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City of Aberdeen Tenants: Information about the New Rental Registration and Inspection Program (RRIP)

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project - CLEAR Intake Line LSC Funded

The RRIP requires all landlords to register their properties with the City and have them inspected at least once every 3 years. #6327EN

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What is the Rental Registration and Inspection Program (RRIP)?

The City of Aberdeen passed an ordinance (a law) creating the RRIP. The RRIP requires all landlords to register their properties with the City and have them inspected at least once every 3 years.

Why does my home need an inspection?

The RRIP helps make sure rental housing in Aberdeen is safe and meets basic living standards. The program was established to protect tenants from living in poorly maintained properties.

Who must register the property and get the inspection done?

The property owner.

  • Owner means the person or organization listed on the last Grays Harbor County real property tax assessment records, or their authorized agent.

Who will do the inspection?

A City of Aberdeen building inspector or a private inspector who the City has approved to perform inspections.

What happens during the inspection?

A rental inspection is a careful look at basic housing requirements. An inspector looks at all rooms in the property and the exterior (outside) areas. The inspector looks for things such as:

  • Working hot and cold water

  • Working sinks and toilets

  • Working heat source

  • Working smoke and carbon monoxide detector

  • Visible signs of mold or moisture leaks

  • Insect or rodent infestation

Will the inspector look through my personal items?

No. A rental inspection is not a look at your belongings or at what you do in the rental unit. An inspector should not go through your things.

How will I find out when the inspection will happen?

Rental properties must be inspected every three years. An inspection may happen sooner if a complaint has been filed with the City of Aberdeen Building Department.

Your landlord must notify you at least 48 hours before inspection of your building or unit. You should communicate with your landlord to arrange access for the inspector.

What can I do to get ready for the inspection?

Let your landlord know in advance about anything that needs to be fixed. (It is best to make repair requests in writing).

Make sure your home is clean. Make sure the inspector can get to all areas of your home. Put away any personal items you do not want seen.

What if my home fails the inspection?

The inspector will give written notice to the landlord. The landlord will have up to 30 days to fix the problem(s) before the property is re-inspected. Serious problems involving health and safety must be fixed within 24 to 48 hours.

What happens if the problems are not fixed when the property is re-inspected?

If the problems are severe, the inspector may issue a notice stating the unit is unsafe to occupy (live in). You may then be required to vacate (leave).

What if I have to vacate?

The landlord must pay you to help you relocate (move). This is called "relocation assistance."

How much relocation assistance can I get?

You can get whichever of these is more:

  • $2,000

OR

  • Three times your monthly rent

*Your landlord must return your entire security deposit and any prepaid rent.

*Your landlord may have to pay for any damages you suffer from having to move, if they are more than the relocation assistance amount.

When and how should my landlord pay me?

The landlord must pay the relocation money, security deposit, and any damages within 7 days after the inspector sends the landlord the "unsafe to occupy" notice. The landlord must pay by certified check. It must be made payable to you.

My landlord did not pay me within the 7 days. What can I do?

Send the landlord a letter asking for what the landlord owes you. See sample letter.

Send your letter by both certified mail, return receipt requested, and regular mail. Keep a copy of it for your records.

If the landlord does not pay you, you may have to sue the landlord in Small Claims Court, located at the Grays Harbor District Court, 2109 Sumner Ave., Room 201 in Aberdeen. Ask the court clerk for the forms needed to start your small claims case. See an example of a statement you can say at a Small Claims Court hearing.

 

Where can I read the ordinance?

Read the ordinance here.

Where can I get legal help?

Visit Northwest Justice Project to find out how to get legal help.

This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice.
This information is current as of November 2019.

© 2019 Northwest Justice Project — 1-888-201-1014

(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial use only.)

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Download Sample Letter to Landlord

Download Sample Statement for Small Claims Court

Last Review and Update: Dec 02, 2019
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