THE MAGAZINE

State Legislation: Washington: Stalking

A new law (formerly S.B. 1856) establishes new rights for tenants who are being stalked or harassed by their landlords or employees of their landlords. Under the new law, such victims may be released from the terms of their rental agreement. If the victim wishes to stay in the property, he or she may change the locks on their doors without the landlord’s permission. If the harasser has left the landlord’s employ, the tenant must provide the landlord with a key to the new lock. If the tenant has a restraining order against the landlord, the tenant need not provide a key. In such cases, the landlord may enter the rental property in an emergency if accompanied by law enforcement or a fire official acting in his or her official capacity.

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