regulations [Ordinance 28559]. 

The new Tacoma rental regulations include:

- 60-day notice for rent increases (effective date of Dec.6th, 2018)

- Installment Payment Plans on move-in fees and deposits (effective date of Feb. 1st 2019)

- 60-day notice to terminate tenancy on month-to-month agreements (effective date of Feb. 1st 2019)

- 120-day notice to terminate month-to-month tenancies due to substantial rehabilitation, renovation, demolition, or change of use, including a requirement to provide a Relocation Assistance Packet (effectivedate of Feb. 1st 2019)

- Required to provide renter rights and responsibilities packet prepared by City (effective date of Feb. 1st 2019)

- Required to provide link on rental application criteria to City sponsored website with all property code violations and HUD discrimination findings andsettlements (effective date of Feb. 1st2019)

- Penalties for non-compliance (effective date of Feb.1st 2019)

If you have questions regarding these new Tacoma rental regulations or any thing property management or real estate related you can reach me on the contact us link or you can learn more about our property management services and how they can help you stay in compliance with these new Tacoma rental regulations.  You can also reach me at (253) 826-7559 or

Heather Pierce can be reached at (206) 905-0611 or

Here is the full transcript of our interview about the new Tacoma rental regulations:

Jason: Hi? I’m Jason, with SJC Management Group and I'm here with Heather Pierce of the rental housing association and we're here to talk about ordinance 28559, very exciting stuff but maybe you can explain what that actually is for us?

Heather: Yeah, Great. Okay! So ordinance 28559 is a new rental housing code that will in effect in the city of Tacoma, it’s chapter 1.95 if you want to look at is the Tacoma municipal code and the ordinance was published today and that's an important feature to know because one of the policy will be in effect 10 days from today where the rest of the ordinance takes effect on February 1st.

Jason: Okay, great. That’s the… [crosstalk]

Heather: 60 day notice increases rent. Generally, for periodic tenancies like month to month tenancies but I think it’s just to be on a save side for any rent owner planning on a rent increase for any of your renters to do the 60 day notice at this point.

Jason: So effective now, 60 day notice and this affects just the city of Tacoma. Okay! And then there's some other aspects of this as well, so I understand that the 60 day notice is also for termination of tenancy?

Heather: Right. So we're used to 20 day notice and that's what actually solvable of the state levels, so a 20 day notice to terminate tenancy, in the city of Tacoma, as of February 1st it will be 60 day notice for a month to month tenancies. So if you're on a fixed term lease, those terms are still applicable.

Jason: Okay! And then, there's a couple of others; so the I think the big one people also need to know about is the installment plan?

Heather: Yeah, that's going to really impact I think application process and also you know if you haven't historically charged last month's rent you might end up doing that now because it mitigate the risk involved with doing installments but the city of Tacoma now requires that if a renter comes to you writing and asks for a payment plan on their moving fees, deposit, last month's rent, you do need to comply with that request.

Now the terms of it is still up to the renter and owner to gather. A month a month rental agreement would require that the renter pay in two installments. So the 1st and second month.

Jason: And so if you're using a lease then you make that as two installment?

Heather: So if it is a 3 month or longer lease then it’s 3 consecutive installment.

Jason: okay, so 3 consecutive installment. And then there are certain requirements for providing information to the tenants as far as linking onto your application and the as far as giving them some sort of pass.

Heather: Right. So, the 1st part of it, so your application packets, you’ll need to add a link that the city will provide us before February 1st. They will lead a renter to a website that they will kind of store public information on code violations and also if there is any discriminatory finding proceeding, then that will also be available for renters to see if an owner has violated any of that discrimination law.

Jason: Okay! So that’s not available quite yet but that's coming soon.

Heather: Supposedly,, it will be available by 1st February.

Jason: I hope so. And then it has a couple other things like 120 day notice to terminate, but that’s only specifically for rehabbing the property?

Heather: Yeah, and I do want to just say this because the packet information is really important. Sorry…

Jason: Sure, no problem.

Heather: So the 2nd part of the information packet is that you do at the inception of a tenancy provide the tenant with a copy of this package that will be made available to you by the city, you download it and give it your tenant with their lease agreements. And then if there is any updates, you really need to be proactive and go online and see if there are updates because if you do not provide an update within 30 days of an update, then you can be fined 500 dollars per unit.

Jason: And this is for the for the packet, if the packet is being updated by the city.

Heather: Yeah.

Jason: OK and it cannot be transmitted electronically?

Heather: Yes it can for the update only. If your renter specifically ask that it be in written form and paper format, you do have to oblige to that.

Jason: Okay, so but at moving, you need to give them [04:50 inaudible]

Heather: Yes. And the renewal if they renew at that same time.

Jason: Well, that’s not very eco-friendly, I like to do paper-lessly, well we’ll start prepping papers for those0. Okay, and so then, 120 day notice to terminate, you may hear about that but that’s specifically for redevelopment.

Heather: So if you're doing this rehabilitation or developing, basically you're purchasing a building to be redevelopment it and in that case you would need to write them 120 day notice to ant existing renters for a month to month tendencies and also package that let’s them know that they can apply for relocation assistance.

Jason: Okay, but if I'm just a home owner and I want to sell my property. So I’m asking the tenants to vacate to do that, it's 60 day notice if they’re on month to month.

Heather: The sale of property is not included in that.

Jason: And I understand that there are some so strict penalties for those who do not comply to these?

Heather: Yes. Especially for the relocation assistance, so if after the fact if it's a yearly renter and a former tenant could have had a relocation assistance and wasn't given a 120 day notice and wasn’t given the packet for relocation assistance. That is $1000.00 per unit for up to 128 days.

Jason: Wow. That’s a lot. Okay, so I hope this is been informative for you all. Heather thank you so much for coming out.

Heather: Absolutely.

Jason: It’s a real pleasure. If you'd like more information about this you can check our blog as these links become available, we’ll updated it. We’ll have them on our website, you can get my contact information and Heather's there on the blog post and if you want more videos like this with information, just subscribe to our You Tube channel. Thanks.