Property Owners Against Proposed Rent Control Legislation

A House committee took public testimony Friday on three bills that rental property owners say could put them out of business and increase rent and homelessness. Washington House Republicans’ John Sattgast talked to citizens waiting in the hallway for that hearing and reports from the state Capitol.

SATTGAST: More than 100 people signed up to testify in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. The package of rent legislation could impose new security deposit regulations, force property owners to extend an expiring lease, and create statewide rent control.

Rick Glenn is the owner of housing rentals in Yakima. . .

GLENN:  “It’s amazing how the government every time they do something, they make it more expensive. We’ve had to raise our rents several times in the last five years because they keep changing things and make it more expensive to be a landlord.”

SATTGAST: Many property owners, such as Keith Walker, feel like they’re under attack, when all they are trying to do is provide affordable housing.

WALKER:  “We’re here for the tenants. We don’t want to raise our rents, but the bureaucracy going on here in Olympia is creating . . . making us raise our rents.”

SATTGAST: Selah Republican Representative Jeremie Dufault (DOO ’FOH) is worried such legislation will only add to the state’s homelessness crisis.

DUFAULT:  “We really need to make sure we’re not adding more layers of complication and regulation to property owners less than six months after we just made the most sweeping changes to the landlord-tenant act in 40 years.”

SATTGAST: Dufault says lawmakers need to work with rental property owners – not against them — to increase rental housing and get more people into a home.

John Sattgast, Olympia.