Governor signs bill requiring ‘just cause’ eviction

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Landlords will be required to provide a valid reason for ending certain leases with tenants, under a measure signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Previously, landlords were allowed to end month-to-month leases with 20 days’ notice, without providing a reason.

Under the measure that passed the Legislature last month and was signed Monday, landlords can now end leases for reasons like failure to pay rent, unlawful activity and nuisance issues, as well as cases in which a landlord intends to sell or move into a rental.

Landlords can still end a tenancy at the end of an initial lease without cause if the initial rental term is between six months and one year and the tenant is given 60 days written notice.

Under the new law, landlords who remove tenants in violation of the rules may be subject to a penalty of up to three months’ rent plus attorney fees and costs.

Also Monday, Inslee signed a measure that adds a $100 surcharge on certain record documents to pay for various housing services.

The measure also creates the Eviction Prevention Rental Assistance Program in the state’s Department of Commerce.

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