Requiring landlords to have good cause for terminating lease

Council members Jesse Johnson and Martin Moore endorse Just Cause Eviction Initiative to increase tenant rights.

  • Thursday, June 20, 2019 4:33pm
  • Opinion
Council members Martin Moore (left) and Jesse Johnson. Courtesy photos

Council members Martin Moore (left) and Jesse Johnson. Courtesy photos

Over the last several years, we’ve met countless citizens in our community who have concerns over neglectful landlords, absentee property owners and genuine slumlords.

We’ve seen their living conditions and heard their stories, and they’re injustices that demand to be fought.

April Sweet, whose story was featured in the Federal Way Mirror, had her 10- and 2- year-old niece living with her, when she asked her landlord to fix her washing machine. Instead of getting the machine repaired, her landlord issued her a 20-day eviction notice with no reason. Now April and her nieces are staying with family, but again, thrown into instability.

We know a woman in a wheelchair who can’t do laundry because her chair won’t fit through a doorway; a neighbor in her complex who lives with mold that drips from the ceiling, and another neighbor can’t cook a meal because her broken stove hasn’t been replaced.

Every one of those neighbors did what they should have and tried to work with their landlord to address their problems in accordance with the law and with the terms of their leases.

The landlord’s response? Nothing.

That’s why City Council members are working with the community to create stronger protections for renters in our city, by gathering signatures for an important initiative — just cause evictions. This transformational initiative would require landlords to have “good cause” for terminating a lease or refusing to renew.

It will lead the way to keeping our families and people from all walks of life housed. The “Just Cause” initiative is also about making municipal law that protects marginalized and vulnerable people from unjust discriminatory evictions.

While our city is impacted by the region’s housing crisis, we have a chance with this initiative to do something about it, that would bring families in our community more security.

Join us in supporting Stable Homes Federal Way so our community can grow and thrive.

Martin Moore and Jesse Johnson are Federal Way City Council members.

More in Opinion

Federal Way public official awards for 2019

The “It’s the Right Thing To Do” Award goes to Mayor Ferrell as he agreed to fly the pride flag.

Intrigue and strategy of replacing Rep. Kristine Reeves

Although the new appointee for the vacant 30th District seat must be a Democrat, the alignment opens the door for political mischief.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Despite ruling on Public Records Act, we need to keep a close eye on Olympia

Washington Supreme Court upholds that state legislators are subject to the Public Records Act.

Political quotes and odd comments

Ferrell’s tendency for hyperbole got the better of him as he quoted President Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall with “tear down this wall.”

Strained relationship between legislators, city of Federal Way

Legislators were seeking information and accountability from City Hall and did not appear happy with some city answers.

Making Federal Way safer

We are deploying extra holiday patrols at various business areas throughout the city.

Council punts pride flag back to mayor

It’s rare when a public official gets a second chance to do “the right thing.”

Possible vacant Federal Way City Council seat in 2020

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell is endorsing Jesse Johnson because it will look good to Democrats.

’Twas the time before Christmas in Federal Way

“For us to regain prosperity … an improved retail sector would be nice, and we must keep traffic moving and crime heading toward Fife.”

Mind over miles: Thoughts from the Seattle Half Marathon

Mirror reporter runs the 13.1-mile race in 2:01:40.

Pride flag resolution, inclusion or politics?

The Federal Way mayor has control of all city facilities and could have used his authority to join other cities and direct the flag be flown.

Businesses identify permitting as challenge to grow business in Federal Way

Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce CEO says business retention is a top priority.