The homeowner is obligated to inform you of the following...
License & Affiliation
Real Estate License Law requires the homeowner to disclose that he was a real estate licensee in the State of Washington. His license expired in February 2012.
This home share is not managed by, or affiliated with, any property management firm or real estate agency.
This is not a "rental" in a separate "rental unit", it is a "home share" arrangement.
SpringWater is located in an R1 district, where the City of Pullman zoning codes do not allow the establishment of rental units in owner-occupied single-family homes. The "home share" was devised by City officials in order to offer some relief to homeowners struggling with the cost of maintaining their homes.
A home share does not allow the homeowner to enter into a traditional landlord-tenant relationship, nor can the homeowner establish, or the housemate demand or expect such an arrangement that includes a wholly separate apartment or rental unit that is exclusive and private to the housemate, or grant the housemate the rights, privileges and privacy otherwise granted to renters by law. In practical terms however, due to it's size and duplicate facilities, SpringWater is far superior in matters of privacy for both parties.
Technically - per City code - all of the rooms except the bedroom are shared with the homeowner. The homeowner has a "knock-and-wait" policy when the housemate is home, or may be home, or could be home, in order to extend the level of privacy one step further. When the homeowner knows the housemate is out, he can legally access The Suite*, except the bedroom, without notice - just like a roommate or housemate in any other shared arrangement... but the need for this is fairly rare.
*to access storage, make repairs to temperature sensors, turn off running water/toilet, or turn off lights that have been left on, etc.
As a home share, the homeowner is not allowed to make a profit on this arrangement. 100% of the housemate's monthly reimbursements are applied to house-related operating expenses such as utilities, maintenance & repair, insurance, mortgage, and property taxes.
Some WSU sub-contractors pay for their employee's housing, and require approval of the lease prior to signing. Some sub-contractors do NOT recognize a "home share" arrangement. You should contact your company's legal department to ascertain whether they will allow you to sign a home sharing agreement. Do this before you ask for a showing.
Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act
The home share lease conforms to the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (WSRL-TA), although this home share is not a rental arrangement (as defined by the WSRL-TA) per the zoning codes of the City of Pullman, and thus may not be governed by the WSRL-TA*.
*the WSRL-TA does not address non-profit home shares, including or excluding them, thus it would most likely be up to a Superior Court to decide on a case-by-case basis.
The "Authorization to Collect Personal Information" release is one of two documents that is required to be completed and submitted before the homeowner will enter into a lease with the applicant. The release authorizes the homeowner or his agent, to obtain printed and/or digital copies of the applicant's credit report, and/or criminal history report, and/or background report from one or more national credit reporting agencies or online tenant screening sources. A separate signed and dated agreement is required for each person applying for this home share. To read the text of this release form, click here.
Good Faith Agreement
The "Good Faith Agreement" is one of two documents that is required to be completed and submitted before the homeowner will enter into a lease with the applicant. This agreement basically states that IF the homeowner finds that there is no reason to reject the application and offers the home share to the applicant, and IF the applicant decides not to decline the offer, but instead to follow through and accepts the homeowner's offer, the applicant will be then be legally bound to complete the process and sign the "Home Share Agreement". The agreement also states that IF the applicant fails to sign the "Home Share Agreement" (which would legally obligate the applicant to it's terms and conditions) the applicant will forfeit the entire remaining amount of the application fee (that portion not already used as a "Report Fee"). The "Good Faith Agreement" does not otherwise obligate the applicant to the terms of the "Home Share Agreement". To read the text of the agreement, click here.
The forfeiture of the remaining portion of the application fee is to reimburse the homeowner in-small-part for the possible loss of all remaining chances to find a housemate while the home share has been off-the-market during the process of evaluating the applicant, and to provide funds for placing new classified ads.