Gee Scott: ‘No, you cannot cap rent’ in Washington state


There are bills in the Legislature that are pitting tenant and landlord rights against each other.

House Bill 1388 would prohibit many landlords from raising rents by more than 7% per year. House Bill 1389 would impose a similar cap, but offer more exemptions for landlords.

“You can’t pick and choose when you want to stop people from raising the rent,” Gee Scott said on The Gee & Ursula Show. “No, you can not cap rent.

“Now, as you guys know, I do have a heart and I do want people to be able to afford the rent, no doubt about it,” Gee continued. “That said, you cannot pick and choose when capitalism is ok.”

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“You often say we can’t pick and choose what we want to support or not support?” Ursula said. “Isn’t that what we do every single day? That’s what life is all about, right?”

“These bills would have a different impact than most people would assume,” show producer Andrew “Chef” Lanier said. “The reason that I would support these bills is because I think it will actually limit the amount of corporate investment in rental properties and increase the number of people who get into private landlord-tenant relationships.”

A few months ago, a survey showed that the city of Seattle itself lost nearly 3,000 rental units just since the beginning of the pandemic. A lot was attributed to all the different policies that make it hard to be a small landlord.

“Even if you were only allowed to increase by 3%. And just the cost of living is 7%. Higher, you’re losing, right?,” Ursula said. “So that acts as a disincentive for someone to become a landlord.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.


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