Yes. Failure to pay the Rental Housing Fee before the filing of an Unlawful Detainer (eviction) lawsuit is a complete defense to an unlawful detainer (RMC 11.100.060(s)(3)).
In addition, the City Council adopted monetary penalties for late payment of the Rental Housing Fee, as shown in the table below. The City Council is also authorized to assess a lien on property where there are outstanding Rental Housing Fees (see Ordinance No. 16-17). Furthermore, Landlords with delinquent Rental Housing Fees may be referred to collections.
|Days Late||Penalty (%)|
|1-30||10% of the Rental Housing Fee|
|31-60||25% of the Rental Housing Fee|
|>60||50% of the Rental Housing Fee|