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Washington State is one step closer to a new law governing how landlords handle tenant keys.

The measure, which was passed by the State House of Representatives last Monday, adds language to the state’s rental code requiring landlords to “maintain and safeguard with reasonable care any master key or duplicate keys in the dwelling unit.”

The measure was approved 98-0.

The language is a slightly watered-down version from the original draft, which would have required landlords to use “utmost care” with any master key or duplicate keys.

The law must now be approved by the State Senate.

It is unclear whether the new language, if passed into law, will increase liability for landlords, or make it easier for victims to sue landlords in the event an injury results from stolen or misused keys.

The law is in reaction to a previous case where a tenant was attacked by an employee who had access to spare keys. That victim was available to testify before the House.

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