Re: “Sawant proposes Seattle ban residential evictions during colder months” [Dec. 10, A1]:
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant continues to propose policies for landlords that can only be interpreted to mean that she thinks all rental housing in Seattle is public housing. Landlords have to rent to the first qualified applicant, cannot do criminal background checks and are required to allow up to eight unrelated persons to occupy even a small house. Now Sawant is proposing that landlords cannot evict a tenant for failure to pay rent from November 1 to March 31. Who’s going to pay the mortgage payment for those five months? It’s doubtful Sawant will pull out her checkbook.
The vast majority of landlords are fair and decent folk. Many, like myself, are retirees who have invested in our rental housing and are dependent on the rental income as part of our retirement. We didn’t create homelessness or the housing-affordability crisis, and we are willing to work with the city to make rental housing part of the solution. One positive step the city could make in that regard is to include landlords in what is now a highly biased Seattle Renters Commission, which showed how out of touch it is by recommending this five month grace period.
Thomas Friedman, Seattle