Rent control: Washington landlords to be capped by state government on how much they can charge


As Alaska Democrats in the Legislature attempt to limit the amount that landlords can charge for deposits, their counterparts in Washington State are capping rent increases in the state to 5% per year. They are also going to place limits on deposit fees, just like a bill offered in Juneau by Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson-D, of Anchorage.

Alaska Democrats have at least three bills that limit the rights of property owners: Gray-Jackson’s Senate Bill 169 puts the most restrictions on landlords that any state has currently, although Washington’s latest Democrat bill may compete for that spot.

House Bill 184, by Rep. Andrew Gray, would limit Alaskans to being able to own just one short-term rental unit. Sen. Forrest Dunbar also has a bill that would force short-term rental owners to rent to Alaskans; currently some do not rent to Alaskans because of the problem with partiers destroying property.

Washington’s push to cap rents will receive pushback from Evergreen State Republicans, but there are not enough of them to stop the bill from reaching the desk of Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee.

Before the bill goes into law, critics expect to see a rash of rent increases from landlords across the state who will be attempting to set a new baseline. Rent control in Washington State has not been legal, but this will make it like California, where landlords cannot raise rent more than 10% total or 5% plus the percentage change in the cost of living – whichever is lower – over a 12-month period.

The City of Seattle has an ordinance that says tenants are entitled to 60 days prior written notice for an increase 10% or more in a 12-month period. That ordinance will have to change with the expected passage of the new state law.

According to the website, the average rent for an apartment in Seattle is $2,267 for a 688-square-foot apartment.

Washington’s House Bill 2114 also caps late fees and move-in fees, and will prevent landlords from charging different rent amounts to people who don’t sign year-long leases but instead rent month-to-month. This will effectively kill the leasing of rentals in Washington, and add more risk to property owners.


  1. Because, of course, all property belongs to the crown, and the peasants are merely tenants themselves occupying at the will of the aristocracy. Fail to pay your taxes and find out who owns your land.

  2. Until the government possesses all property such inequities will persist. Then everyone will be equal… just some more than others. You will not own anything, you will have less and be “happy”… Lenin stated that communism was socialism in a hurry…. different speed…same destination.

    • Milton Friedman stated: “We can all be unequally rich, or equally poor.” I like unequally rich better. It’s that thing called “envy” that ruins so much ch.

  3. More communism by mismanagement. Government regulates home building until it becomes unaffordable to either build ir buy, then when a significant percentage of the population ends up in tents on the sidewalk, they take over the existing housing in order to buoy the crappy regulations that caused the crisis to begin with.
    And they never learn. Why? Because the entire exercise is all about how smart they believe themselves to be, and the control they insist on maintaining, even after both become obvious falsehoods even to them.

  4. We are loosing freedoms every day.
    Soon somebody is going to have to answer for this.
    Why doesn’t the government set the prices for everything sense that’s the underlying problem for government
    More money.

  5. First, eviction moratoriums. Now, price caps, deposit caps, etc. And they wonder why they have low rental inventories.

  6. Well, considering that my entire community is being torn apart and all the long term renters are suddenly getting $650/month rent increases by new ownership, this bill would be an amazing protection for hard working middle class families who are being pushed out of communities in which they have been for multiple generations! Renters deserve a sense of security as well. Children should feel secure in their communities, not that they could be pulled from their school districts and social support networks with only a sixty day notice because landlords can currently raise rent at any percentage at any time, effectively pricing parents out of their homes! I have lives in places with rent control and landlords were not hurting whatsoever and communities were not being destroyed at the rate I’m seeing in Washington now!

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