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Record No: CB 119598    Version: 1 Council Bill No: CB 119598
Type: Council Bill (CB) Status: In Committee
Current Controlling Legislative Body Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee
On agenda: 8/13/2019
Ordinance No:
Title: AN ORDINANCE relating to rental agreements and tenant liability for damages; relieving a tenant experiencing domestic violence from liability for damage to the landlord's property caused by a perpetrator of domestic violence; and amending Sections 7.24.020, 7.24.030, and 22.206.170 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
Sponsors: Lisa Herbold
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. Central Staff Memo
CITY OF SEATTLE
ORDINANCE __________________
COUNCIL BILL __________________
title
AN ORDINANCE relating to rental agreements and tenant liability for damages; relieving a tenant experiencing domestic violence from liability for damage to the landlord's property caused by a perpetrator of domestic violence; and amending Sections 7.24.020, 7.24.030, and 22.206.170 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
body
WHEREAS, on February 4, 2019, Council adopted Resolution 31861, which outlined harms that evictions from housing have on tenants and marginalized communities; and
WHEREAS, Resolution 31861 prioritized exploration of solutions for seven problems identified in the Seattle Women's Commission and Housing Justice Project report "Losing Home: The Human Cost of Eviction in Seattle"; and
WHEREAS, "Losing Home" identified domestic violence as a reason tenants fall behind on rent and that domestic violence was a precursor to housing instability, especially for women; and
WHEREAS, the first problem identified for Council to address in Resolution 31861 was the "financial hardship for tenants experiencing domestic violence who are held liable for damages caused by a perpetrator of domestic violence"; and
WHEREAS, costs arising from acts of domestic violence can force a person experiencing domestic violence to go back to their abuser for financial reasons; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF SEATTLE AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Section 7.24.020 of the Seattle Municipal Code, last amended by Ordinance 125840, is amended as follows:
7.24.020 Definitions
As used in this Chapter 7.24:
"Department" means the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections or its successor.
"Domestic violence" means (a) physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members; (b) sexual assault of one family or household member by another; or (c) stalking as defined in RCW 9A.46.11...

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