Seattle landlords giving tenants a month of free rent: 'It’s more of a blessing to give than to receive'

SEATTLE - - Rents across the Puget Sound have been steadily rising for the last few years. Now one set of landlord in Seattle says they're giving tenants free rent next month.

Mickey Bambrick and her husband Kory Slaatthaug  own the Lunde Apartments in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood, and explained to Q13 News why they decided to do it and how giving tenants free rent benefits them the most.

“I was a renter for 23 years and I know that feeling,” Bambrick said.

Slaatthaug and Bambrick have been the sole owners of the building since 1992. With Seattle rents continuing to rise, Bambrick says apartment living can sometimes feel unstable. So their Christian beliefs led them to offer their 11 tenants free rent in November.

“We talked about it for a while and decided that giving the tenants a month free from rent would be in line with the Jewish tradition," Bambrick said. "We don’t practice that stuff, it’s all Old Testament laws, but it’s just something fun to honor our faith.

The couple started saving extra money last year. They say they’re not trying to convert people to Christianity but they are proud of their faith. Slaatthaug has a 4-foot Bible replica on top of his truck. They got the idea to relieve the debts of others from a passage in the Bible. The passage says debts are to be forgiven every 50 years, and Slaatthaug’s father built the property 50 years ago. He says he jumped at the chance to honor his father and his tenants.

“I didn’t let them know until Oct. 1, when it was time for them to start preparing for November’s rent, and so building up to that was quite exciting for me. I guess that’s where the Bible comes in. It’s more of a blessing to give than to receive,” Slaatthaug said.

They wrote a letter to their tenants offering a rent-free month, and one tenant posted it on Reddit, causing thousands of people to share the story. Although they'll forfeit $15,000 next month, they say this is just another way they honor God and give back.