I am aware of some recent concerns against the proposal to require landlords to register their business with the city. I offer another perspective. The concern that a registration process will cost too much ignores the cost benefits. Having transparency in ownership can motivate landlords to oversee and manage their property for health, safety and the community good. Another concern is that the filing process for landlords is burdensome. Written agreements that clarify what behavior is to be respected is as old as the Golden Rule. To advocate sloth, secrecy and anonymity is suspect as to intentions. The concern that a registration requirement would lead to frivolous lawsuits is insulting. The courts may not be perfect but it's better than nothing. The state of Washington has published a code of duties of landlords (RCW 59.18.060) and tenants (RCW 59.18.130). In this case, ignorance is not bliss. Collecting rent but ignoring the responsibilities of management is despicable. Better to read up on the code and do the right thing. Individual freedom must be balanced with community obligations. The so named "dreaded cost" is an investment that will result in benefits that makes it worth it. Neglecting to manage the property and the tenants is in fact costly not only to the landlord, but also to the neighbors and the community at large.
Ann K. Walton