Lakewood had opportunity to institute a “robust tenant/landlord outreach educational program” in lieu of the onerous Ordinance No. 644 that mandates inspections on-and-in rental properties.
Ironically, ‘robust’ means “straightforward and imbued with common sense.”
Which of the following resources might Lakewood have utilized in what would have been a noble venture to avoid all manner of regulation, not to mention much consternation, and focus instead on education?
First, the Attorney General’s website which provides a list of organizations in Washington that may be able to offer advice and/or assistance with landlord-tenant problems.
Second, the City might have referenced the Attorney General’s online brochure on Small Claims Court,which is an option in in dealing with landlord-tenant problems.
Third, the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) has a helpful brochure on landlord-tenant issues.
Fourth, the Washington Law Help website has a wealth of information about landlord-tenant issues (click on ‘Housing’ to get to the listing of housing-related topics.)
Fifth, for more legal help, even pro bono in some cases, Lakewood could have recommended the Washington State Bar Association which also has an attorney referral service that can assist in finding a licensed attorney in your area.
Sixth: legal clinics. Contacting the county in which you physically reside and asking about their legal clinics could serve as a resource.
Seven, eight and nine: any of the three law schools in the State of Washington, which might have legal clinics that could offer some assistance: University of Washington, School of Law; Seattle University, School of Law; or Gonzaga University, School of Law.
But back to the question:
Which of the above resources might Lakewood have utilized in what would have been a noble venture to avoid all manner of regulation, not to mention consternation, and focus instead on education?
Any or all.
But which of the above resources did in fact Lakewood utilize in its noble venture to avoid all manner of regulation, not to mention consternation, and focus instead on education?
None of them.
There was no noble venture.
Lakewood didn’t institute “a robust landlord/tenant educational program” (“straightforward and imbued with common sense”) but instead opted for pages and pages of regulation; 69 boxes to check during inspection; not to mention – again – considerable citizen consternation over the incursion by city-approved inspectors on-and-into all (with few exceptions) rental properties.
For a fee.
Post-script: Following is what you can expect when the inspector shows up.
“I was asked recently if we provided rental home inspections. I assume what was meant was the kind of inspection where we go into the property, check everything out, eat dinner with the tenants, and then help any young children with their homework. Then we’d set a time to visit again before hugging goodbye. Smiles would be all around.”