Capitol Hill rent hikes in old *and* new buildings follow citywide trends

The Whitworth Apartments (Image: Cadence Real Estate)

The Whitworth Apartments (Image: Cadence Real Estate)

There’s no avoiding it: big rent increases at are a fact of life for Capitol Hill renters. As rents in Seattle continue to outpace other cities, CHS has recently heard from renters on the Hill about their big hikes in new and old buildings.

Rent hikes at the Whitworth Apartments at 16th and John have caused several residents to leave, according to one tenant who wished to remain anonymous. She tells CHS her new lease included a 20% monthly rent hike, from $1,395 to $1,675. Whitworth manager Chris Garvin said the increases, which he said were mostly around 5-8%, are reflective of a high demand/low supply rental market in Capitol Hill. Garvin confirmed six Whitworth tenants moved out last month, for various reasons, and their apartments were filled within a week.

“Three years ago we had to have a huge carrot to get people in the building … Tenants were in control in prime recession time,” he said.

Today, Garvin said big rent hikes are necessary to keep up with market rates and increasing property taxes on the 53-unit building. According to Garvin, a 750 square-foot apartment at the Whitworth would rent in the $1,600-$1,700 range, which he said is still slightly below market rates. Currently the Whitworth has no open apartments.

A tenant living at the Lyric recently contacted CHS about a 15% increase at his 10th and John studio after his 12-month lease was up. Asher Cobin, a software developer, said he is currently renting a studio for $1,350, but when it came time to re-up found the rent would increase to $1,550. The Lyric is a CHS advertiser.

“I’m staying because it’s a great place and has great property management. No complaints,” he wrote in an email. “Yeah the increase sucks still though.”

The Lyric is currently listing a 491 square-foot studio on Craigslist for $1,557/month.

In July, CHS reported on soaring rents and occupancy rates in Capitol Hill, with rents rising 8.2% since April to $1,395 per unit and vacancies dipping below 3%.  Vacancies in King County have also decreased with 4.4% of units vacant, down from 4.8% a year ago.

Rents in Seattle are actually skyrocketing faster than any other major metropolitan area in the U.S., according to commercial real estate research firm Reis. The New York-based firm found rents have gone up an average of 6% over the past 12 months.

As the renters that contacted CHS found, the numbers are much more drastic in Capitol Hill — the Reis report included all of King County and parts of Snohomish County, according to the Seattle Times.

With a slew of new apartments coming online next year, Garvin said he expects rents in older buildings to level out.

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70 thoughts on “Capitol Hill rent hikes in old *and* new buildings follow citywide trends

  1. We moved into the Stockbridge at boren and union with an eight month lease for $850 (400 sq ft studio plus). When the lease ended last month, they hiked the rent 35% to $1150. We are now planning to leave Capitol Hill after living here since 2006.

  2. When I moved to Seattle in 2004, I had a huge studio for $500.00! On the Hill! Now I pay $850.00 for a niced sized one, which felt crazy when I first rented it (2 years ago) but now seems like a steal. I am on a month to month at this point and live in fear of them raising the rent on me because I would definitely have to leave the neighborhood and possibly the city (rents in other neighborhoods are not exactly cheap either). I don’t see why there can’t be more diversity in the housing available, and feel like these rents are going to force out a lot of fun creative people, and these people are part of what gives Capitol Hill its awesome character. For the record, I work full time in a professional job, but between rent, car and student loans, I have little wiggle room in my budget.

    • I feel exactly the same way. I keep my fingers crossed in hopes that my landlord doesn’t realize how much rents have gone up and raise my rent.

    • I’m in the exact same situation! I moved to the Hill in 2009 and paid about $850 for a great top-floor studio, after utilities and parking. I moved in 2012 and paid $980 for a tiny ground-floor studio, after utilities and parking. Now I’m moving AGAIN because my landlord is a nightmare, and will probably be paying $1100 for a nice new studio on 19th. Unfortunately other neighborhoods aren’t much better… there’s not a lot of affordable housing out there, and what’s affordable is either tiny, gross, basement-y or all of the above.

  3. I lived in the Whitworth up to 2006 at which point I decided to purchase a condo. I paid $875 for a very nice corner 1 bedroom which I guess now goes for twice that amount. Scary to think rents have doubled in the past 6-7 years.

    The mortgage for my 1 bedroom purchased in 2009 is only $1400 a month. It would rent for close to $2000 a month at which point I couldn’t really afford to live there. Sad to think I can’t even rent my owned home – and I make a good living.

    “Priced out” I also lived in a studio at the Stockbridge. I paid $625 for my 5th floor studio when I left in 2003 to move to the Whitworth. If you were paying $850 recently to live there, you were paying probably lower than average for the area.

    • I too lived in the Whitworth from 2009 to mid 2010. I lived there with an ex boyfriend for $1595 in a huge 4th flour unit. It was about 1100 square feet. It’s crazy to think what that unit would cost now, especially since the building is from the 20s and has no washer/dryer or dish washer in the unit. Shudder.

  4. Paying $1,500 for a studio is absolutely insane. If you look hard enough there will always be something affordable, even on Capitol Hill. I recently moved and while it took scouring Craigslist on an hourly basis for a month, I found a great 750 sq ft 1-bedroom near 12th and John for $1,300. It’s definitely harder to find places for cheap in the area, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  5. I’ve lived on the hill for eight years now since moving to Seattle. My first studio was at The Tuscany in First Hill for $635/mo. No idea what it’s going for now but I’m betting it’s doubled. Next year I’m moving off the hill because the premium you pay to live on the hill just isn’t worth it any longer. I’m up to $1675 now for a one bedroom at Lawrence Lofts (best apartment I’ve ever had actually) but I want to afford a car of my own to go and do things for a change instead of Zipcar, Car2Go, Metro, et al. With the continued crime, further rising rents, it’s time to have a change of lifestyle.

    • Tuscany rents look like this before utilities and parking (and the units haven’t changed since you lived here):
      Studios are $1050 to $1150.
      One beds are $1195 to $1295.
      Twos are $1495 to $1695.

  6. I lived at 10th Ave E Apartments (Roy and 10th Ave E), which is owned by Northwest Apartments. We moved in late 2011. A nice 1 BR apt in an old building. In early 2013 (15 months later), we received a 23% rent increase notice.

    We moved out and out of the neighborhood. The value just wasn’t there anymore. I love Capitol Hill but housing costs are just out of control unless you’re an Amazon or Microsoft tech worker.

    • True that — we finally moved to West Seattle last year. We have a 1200 sq foot 2 bed 2 bath completely remodeled apartment with a view of the sound for $1700.

    • It is! I was afraid I’d be too far out in the boonies, but honestly it takes 10 minutes to get downtown and 30 minutes to get to the university district in heavy traffic. It’s no better or worse than navigating parking in Capitol Hill or taking the bus. There’s also express lines downtown. I find the population here is late 20s to late 30s people, so it’s a lot calmer but still full of creativity. If you want contact info about where I live, let me know! You can see if there’s availability.

    • Yeah there are other affordable cool neighborhoods. I just moved to Columbia City and it’s so much easier to take the light rail and trolley to work in south lake union than the 8 bus. My new hood reminds me of the hill from 10 years ago, quaint with plenty of places to hang but without the weekend drunken suburban crowd.
      I wouldn’t pay 1500 for a dinky studio on the hill, even though I can easily afford it. Like you said, the value just wasn’t there. This year has just been insane for housing.

  7. An ex-Stockbridger here as well! My husband lived there for years before I met him, and when I moved in with him for a year after we got married, we were paying around $750 for a studio. When we moved out in ’11, I think we would have had to pay something like $900 for it if we renewed the lease. Like others, we bought a co-op apartment elsewhere on the Hill, and I don’t think we’d be able to afford what it’s worth in rent.

    I’ve just moved to Portland for work, and from what I hear it’s a similar situation here. I’m paying $940 for a studio (older building, no W/D, etc) here as it is. It’s in a complex where many people have lived for years, if not decades, and all of a sudden their rents are being raised by $100 to $200 a month to reflect market rates that the previous owner just wasn’t interested in charging. My ‘new’ neighbor is facing temporary homelessness and is thinking about moving into a shelter to save money, as he’s older, on a fixed income, and won’t be able to afford the higher rents here. It’s shitty all over if you aren’t pulling in an upper middle-class salary….

    • One of my best friends has a gorgeous vintage top floor, corner unit studio on 24th and Quimby for $750/month… I paid $890/month for a tiny ground-floor studio on 13th and John. Portland is cheaper.

    • Yeah, some of it is, for sure! We were constrained by having a big dog and needing to find places that would allow him; the one we rented was the cheapest one we looked at.

  8. I am planning to rent out my nice 1000 sq foot townhouse (two bedrooms, two bath, garage, patio) next year and was thinking of maybe setting the rent at $2000/month. But from what I am reading here, $2000/month seems low. Really surprised by these rental prices!

  9. I’m trying to move off the August/September rental track in the hopes that rent will be less crazy. My largeish studio was $750 in 2010; I’m now paying $970 at my stupid building on 12th (which does NOT have good management, for the record).

    I have hopes of finding somewhere east of 15th, but I see so many friends moving to points south that I wonder if I’ll end up doing the same. I love Capitol Hill, but there’s a point where I feel like an idiot for paying that much in rent for what’s basically a room.

    I suppose we all should have been programmers. Oh well, too late.

    • “I suppose we all should have been programmers.”

      Yes, this. I think about that all the time….I have a job I love and an advanced degree, but I don’t make even the median wage for the city of Seattle. The people I see going out in my neighborhood (12th Ave, near Seattle U) are clearly ‘new’ to the area, likely Amazon hires and so on. I know I’m still vastly more privileged than most, but I’m beginning to feel that I can’t live on the Hill unless I’m above-average in terms of income. And we can’t all be that….

  10. Its time to organize Seattle is get some rent control in this city! The greedy landlords need to reel it in! Salaries are going up 20-30%! These rent increases are driving out the creative class and those of us in the middle. Pretty soon it will be another San Francisco or New York with only the very rich and the very poor (in rent subsidized housing) able to live on Capital Hill!

    We have an Election coming up, where do the mayoral candidates stand on this?

    • Washington State law does not allow for rent control and state law trumps local laws. If you want to change rent control policy in the city of Seattle you have to hope that Washington State voters elect enough Democrats to the State house and Senate who care about the issue and want to do something about it. This means focusing our attention on Statewide elections in swing districts like Vancouver and/or East King County. On another note, you might also want to hope that Ed Murray, a powerful State Senator with a strong background in Olympia, actually loses the Seattle mayoral election so that he can move progressive bills like rent control through the Senate if the Washington State Democrats eventually retake the Senate majority.

    • I lived in Boston in a rent-controlled unit for years, & all the propaganda about rich folks taking advantage of it is drivel. When you get enough money to have luxuries like in-bldg laundry, elevators, dedicated parking spaces, modern appliances, etc., you move. Folks who don’t have that option diversify the neighborhood by having eyes on the street at all times & and broadening the retail base at all levels. Most were service workers of one sort or another, students, elderly, singles- it was a great, enriching neighborhood.

    • New York has rent control, and by your own comment, New York is only for the “very rich and the very poor”.

      Why would rent control work here if it doesn’t in New York?

    • I lived in NYC for 13 years and yes, rent control does work.

      Most of the apartments are actually rent stabilized, not rent controlled (you have to be in the same apartment for a LONG time to get rent control). Rent stabilization puts a cap on the increase in rent from year to year and forces the landlord to renew your lease unless they evict you. So your rent might go up year to year but its a few percent (3-5% for a one year lease) and you do have the security of knowing you can stay in your apartment if you want to. It keeps tenants from getting thrown out or priced out suddenly.

  11. Always think the increases are extreme,too. I checked on King County Property Records and valuation on the Whitworth increased $640,000 from last to this year of $8,048,000 , and $1,300,000 of $9,073,000 from this to next year. Approximately, $6,400 and $13,000 respectively. Each of those sums spread over however many units over a year.

    • For the ENTIRE building. That $6400 increase in taxes over a 53 unit building is…wait for it, wait for it….(drum roll please)….$10 a month, per unit. The $13,000 increase is $20 per unit, per month.

      So of the $275 per unit per month rent increase noted above, a grand whopping total of $30 per month could be attributable to increases in taxes.

      The “my property taxes went up, so I have to raise your rent” is a standard trope for landlords, that never stands up to examination. Property tax increases are an insignificant portion of these rent increases. (Same thing for increase in other operating expenses like utilities or insurance.) Core inflation is almost flat.

      This is nothing other than pure, unmitigated greed. If you feel like your neighborhood is turning into an employee housing community for Amazon and Microsoft, that’s because it is.

  12. My rent in a “vintage” apartment on 15th and Pine went up from $1195-$1495 (WTF?) in one year, the same price as the new condo units next door! They claimed it to be market price. This is ludicrous. The city needs to do something about this before housing becomes unaffordable. Management in this city is unregulated, and renters are being F’d in the A**. I moved out and now live with roommates in a 3 bd townhouse, and probably will be leaving Capitol Hill once my lease is up. Sorry Capitol HIll, you are getting too expensive for a budget conscious guy.

  13. I am so terrified my landlord is going to up my rent. I’ve got a 750 sq ft studio in the basement of an older building (though it’s pretty nice and I’ve never had any issues) just off Broadway on Olive Way, and right now I’m only paying $900. I’ve been month-to-month for a year now after my first year lease was up, and there hasn’t been any change in my rent, but the possibility is a bit scary since I’m a grad student. Whenever I check craigslist I’ve seen other units in my building going for a few hundred more than when I moved in 2 years ago.

    I’m hoping to relocate to NYC next year, and friends always ask “but what about the rent?!?” After which I just kinda laugh because relatively decent apartments in Brooklyn neighborhoods (that aren’t Williamsburg or Park Slope) aren’t much pricier than Capitol Hill right now.

    • You are very lucky. That’s the best deal I have seen. My landlord has been good to me too, but not as good as yours.

      I think if the building is owned by a management company, they only look at the bottom line. They will raise rents as much and as fast as they can find new tenants. But if they are owned by individuals, there is a chance that they are less greedy. They may also want to keep it lower than market price so they won’t have frequent turnovers. Taking time off to clean up, do repairs, interview new tenants can be annoying.

      Echoing another remark, I wish I were smart enough to write codes so I can get paid $100k a year. I am much more afraid of rent increase than some guy on the hill stabbing me for my phone.

    • I wouldn’t say that coders are necessarily ‘smarter’ than you. They’re just in high demand, as they write the codes that run the robots that make the rest of us expendable. Good times.

    • Having been a manager and maintenance person in the 90’s I had experience with several owners, with few exceptions they are a dark and greedy breed. Like many wealthy, they have much more than they can spend and yet, can’t resist raising the rent, there was a real estate publication “Scott&Dupree” that they studied, when it crowed about charging for utilities and averaged them waaay over the actual cost, it turned my stomach and I quit. No modest increase for expenses, but squeezing folks for sport, where they LIVE, yuk.
      I

    • Yeah I’m mildly bummed out about our utilities situation. We do live in a relatively expensive building (for West Seattle) and pay $45 for WSG per month. We do have a washer/dryer and dishwasher, which is probably part of (all units have them) but it was an unexpected cost to throw in there. We’ve been here a year and so far our costs haven’t gone up. Another aspect is that we have 4 cats and they were awesome about us having them. Lots of HUGE dogs in this building – always makes me feel like the landlords are slightly better when they are cool about pets.

  14. The rationale for the significant rent increases in our Cap Hill building — which we are now vacating — is increased property taxes due to rising property assessments. I bet that other landlords are increasing rents for the same reason.

    As an alternative to rent control legislation at the state level, why not property assessment control at the county level? Freeze all King County property assessments (or better yet, roll them back to, say, their 2008 levels), reduce the tax burden on the landlords, and thereby remove a major source of pressure on rising rents.

    • No, but as I said, it does remove a source of pressures on rents — rising property taxes due to rising assessments. One step at a time.

      With the large numbers of new apartments coming on line in the near future, the X number of available apts will increase significantly.

      Furthermore, the amount of new development in South Lake Union is finite, so the hiring there is finite too. The number of Cap Hill renters will plateau, probably sooner rather than later. In the end, I bet that the equilibrium level will favor renters rather than landlords.

    • Oo, capping property taxes, it sounds good but I *really really* don’t want what happened in California to happen here. (State and municipalities couldn’t keep up with cost of living, real estate kept going up anyway, result: expensive housing with bad schools and roads and services so only people rich enough to buy all of *those* came out ahead). I’d be in favor of a Georgist land tax instead — which would probably make CHIll housing expensive but pay for great transit and libraries and public safety.

    • The cost of property tax increases in these buildings is an insignificant portion of the average rent increases for these buildings. Property tax assessments are climbing, but when you divide the property tax increase over the number of units in the building, on a monthly basis, you’ll find the property tax increase works out to under $50 a month. Nothing close to the $200, $300 per month rent increases people are seeing.

      I’ve worked in real estate all my adult life and the “property taxes are going up” line is a standard B.S. line that landlords throw out at tenants, who they assume will never do the research and the math.

      Once upon a time, you’d have to physically go to your local assessor’s office and root through assessment indexes. These days, thanks to the Internet, its a lot easier and more transparent.

      For example, my old building on 10th Ave E. In 2011, the assessed value of the property was $755,000. Tax rate is roughly .0135. So annual taxes of $10,192. Its a 6 unit building, so average $142 per unit per month. Two years later, the assessed value is $972,000. That’s total taxes of $13,122, or average of $182 per unit per month. That’s a cumulative increase over two years of roughly $40 per unit per month. My rent increase over that same time period? $300 per month. Property taxes make up only 13% of that increase. Utilities are not a factor as gas and electric were tenant paid, and the landlords charged a per PERSON fee for W/S/G that based on the size of the units and type of building was more than enough to cover actual costs. The building experienced no major repairs over that time nor did it experience any major casualty losses that would have led to increase insurance costs. The cumulative rate of inflation over that time period was 4%.

      In short, my landlord’s operating expense cost increase over that time frame was minimal, and could have been covered by a rent increase of approximately $75 per month, $100 tops.

      If your landlord is socking you with a large rent increase and he tells you its because “my taxes went up”, just know its pure B.S.

    • I was wondering that too! How can u do this research? We’ve been here a year and we heard vague whispering a of a under $50 increase, but that’s annoying and poor reward for being quiet and awesome tenants. What would be by incentive to resign my lease then? I want an intelligent argument. Sadly I think my landlords are relatively decent people too.

    • King County Parcel viewer. You can see how much property is valued at going back decades, and see exactly how much is owed per year going back to 2010.

      For example, I know that Bill Gates pays $1.1m in property tax per year. That’s up about 10% over the past couple years.

  15. I don’t understand all this talk about owners being “greedy”. They run a business and it’s in their best interest to get as much as they can. They’re not running a charity.

    If you’re perfectly happy paying $900 for an apartment that has a market rate of $1000, and two years from the market rate rent has gone down to $750, would you still be OK with paying $900? No.

    It’s always about ME ME ME ME. Can’t afford Capitol Hill? Too bad. Get a better job or move to Tukwila.

    Capitol Hill is one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live in one of the most desirable cities in the country. Of course it’s going to expensive!

    • Of course the landlords are greedy. We have an economic system that institutionalizes greed and a culture that elevates it to a virtue.

      Happily for us renters, greed lacks foresight. In their eagerness to make a killing, real estate investors are likely to overbuild in response to the rising apartment rents and ultimately force occupancy rates down. When occupancy rates decline, so do rents. Yay capitalism.

    • You really think rents will decline?

      Best case scenario they level off but I highly doubt landlords will discount renters hundreds of dollars on their existing rent to keep them if/when the rental market becomes saturated.

      And with regards to saturation, I doubt that will happen. With the housing market heating up, I suspect we may see more condo conversions down the road thus keeping rentals in demand.

      There is very little in the way of new condo’s coming online on the hill. Apartment renters should remain concerned.

    • They will never lower the rent, but they will start adding incentives like “First month free or 1/2 price, 13 months at 12 months rent pro-rated” etc. I’ve dealt this all of these.

      In a down market, they do tricks to keep the “base monthly rent” unchanged.

    • Yes, you describe perfectly how capitalism “corrects” its excesses. As you say, builders will respond to the tight housing market by over-building, eventually causing oversupply and a consequent decline or flatline of rent prices.

      Sounds like a perfectly good system to me that self-corrects when appropriate.

  16. Oy, I too am nervous about what happens to my rent when my lease expires in November. I know it’s the free market and all, but 35% increases make me sick to my stomach. My husband and I are not sure that we’re long for the Hill either, even though we’ve both lived here for more than a decade each and it’s very convenient for our jobs (I work downtown, he works at a very popular Cap Hill bar that all these people driving us out of the neighborhood probably frequent). We’ve been in our building for four years, but the building is managed by one of these big companies who doesn’t give a crap about the value of good, quiet, longterm tenants who take care of their homes. Since we’re all sharing, I’ll put in that it’s a 1100 sf vintage 2-bed on the 1-5 Shores for $1575 (not including parking). Before someone tells me to “get a better job” I do have a good professional job (I’m in marketing) but my salary is not programmer-good. And unfortunately, unlike rents, it has stayed pretty stagnant the last few years. I suppose the good news is that if the bland-ification of the Hill continues it will be easier to leave.

    Good luck out there, everybody.

  17. We skipped off The Hill a few years back for West Seattle. It wasn’t an easy move and we had to sacrifice some things — we drive more, we can’t fall out of our home into a supermarket, we can’t walk downtown. I miss that, still. But we also pay less than 1600 month for a house with off street parking, wonderful neighbors, and the Junction is kind of great, it’s my 15th now. Rapid Ride means it’s about 1/2 hour into downtown on the bus, and sometimes, just because I can, I take the water taxi, the city’s most underrated piece of public transit. For value, I’m not sure you can beat West Seattle and with the increasing population of Hill refugees, it’s just getting better and better. I feel for the Hillsters, I really do. But we bailed and we’re not sorry.

  18. I love that all these west Seattle folks that are so happy in their new hood are still frequenting the CHS blog. Nice time to chime in and beat us like a piñata when theres clearly no candy left!

    • Just because we moved out of Capitol Hill doesn’t mean we don’t still care about it. We are offering this information so people know there’s a great place to live that’s affordable and is somewhat like what they are used to. I’m sure for most of the people here was hard for them to move away as it was a big part of their life.

    • It’s coz you all made fun of us when we left. “Good luck with that Viaduct!” you said. “Funny about that bridge,” you said. “It’s been fun knowing you,” you said. “Send us a postcard because we’ll never come see you!” Turn about’s fair play!

      In all seriousness, it wasn’t an easy choice — though the husband FAR prefers West Seattle. For folks working any further northeast than downtown Bellevue, the commute, hellish. (Not everyone is a Microsoft staffer with access to the connector, you know.)

      I’m actually sympathetic; for me, I was all, “Might as well be moving to Northgate!” But it’s so much better than I thought it would be. I did not die. Also, I hear our Bakery Nouveau staffers are way nicer here out West.

  19. I’m an artist with a full time job at a non-profit organization, I contribute to the neighborhood, do nearly all my spending here (food, entertainment, shopping), and love my community—I live and work in my neighborhood. I moved to the hill because I could afford it on my very small budget and this was the best place for me to nurture a creative life. I live in a charming 1920’s 1BR apt that started out very affordable, my rent has since gone up $100 every year for the last 4 years! (My salary has *not* grown at the same rate). The explanation for the rent hikes are the same we’ve all heard, they need to compete with the newer buildings coming in. HOWEVER, I’m a bit bothered by the fact that my rent has to go up to compete with brand new buildings with central heating/AC, brand new pipes, nice new walls, new windows, amenities, regular water pressure. The lack of these things has never bothered me before, I love the charm and the building is not in bad shape. I do think it’s unfair to assume that a 100 year old will be up to the same standards, and price point, as brand new construction. I wish there could be laws in place that regulate rent hikes and require buildings to meet certain standards in order to fall into a certain pricing bracket. Thoughts?

    PS- One of my biggest concerns about moving out of the hill is that my life is here and I don’t have a car. Moving out to a cheaper neighborhood would mean getting a car, which would cost more than the rent hikes.

    • Why continue to do business with what you think is a bad deal? As soon as the newly arrived AMZN employees are done with their leases in dorms by south lake union, and keep their bonuses after the one year mark, they’d love to move up into old world charm. It’s unfair but you can likely find a creative way to win in this situation.

  20. Property taxes keep going up. When renters vote them up I hope they aren’t naïve enough to think the cost isn’t just being passed on to them.

  21. I think I’m finally priced out of Capitol hill. I’ve been living in an awesome one bedroom for a few years now and the rent just keeps increasing and increasing. What happens this month? Another fucking increase. I get it, but at the same time, its total bullshit. Rent increases are outpacing everything else in my life. Seriously considering buying a house around the Georgetown area where everything is still slightly more affordable but still relatively close to the city.

  22. I lived in the Summit Arms Apartments on Summit & Pine from September 2012 up until a month ago. My roommate and I paid $1400 for a small yet charming two bedroom apartment after utilities, but were priced out when our lease expired. After reading the other comments I feel incredibly lucky. However, they were planning on increasing our rent to $1500 if we renewed and above $1600 if it was put on the market. This seems small in comparison but for someone who works full time at a minimum wage internship this was completely out of the question. I moved to Ballard and now pay $1800 for a three bedroom tudor.

    Cheers to the author of this article. I’m glad someone is documenting the Capitol Hill diaspora.

    • Within certain windows of notice. It’s capped at 10 percent – within a certain window of time. Check it out: “In fact, the landlord is only required to give tenants 30 days written notice to change a term of the tenancy, including a rent increase (RCW 59.18.140). An exception to this general rule concerns a rent increase in the City of Seattle where a tenant is entitled to 60 days prior written notice for an increase 10% or more in a 12-month period (SMC 7.24.030).”

      I’ve gotten rent increases two summers in a row of around 15 percent. Both times? Notice came about 61 days ahead of time.

    • I was given 30 days notice for a 25% increase from my landlord. When me (and the others in my building) informed her of the 60 day rule, she complied, but then raised it even further to 30%. We are all moving out. Luckily I found a place in Madison Valley with a decent rate, but wow… it was rough going. It’s a feeding frenzy looking for an apartment…

    • I am moving to Los Angeles because it’s actually cheaper. I’m living in a pretty prime location in the Larchmont area, I have a bigger apartment in a 1930s building and it’s $200 less than what I pay at the Biltmore here. Sure, other things in LA are pricey but after a years worth of research I will actually be better off.

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