Washington State House Democrats


Robinson wants to cut costs for prospective renters

Repetitive rental-screening for prospective tenants frequently entails dire financial consequences for all too many Washington citizens in search of a home, according to Rep. June Robinson.

“Although landlords reasonably, understandably require this screening before selecting their renters, a redundant screening process can be particularly onerous for low-income folks,” said Robinson, who is prime-sponsoring “a measure that I believe is a great win-win, both for landlords and for their potential tenants.”

Robinson’s House Bill 2537 will receive its first public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Friday afternoon, Jan. 31, at 1:30. This committee-meeting will be held in Hearing Room A on the first floor of the John L. O’Brien Building on the Capitol Campus here in the state capital.

The measure reflects the fact that “the cost of rental-tenant screening is ultimately borne by tenant-applicants,” she explained.

“A tenant-applicant must eventually cover the screening fees — and that’s true for every new, subsequent application that he or she makes for housing,” Robinson added. “Today, there’s a new screening process required for every housing-application. This means that the prospective renter is charged for each new screening — even if those subsequent screenings contain basically the same information!”

The lawmaker explained that people looking for housing frequently submit multiple applications, which means multiple screening, which means a greater financial burden for applicants.

The legislation directs that a potential tenant could provide the prospective landlord with a copy of a comprehensive screening report that is no more than a month old — instead of having to produce a completely new report every time.