Title 2 is back under discussion

Title 2 is the county ordinance dealing with Code Compliance. It is the directive on what is and is not allowed during the course of a county investigation of a property for compliance with county ordinances.

The proposed revision  DCD_Update Title 2 July 25 2018 states “In the performance of that investigation, an authorized official may enter upon any land and make examinations and surveys, provided that such entries, examinations and surveys are carried out in accordance with all applicable laws and do not damage or interfere with the use of the land by those persons lawfully entitled to the possession thereof.”

While this segment is true it provides no guidance to the county inspectors or it’s citizens/ property owners what those rules actually are.  In absence of an emergency, service of a warrant or building permit the county needs permission to enter on a property.

Washington State Constitution

SECTION 7 INVASION OF PRIVATE AFFAIRS OR HOME PROHIBITED. No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.

State Land Lord Tenant Law

RCW 59.18.150 Landlord’s right of entry — Purposes — Searches by fire officials — Searches by code enforcement officials for inspection purposes— Conditions.

“Upon written notice of intent to seek a search warrant, when a tenant or landlord denies a fire official the right to search a dwelling unit, a fire official may immediately seek a search warrant and, upon a showing of probable cause specific to the dwelling unit sought to be searched that criminal fire code violations exist in the dwelling unit, a court of competent jurisdiction shall issue a warrant allowing a search of the dwelling unit.”

“A search warrant must only be issued upon application of a designated officer or employee of a county or city prosecuting or regulatory authority supported by an affidavit or declaration made under oath or upon sworn testimony before the judge, establishing probable cause that a violation of a state or local law, regulation, or ordinance regarding rental housing exists and endangers the health or safety of the tenant or adjoining neighbors. In addition, the affidavit must contain a statement that consent to inspect has been sought from the owner and the tenant but could not be obtained because the owner or the tenant either refused or failed to respond within five days, or a statement setting forth facts or circumstances reasonably justifying the failure to seek such consent.”

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