SENATE BILL REPORT
AS PASSED SENATE, FEBRUARY 7, 1992
Brief Description: Restricting civil actions to appoint receivers to manage real property.
SPONSORS:Senate Committee on Law & Justice (originally sponsored by Senators Nelson, Vognild and Sellar).
SENATE COMMITTEE ON LAW & JUSTICE
Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 5180 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass.
Signed by Senators Nelson, Chairman; Thorsness, Vice Chairman; Erwin, L. Kreidler, Madsen, and A. Smith.
Staff: Dick Armstrong (786‑7460)
Hearing Dates:February 12, 1991; February 19, 1991
Certain municipal housing codes contain ordinances which authorize a city official or tenants in a building to seek to have a receiver appointed in superior court to take possession of and manage a building if it is unfit for human habitation, is a hazard to the health and safety of the occupants or public, or when the owner or manager fails to comply with code provisions.
Cities and towns may authorize civil actions by private parties to seek appointment of a receiver to manage privately owned, leased, or rented residential and multi‑family real property. A local government cannot appoint a receiver unless three months have elapsed since a building inspector has certified that substandard and dangerous conditions exist which substantially endanger or impair the health and safety of the tenants. Also, a court must find substantial and compelling evidence that uninhabitable conditions exist in the property at issue before appointing a receiver.
Fiscal Note: none requested
The Landlord-Tenant Act is a balanced, comprehensive statute which provides for rights and remedies for both landlords and tenants. Municipal ordinances which allow for receiverships are counterproductive and unnecessary because the Landlord-Tenant Act and local health codes provide adequate remedies. Also, receiverships have never been used at the local level.
The bill provides for too many stringent requirements before a receiver can be appointed. All requirements of the Landlord-Tenant Act should not have to be exhausted before a receiver can be appointed.
TESTIFIED: Scott Osborne, Washington State Bar Association (con); Elaine Rose, City of Seattle (con); Peggy Ganson, AASP (pro); Rob Rueber, Institute of Real Estate Management