Legal Department

The RHJ Legal Department is dedicated to educating and informing property managers, multifamily executives, on-site managers, landlords, real estate investors, apartment maintenance staff and other industry professionals about Fair Housing, Section 8, landlords tenant laws and other real estate laws on a local and national level.

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The Editors's picture

Seattle Landlords Will Now Have To Provide Tenants Voter Information

New Seattle ordinance says landlords must provider voter information to new tenants

The Seattle City Council has approved a new ordinance that requires landlords to provide new tenants with voter-registration information, according to reports.

Currently when new tenants move in, landlords are already required to give them a large number of documents prepared by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI), that outlines their rights as tenants. The documents amount to about 15 pages, and the new voter ordinance would add two more pages to what landlords need to provide. Landlords have the option of downloading the packet online and printing it out.

The council passed the new ordinance by a vote of 6-0.

The ordinance has met with a mixed reaction from landlord groups.

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Seattle May Restrict Landlords’ Questions About Tenant Criminal Backgrounds

Seattle wants to restrict criminal background questions landlords can ask tenants

The City of Seattle is planning soon to take up legislation that would restrict landlords’ questions about prospective tenants’ criminal backgrounds, according to several reports.

This move is part of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s “action plan to address Seattle’s affordability crisis,” according to his Roadmap to an Affordable and Livable City.

There are few details available yet on when this will go to the council for review. Here is what the mayor’s roadmap says on the issue of criminal backgrounds and tenants in Seattle:

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Landlord To Pay $20,000 To Settle Pet Discrimination Case

Landlord agrees to settle pet discrimination case in Reno, Nevada

The owner of several Reno, Nevada apartment complexes has agreed to pay $20,000 to settle allegations pet discrimination and Fair Housing Act violations involving requiring pet deposits from prospective tenants who require assistance animals, according to a release.

The Silver State Fair Housing Council filed four complaints against the owner and manager of Silver Lake Apartments, Vale Townhomes, Oak Manor Apartments and Angel Street Apartments with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  These complaints allege ERGS, Inc. and Silver Lake Apartments, LLC discriminated against prospective tenants who required assistance animals by requiring applicants who required support animals to pay a pet deposit fee.  

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Man Who Shot Portland Property Managers Sentenced to 13 Years

Man who shot Portland property managers sentenced to 13 years in prison

A man who shot two employees working as property managers at the Cascadian Terrace Apartments in Portland during an eviction last December has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison, according to reports.

Reynaldo Diaz Cabrera who pleaded no contest in April to two counts of attempted murder was formally sentenced in May.

The two managers for Guardian Real Estate Services, working at Portland's Cascadian Terrace Apartments developed by Community Development Partners, were shot and wounded by Cabrera during an eviction.

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Apartment Management Company Steps Up Airbnb Lawsuit

Landlord and property management company steps up Airbnb lawsuit

A large landlord and property management company has amended its Airbnb lawsuit to seek class action status on behalf of all property owners harmed by Airbnb, according to a release.

Apartment Investment and Management Company (Aimco), headquartered in Denver, Colorado,   has filed an amended complaint against Airbnb in the Superior Court of California seeking injunctive relief and restitution under that state's Unfair Competition Law and broadening its claims to include all apartment owners whose properties have been rented without Airbnb's first obtaining their permission. Aimco also filed an amended complaint in its second lawsuit against Airbnb in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Circuit Court.

The Editors's picture

Now Seattle Wants To Require Landlords Give Tenants Voter Information

Seattle wants to require landlords to give tenants voter registration information

The Seattle City Council is proposing another ordinance putting yet another requirement on landlords in the city this time to provide information to tenants about how to register to vote and how to update voter registration information.

Under a new ordinance proposed this week, landlords would have to provide new tenants with voter-registration information. Landlords are already are required to give tenants a packet of information on housing laws that’s prepared by the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections, according to reports.

The Editors's picture

Landlords Sue Seattle Over Tenant Move-In Fees Ordinance

Landlords sue City of Seattle over ordinance for second time in past few months

For the second time in recent months, Seattle landlords have filed suit against the City of Seattle this time over an ordinance that requires them to allow tenants to pay security deposits and other move-in fees in installment payments over time.

The Rental Housing Association of Washington (RHAWA), with more than 5,000 members, has filed suit in King County Superior Court to overturn Seattle’s ordinance regulating tenant move-in fees and requiring landlords to extend payment plans to tenants, according to a release.

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Oregon House Advances Legislation To Grow “Tiny Homes” Industry

Oregon House approves bill to set building standards for tiny homes in Oregon

The Oregon House has approved bipartisan legislation directing the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) to establish standards for building “tiny homes” in Oregon, according to a release.

HB 2737 is intended to provide tiny home manufacturers and purchasers with certainty surrounding building codes and regulations, and allow the industry to continue to grow and expand.

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Former Arizona Property Management Employee Sentenced For Embezzlement

Arizona woman sentenced for embezzling from property management company

A former employee of Treehouse Realty Group, a property management firm, has been sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison for embezzling more than $50,000 from the company, according to the Arizona Attorney General.

Lynna Swann of Tempe, Arizona,  was sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison for embezzling $58,158.13 from her property management employer, according to a release from the attorney general. She was also sentenced to three years probation with white collar terms after she is released from prison.

Treehouse Realty is a property management group that receives multiple checks and money orders as payment from their clients. A company audit found that Swann, 40, was stealing those money orders and checks.

Swann used a thick sharpie to write her name on the money orders and then deposited the money orders into her account. 


The Editors's picture

Washington State AG Orders Portland Management Company To Pay Over Lease Addendums

Washington State AG orders Portland property management company to pay over lease addendums

A Portland, Oregon property management company will have to pay $16,000 for requiring service members to sign illegal lease addendums requiring them to forfeit rent concessions if they had to terminate their leases early as a result of change of station or deployment, according to Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

CTL Management included the addendum on more than 220 leases at Chambers Creek Estates, a large apartment complex in University Place, near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which houses many military families, according to a release from Ferguson’s office.


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