Spokane landlords and renters react to delayed tenant protection ordinances

Landlords and their lawyers expressed relief during Monday night’s Spokane City Council meeting while renters voiced frustration over the decision to postpone a vote on two ordinances which would give tenants more protection.

“We really appreciate the idea of being able to extend the conversation a little bit,” one property manager said.

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An ordinance sponsored by council president-elect Breean Beggs would require landlords to pay tenants $2,000 and refund their deposits if a rent hike made it impossible for them to pay rent. A second ordinance sponsored by outgoing council president Ben Stuckart outlines seven specific causes for evicting a tenant, including failure to pay.

The two proposal coincide with a new report that found Spokane’s average rent cost has spiked by 45 percent over the last five years. While tenants are fighting for more protections, their landlords argue the new rules would only make matters worst.

Landlords argue more rules and regulations will scare some into selling their properties, creating an even larger housing crisis.

“The mom-and-pop landlords are providing most of the low-income housing, so when you impose a lot of extra stuff on them, then they are going to choose to get out of the business,” one landlord said.

Stuckart said he received an enormous response from landlords and tenants. He also didn’t feel confident the ordinances — as they stand now — would pass.

Council members will revisit the ordinances in March.

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Spokane landlords and renters react to delayed tenant protection ordinances