As expected, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved legislation on Monday that would make it impossible for Seattle landlords to raise rent on housing units that don't meet basic maintenance and livability standards.
The legislation was unofficially known as the Carl Haglund Law, named so for the scuzzy slumlord who routinely drove up rent on residents despite his buildings falling into disrepair, often in an attempt to force out low-income renters. His attempt to raise rent from $500/month to $1,500/month in one building sparked this change.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who introduced the legislation also plans to introduce more legislation to cap move-in expenses. She noted that requirements to provide first month's rent, last month's rent and a security deposit is often too much for some renters to be able to do and prohibits them from finding better housing.
While no landlords showed up to testify against the bill, it was noted that opponents have said in the past that it violates state rules against local regulations over rent and threatened to sue if legislation passed. We'll see if that ever happens.
· Landlords blocked from raising rents on Seattle apartments with safety violations [ST]
· Today in Scuzzy Seattle Landlords: Carl Haglund [CS]