During an Aug. 3 meeting, the Kirkland City Council voted 4-3 to pass Ordinance O-4810, creating a new chapter of the Kirkland Municipal Code relating to tenant protections.
The adopted ordinance focuses on two regulations:
Notice of Rent Increase – housing providers are now required to provide a minimum 120 days written notice of rent increases greater than three percent, and 180 days notice of rent increases greater than ten percent. These would not apply to subsidized housing, where rent is set based on the income of the tenant.
Limits on Move-In Fees – there is now a cap on move-in fees and security deposits of no more than one month’s rent. This cap does not apply to subsidized tenancies, where rent is set based on the income of the tenant and allows tenants to pay in installments.
The passage of Ordinance O-4810 comes after focused engagement by the city with both tenant rights and housing provider groups and builds on a larger effort by the city in addressing the challenges of affordable housing in Kirkland. Some recent efforts by the city include the adoption of interim affordable housing targets in October 2021, adopting the city’s Housing Strategy Plan in 2018, and the creation of affordable housing as priority in the city’s 2022 Legislative Agenda.
“The economic impacts of the pandemic and inflation continue to burden both our renters and housing providers,” said Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold. “Although there are no simple solutions to the housing-related challenges in our region, these tenant protections help provide stability and clarity to both housing providers and renters.”
The City is developing educational materials for housing providers to assist them in meeting the new regulations. Those materials will be available on the City’s website when complete.
More information on O-4810 can be found in the staff memorandum for the August 3, 2022, Council meeting. The Ordinance as adopted can be found on the City’s website.