Dear friends and neighbors,

Too often down here in Olympia, when groups are on different sides of an issue, we see competing legislation offered from each side and then long, drawn-out arguments without resolution. Throughout my legislative career, I have worked hard to bring groups together to find compromises to the problems before us. It’s not easy, but it’s essential if we hope to solve our problems.

This session, I was proud to work closely with two groups that historically are at odds with each other — landlords and tenants. Throughout the summer, we met at my pizza shop in Issaquah and addressed all of their concerns, one by one. The result of this hard work was legislation that I sponsored this session that can help prospective renters and landlords at the same time. Yesterday, the bill, SB 6413, was passed off the Senate floor and now heads to the House for further consideration.

For landlords, the bill provides additional time after a tenant moves out to assess any damages to the rental unit and to calculate how much of the deposit should be returned to the tenant.

For renters, the bill requires landlords to publicly post whether or not they accept a reusable tenant screening report. If they do allow reusable screening reports, they would not be able to charge for additional background checks. It would also prevent screening reports from listing an eviction on a tenant’s credit report if the eviction has been overturned or resolved.

The costs associated with shopping for a new place to live keep rising and can break the bank for many families looking for a new home. This bill will provide financial relief for apartment hunters as well as eliminate hurdles for people who have been evicted in the past.

This bill is the result of a good faith effort from both sides of the landlord-tenant relationship and is an example of what can happen when we set aside our differences and work together.