Macri introduces “good cause” eviction legislation to protect residential tenants

Olympia—Under current Washington law, a residential landlord may evict a tenant for any reason—or no reason—by issuing month-to-month tenants a 20-day no-cause termination notice or by refusing to renew a lease with a tenant.

On Tuesday, Representative Nicole Macri (D-Seattle) introduced new renter protection legislation that seeks to improve landlord-tenant relationships by requiring landlords to simply cite a reason to move someone out of a home.

“The statewide housing crisis is worsened by the absence of a state law prohibiting a landlord from evicting a resident without cause, and residents who are most harmed by the status quo include households of color, low income households, seniors on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and families with young children.” said Macri.

“No-cause evictions lead directly to homelessness, and have a destabilizing impact on the peace, health, and safety of renters and their families,” she continued. “My goal is to build stability in the lives of families threatened by the prospect of being forced out of their home without any idea why.”

As noted in the Losing Home: The Human Cost of Eviction in Seattle report by the King County Bar Association, studies have found that landlords who own properties in gentrifying neighborhoods may clear their buildings through no-cause evictions with the intention of attracting a wealthier clientele. [1][2]

In November, Federal Way residents voted overwhelmingly to enact a local “good cause” initiative.

“I think it demonstrates the broad support for renter protections” Macri told NPR station KNKX following the vote.

When available, information about the hearing schedule for the bill in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee can be found here.




[1] Marcuse, P. (1986). Abandonment, gentrification, and displacement: the linkages in New York city. In: Smith, Neil, Williams, Peter (Eds.), Gentrification and the City. Unwin Hyman, London, pp. 153-177.

[2] Newman K., Wyly E. (2006). The right to stay put, revisited: gentrification and resistance to displacement in New York city. Urban Studies, 43, 23-57.