On Monday, April 6, the Bellevue City Council adopted permanent regulations in order to restrict the number of individuals that can live in one single-family home.
In 2013, complaints were being filed by citizens of Bellevue regarding noise, traffic, not paying for trash collection and not keeping up with the aesthetic quality of homes and their yards.
As a result of these new housing regulations, only four unrelated individuals are allowed to live under one roof. When it comes to families, though, as long as everybody is related, there is no limit to how many people are allowed to live in the same house.
The new rules make it so that all the adults living in one home have to share the lease and there can’t be renters living in the home under a short-term basis. This means that citizens of Bellevue can no longer rent out single rooms in their house.
All of Bellevue’s short-term, single room renters have one year, or whenever the current lease is up (whichever comes first), to find somewhere new to stay, or to sign onto the official lease.
The city is proposing that homes comprised of unrelated adults try to match the functionality of a family. This means sharing the expenses of rent, bills and groceries.
According to Ray White, the citizens and neighborhood residents of Bellevue are attempting to point fingers at Bellevue College for the single room renting that is happening. As a result, the pressure for dorms is increasing. BC plans on adding 1,000 dorm units in fall 2018.
“With 37,000 students, and only 1,000 dorms being put in place, that’s barely a drop in the bucket. It’ll mostly be international students and athletes, but even then, it won’t make a dent,” said White.
According to White, the push to prevent students from renting single rooms is borderline discriminatory against those individuals. White has heard citizens call BC residents creators of “frat houses,” and “animal houses.”
These new regulations will only be put in place by an honor system. The city is depending on Bellevue citizens to inform the city of suspicious activity and suspicion of single room renters.
In an unofficial survey of Bellevue College students who are regularly on campus, only six out of 50 students are currently renting single rooms.
Despite the upbringing of Bellevue’s new regulations, White said that the college will continue to allow students to advertise single rooms for rent near the college.