Rep. Tarleton (D-Ballard) watches the vote tally on her first bill to be approved by the House of Representatives. HB 1647 would require landlords to safely secure spare keys to rental units.
Tarleton passes first bill, would require landlords to secure spare keys
Update, April 24
Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1647 into law on Tuesday, April 23, which will require landlords to safely secure spare and master keys to rental units.
Update, April 13
Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard)'s bill, House Bill 1647, which would require landlords to safely secure spare keys has now passed the state Senate. Her bill passed 42-5 yesterday.
“I know that House Bill 1647 is necessary because I lived through what happens when bad people have unchecked access to duplicate keys,” Dana Widrig, whose story inspired Tarleton to create the bill, stated in February during public testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. “I expected to feel safe in my home and I was not safe on December 5, 2009, because my landlord did not protect my key from unauthorized access by its maintenance person.”
The bill will now go to the governor for consideration.
Read the original story below for more details.
Original, March 6
Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) passed her first bill in the State House of Representatives Monday, March 4. If it passes through Senate, it would require landlords to safely secure spare keys to their rental units.
The bill, HB 1647, passed unanimously, 98-0. Not bad for a first time.
“Everyone who lives in an apartment has a right to be safe when they go to sleep at night,” Tarleton said.
Tarleton was inspired by the story of Dana Widrig, who was beaten and raped in her own apartment three years ago. Her attacker was a maintenance employee who was able to get a hold of a spare key by gaining access to the landlord's open lockbox and spare keys.
Ever since that night in 2009, Widrig has worked to raise the legal standards of protecting spare keys.
Under current law, there's no legal requirement for a landlord to adquately secure spare keys. Tarleton's bill would change that, by simply adding the line, “Maintain and safeguard with reasonable care any master key or duplicate keys to the dwelling unit.”
You can reach Zachariah Bryan at email@example.com
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