Your choice of 21 elective hours including required 3 hour Core and 6 hour Fair Housing courses
Our most popular package gives you total flexibility and gets you certified for all your required continuing education. This package includes the 3 clock hour Core Curriculum (required for every renewal) as well as the new 6 hour Fair Housing course (required to be completed by June 2023 for all brokers and managing brokers) and a host of elective courses to choose from. If you're renewing your license, this is the package for you.
In the new Core course you'll learn about the latest law changes affecting real estate as well as laws that are being considered by our Legislature in Washington. It's essential to get up to date on the changes to our industry and a required class for all brokers renewing their license. We have video segments throughout the Core class to highlight each of the sections important concepts.
Besides the Core and Fair Housing we have over 10 courses to choose from to fill out your elective credit hours. You can opt to take all the hours in one course, such as Law or Business Management, or you can choose to put together a package of shorter courses covering a variety of topics. The short courses cover everything from Listings, Property Management or Contracts, to Negotiation and Agency Law.
Whatever you choose, we're confident you'll find our courses easy to use and a breeze to get your certification. Any difficulty, and you have a support team and instructors ready to assist you.
(CORE) Current Issues in Washington Residential Real Estate 2022-2023 (3 hrs) and Washington Real Estate Fair Housing (6 hrs) and your choice of:
The federal Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful for any person to be discriminated against in the purchase or leasing of real property based on their membership in a protected class. We'll review the federal level protected classes first before moving on to Washington State. The reason for the distinction between federal level and state level is that federal law says you must protect the classes listed by federal law and allows states to add additional classes to be protected from discrimination. Washington state is like many states in that they have added additional protected classes above and beyond that of the federal statute. We'll begin with the federally protected classes, they are: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. We will go through each one of these and look at examples of how you might trip up and perhaps advertise incorrectly or say something is inappropriate but what I'm going to focus on is one that I think happens more frequently and that is familial status. We had to be careful that when we advertise, the language in our listings and our conversations with clients don't focus on the wrong things such as saying it's bad for kids because family status is a protected class under Fair Housing law. So we can't discriminate between somebody regardless of whether they're single or married, kids or no kids. I think that's one that is most commonly done in error. That doesn't mean that we have to be less mindful of any of the others, it's just that it is perhaps more familiar in regards to the types of things that can and cannot be said. It's not just language of course, it's also action. We need to be mindful not to show properties based upon religious background and the perceived neighborhood a client might prefer. That is not a decision to be made by the broker or any other party, aside from the buyer. They need to decide where they want to live without input regarding any of the protected classes and that includes what properties and neighborhoods that you go to. This does not prevent you from focusing on specific neighborhoods requested by the client. If a client suggests that they want to purchase the property that falls within the boundaries of a particular school, that is perfectly acceptable even if that school is a Catholic school, for example. They have made a specific request regarding the geographic location of the property. What the law is meant to prevent is steering, and deceptive advertising, as examples. Another issue with familial status is an apartment community or a housing community cannot segregate or differentiate location that a tenant or owner lives based on their familial status. For example, if they have kids there cannot be a requirement that they all have to live in a particular area of the apartment block, say the second floor.
When we look at the exceptions to the rule regarding fair housing, the big point for us as real estate brokers is that we can't ignore them, ever. They are a requirement because we are dealing in real estate and we have to follow federal fair housing law as well as state fair housing law.
Another common misconception is even the way I phrased it earlier and this video when I said that a particular area might be good for families, could be problematic. Why is that? It could be it was meant as a steering tactic if I was to take a family and say this area is good for families and steer them away from others as a result of their familial status. That would be a violation of fair housing law.
Another example of how the protected classes move beyond language is religion. Regarding religious protection, it includes the observance and the practices of that religion. If a tenant of an apartment building is praying in the common area and other tenants are complaining and are doing so not in regards to noise but in regards to the practice itself, the property manager or owner is not allowed to send a notice to the tenant to cease the activity because it is protected.
Regarding race and national origin, the protections extend to everyone including whomever is potentially in violation of the fair housing law. What I mean by that is it does not matter what race or national origin the person who commits the violation identifies with. If the person is Costa Rican and they discriminate against someone from Costa Rica that is a violation of fair housing law. It's irrelevant that the property manager is also Costa Rican. The same is true with all of the protected classes regardless of the status or protection that might be applied to the property manager or owner; they have to protect everyone in every other class including their own. Gender identity is a part of the protection under Fair Housing law in regards to the sex of the individual. It also applies to gender expression whether an individual dresses in men's clothes as a woman, or a man dressing in women's clothing or other expressions that fit a particular stereotype of male or female gender expression.
Let's review the list of things that you cannot do under federal fair housing law:
Refuse to sell rent or negotiate with somebody due to their protected class
A person in a protected class cannot be offered different terms or conditions when renting or buying property. For example, an Asian-American cannot be offered preferential terms to a Hispanic person.
The rental terms for the property cannot be different for a particular class. This includes things like an additional security deposit for somebody that has children. Availability has to be the same regardless of the class of the person or group and the qualification procedure needs to be the same.
The state of Washington goes into additional details regarding the protected classes as mentioned in the beginning. As brokers in the state we have to follow both the federal and state laws. The additional detail makes certain that classes listed under the federal statute are in fact included under Washington law. The federal and state laws are closely related because Washington adds creed, so it's religion and Creed, Washington law also has also added gender to sex, and familial status is added to marital status just like gender was in addition to sex and creed added to religion. Military veteran status is included in Washington law and also includes domestic violence. This is designed to ensure that there's no discrimination against victims of domestic violence. Washington law also explicitly states that discrimination based upon sexual identity is prohibited.
An important provision of Washington state law makes it illegal to retaliate against a resident or applicant just because they have asserted their housing rights. The protections in Washington extend to witnesses in a fair housing violation the state is investigating. An example of retaliation might be delay in responding to a request for repair by a resident who is currently involved in making a fair housing complaint. Another example would be eviction. Another key provision is it applies not only to formal cases but also in formal complaints that are made verbally. In practical terms this means that even if the allegations of impropriety are wrong, if somebody takes action which is in retaliation to the complaint, a retaliation complaint and be successful.
The law, passed in 2019 grants exceptions to service members when they are terminating a tenancy in the state. The state now allows service members to terminate provided they are given a permanent change of station. A permanent change of station is defined as: Transfer to a unit located at another port or duty station; (b) change in a unit's home port or permanent duty station; (c) call to active duty for a period not less than ninety days; (d) separation; or (e) retirement.
Any tenant who is a member of the armed forces, including the national guard and armed forces reserves, or that tenant's spouse or dependent, may terminate a rental agreement with less than twenty
days' written notice. When providing notice to the landlord of the termination the service member needs to provide a copy of official orders or a signed letter from their commanding officer. The conditions for cancellation in the orders need to require the service member to:
Move more than 35 miles from the rental, the service member is prematurely or involuntarily discharged or released from active duty ( and their previous residence is more than 35 miles from the rental unit). Another reason is the commanding officer is requiring the service member move into government provided housing, or lastly the service member gets a temporary change of station which lasts 90 or more days and which is 35 miles or more away from the rental.
House Bill 1694 passed the Washington Legislature and took effect on June 11th 2020. It allows tenants to request to pay deposits, non-refundable fees and last month's rent in installments. If the rental term is 3 months or longer the tenant has to be allowed, if requested, to be able to pay in 3 consecutive equal installments beginning at the start of the tenancy. The money is due at the same time as monthly rent. In the event the tenancy is less than 3 months the tenant needs to be allowed to pay in two equal installments, the deposits, non-refundable fees and last month's rent.
A landlord isn't allowed to charge a fee or deposit in excess of 25% of the first month's rent to hold or secure the rental. Deposits or fees to be considered as a tenant or be put on a waiting list is prohibited. If the money is meant to be for a reservation, the money has to be accompanied with the conditions for the retention of the fee by the landlord.
This bill updated the rules for landlords and tenants, requiring a late payment grace period of 5 days from the date rent is due. After rent is delinquent for more than 5 days, the late payment fees can charge for the days back to the due date of rent. This practically means if a tenant is 4 days late, nothing can be charged in the form of late payment fees. However, on day 6 the tenant can be charged for being 6 days late. The grace period does not prohibit the landlord from serving a 14 day pay or vacate notice to the tenant. It's important for renters to be aware that they are possibly incurring charges as soon as they are late and that the landlord could ask for them to vacate should they miss payments.
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