Michael Spence

Seattle Considering Commercial Rent moratorium and Mandatory Payment Plans

Coronavirus / COVID-19, Land Use, Real Estate

On Tuesday, April 13, 2020, the Seattle City Council passed Council Bill 119766, relating to commercial tenancies involving small businesses or nonprofits. The ordinance would temporarily place a moratorium on rent increases for these tenants and would require landlords to negotiate payment plans for overdue rent. As of this writing (April 16, 2020 ), the […]


David Tran

Online Remote Notarization Keeps Real Estate Transactions Moving Forward

Coronavirus / COVID-19, Land Use, Real Estate

Washington allows real estate documents to be executed by e-signatures rather than wet-ink signatures.  However, many real estate related documents require notarization.  The ability of individuals to properly execute deeds, deeds of trust, long-term leases, easements, covenants and other real estate documents requiring notarizing, has become increasingly difficult under the COVID-19 social distancing orders and […]


Samuel Winninghoff

Governor Inslee Issues New Guidance for Real Estate Brokers

Coronavirus / COVID-19, Land Use, Real Estate

On March 27, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a memorandum clarifying the restrictions placed on the real estate and mortgage industries in his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The memorandum sets forth guidance and restrictions by which real estate professionals, sellers, and buyers can continue to operate […]


Michael Spence

COVID-19 and Your Real Estate Transaction

Coronavirus / COVID-19, Land Use, Real Estate

The COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order have stopped your real estate transaction dead in its tracks.  The earnest money is in escrow, but Washington is shut down for all but “essential services”, which does not include real estate at this time.  What are your options? If your transaction involves Northwest […]


Michael Spence

Buyer Beware is Still the Law of the Land

Land Use, Real Estate

Washington’s Seller Disclosure Statute, RCW 64.06, originally passed in 1994, required Sellers of real property to disclose “material defects” on a Seller Disclosure Statement, which quickly became known as a “Form 17”.  A special provision of RCW 64.06 provides that the statutory obligation to disclose material defects is independent of the common law principle of […]


David Tran

New Legislation Reducing Liability for Condominium Defects Takes Effect

Land Use, Real Estate

With concerns over affordable housing being a driving force, Senate Bill 5334 was passed earlier this year and just recently took effect. This new legislation has been celebrated by affordable housing proponents, developers, and homebuyers alike as it is expected to spur increased infill development, consistent with the Growth Management Act and local Comprehensive Plans. […]


Samuel Winninghoff

Seattle City Council Considering Legislation Restricting Single-Family Home Development

Land Use, Real Estate

The Seattle City Council is considering legislation introduced by Councilmember Mike O’Brien intended to increase the availability of affordable housing in Seattle. The proposal, which largely seeks to expand the amount of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) available in order to increase affordable housing inventory and options, would also impose new regulations on the allowable floor […]