On April 6, the Kent City Council unanimously passed Ordinance 4399 to give additional protections to renters in the City of Kent.

Starting Aug. 1, 2021, landlords will be required to provide tenants with a notice that they intend to terminate their tenancy, or end their period-to-period residential rental agreement, 40 days prior to the time currently required by state law under RCW 59.18.200(1)(a).

“A violation of this ordinance provides the tenant with an affirmative defense to eviction,” the city said. “The tenant and landlord may waive the 40-day requirement by mutual agreement after the notice is provided to the tenant. A violation of the City’s ordinance provides the tenant with an affirmative defense to eviction.”

With a high rental rate and diversity of languages in Kent, the city says there is risk that many renters will not be able to easily understand the terms of a rental agreement, and may have challenges in finding housing when faced with the end of the landlord-tenant relationship.

“This ordinance is intended to empower tenants with additional time to find alternative housing while not interfering with the ability of landlords to manage their property related business.

“By increasing the required notice period by 20 additional days, the council hopes to mitigate homelessness and evictions in Kent that occur as a result of renters being unable to find accommodations under the short notice of 20 days required by state law.”

For more information, visit https://www.kentwa.gov/doing-business/rental-housing-inspection-program/tenant-rights