Real Estate
January 15th, 2020

Chong Yim v. City of Seattle, –Wn.2d–, 451 P.3d 675 (2019), also called Yim I, made headlines for its holding that Seattle’s first-in-time rule, which required landlords to rent to the first qualified applicant, was not facially unconstitutional. But it also made a huge change to Washington regulatory takings law by adopting the federal definition of regulatory takings…

November 14th, 2019

Unfortunately, in the early 1900s, racially restrictive covenants were recorded against properties. This happened even in Washington. Whatcom County was not immune from this behavior. Some covenants would single out particular races of people that were excluded from owning or occupying the property. Others would limit ownership or occupation to one particular race. Sometimes, restrictions…

July 24th, 2019

The City of Bellingham’s new short-term rental (“STR”) ordinance became effective on May 5, 2019. BMC 20.10.037. It places restrictions on the rental of rooms, accessory dwelling units, and homes on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. The City has created a helpful website describing the new regulations. All owners of STRs will need to obtain…

April 17th, 2019

When a commercial tenant breaches their lease one too many times, the landlord may decide to terminate the lease and evict the tenant. Commercial evictions are very similar to residential evictions. The landlord must comply with the terms of the lease and the applicable law to evict the tenant. Before a landlord can evict a…

March 15th, 2019

When a single individual purchases real estate in “fee simple,” which is outright ownership of the land, they hold a 100% interest in the property. When more than one person owns property together, a “tenancy” situation is created. “Tenancy” here does not mean how it is most commonly used today; no one is renting property…

February 28th, 2019

All real property conveyances in Washington must be done by written deed. RCW 64.04.010. Deeds often appear simple but are actually densely packed with important information. When conveying real property, we always recommend working with a title company or attorney because even the slightest error can have significant consequences. What are the different kinds of…

December 31st, 2018

The Washington Uniform Common Interest Community Act (WUCIOA) became effective on July 1, 2018. It is codified at Chapter 64.90 RCW. This statute implements new rules for common interest communities, including condominiums, planned communities, and co-ops formed on or after its effective date. Many of its provisions may not be waived by formation documents and…

July 11th, 2018

If you’re considering building an ADU, renting out an ADU, or concerned about a neighbor’s ADU, read this blog for background, then call or visit your city or county’s permit office.

May 19th, 2018

When someone doesn’t like a neighbor’s tree, the first question they have is can they cut it down.

April 30th, 2018

Bellingham now has new municipal code provisions changing the obligations of landlords who rent to residential tenants. If you rent or own a rental property in the Bellingham city limits, you need to be aware of these changes.

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