Why Initiative 19-001 is so dangerous for families

The alleged criminal in the story could post bail and be back living in the unit with no ability for the landlord to remove them.

  • Monday, November 4, 2019 3:27pm
  • News

As a longtime Federal Way resident, I am very concerned about Initiative 19-001.

Recent reporting in the Mirror (Homeless man charged with raping teen after her family allowed him to stay at their Federal Way home, Oct.24) shows exactly why Initiative 19-001 is so dangerous for families.

One of the hidden sections in Initiative 19-001 is a requirement that blows open the definition of “roommate.” So much so that the case with the homeless man above would mean he would be defined as a roommate of that family when they invited him in.

Initiative 19-001 would remove the ability of a landlord to set rules in a lease about adding new roommates. Additionally, even in the unusual conditions above, a new roommate who wasn’t on the lease could take over the lease under broad circumstances.

Seriously, who thought this was a good idea? The initiative reads:

“If a tenant dies, vacates, or voluntarily or involuntarily abandons the dwelling unit, the protections of this section [section 6] apply to any remaining co-tenants in the dwelling unit.” A landlord could require that this new tenant be added to the lease, but they can’t ask them to leave.

So, the alleged criminal in the Mirror story could be arrested, post bail, and be back living in the unit the next day with no ability for the landlord to remove them. Initiative 19-001 is riddled with hidden rules like this, which make Federal Way less safe. I urge your readers to vote no.

Jennifer Dovey

Federal Way

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