Carl Haglund (real estate)

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Carl Raymond Haglund (born 1953 or 1954)[1] is the president of Columbia Modern Living, a property management and real estate development company based in Seattle. Haglund has been criticized for his actions as a landlord and a Seattle law prohibiting landlords from raising rents on properties that do not meet maintenance standards is popularly known as the "Carl Haglund law".


In 1992, Haglund hired an attorney to argue successfully for the shutdown of a nightclub near one of his properties for reasons including drug activity, fights, excessive noise, and obstruction of traffic. A judge stated that the club presented a general nuisance to the neighborhood and ordered the club to close.[2]

In 2015, Haglund purchased a run-down building at 6511 Rainier Ave S in Seattle and attracted negative attention for raising rents on some of his tenants by large amounts, such as from $550 to $1,550. Councilmembers Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant criticized the move.[3] Haglund subsequently promised to waive a month's rent for the building's tenants and not to raise rent until the building passed city inspection.[4][5] Haglund stated that his building at 6511 Rainier Ave S was immune from the city's relocation-assistance requirements due to its below-market rents and tenants breaching the terms of their leases.[6] Haglund later faced fines of $165,000 for failing to comply with tenant relocation assistance rules at a different property.[7]

Councilmember Sawant, referring to Haglund as a "notorious slumlord," proposed a "Carl Haglund law" in 2015 which would ban landlords from raising rents on housing units that do not meet basic maintenance standards.[8] In 2016, the Seattle City Council passed the bill into law.[9][10] Several tenants' rights advocates referred to the bill as the "Carl Haglund bill" during public comment.[11] In 2017, Haglund filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle for defamation, seeking $25 million in damages, a retraction of "derogatory comments," and a resolution apologizing to him.[8] Haglund subsequently filed suit against Sawant personally. After a judge dismissed four of Haglund's nine claims, Haglund dropped the remaining ones. The City of Seattle spent about $250,000 defending against the lawsuits.[12]

In 2015, Haglund sued Sherrard Ewing, a tenant in one of Haglund's buildings who left a negative review of the property on Yelp. A King County Superior Court Judge dismissed the lawsuit as "frivolous" and ordered Haglund to pay Ewing’s legal bills, which likely amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.[1]

Haglund proposed a 150-unit condominium building with retail space in Columbia City, Seattle in 2016.[13] The city's Southeast Design Review Board subsequently approved the building, subject to conditions, in 2018.[14]

In 2017, Haglund was fined $1.1 million by a Pierce County, Washington Superior Court judge for vandalizing a building in Tacoma that he intended to buy. The plaintiffs contended that Haglund cut holes in drywall ceilings and cut wiring in the building to cause the building to decrease in value or enter foreclosure.[15]

In 2019, Haglund let Weld Seattle, a local charity, use a bungalow that he owns near Mount Baker station as transitional housing for former prisoners and formerly homeless persons.[16] In 2020, Haglund formed the Carl Haglund Foundation[17][18] which provides grants for education about homelessness and opioid addiction.[19]


  1. ^ a b Pulkkinen, Levi (9 October 2015). "Judge hammers 'Seattle Goliath of housing' who sued ex-tenant over Yelp review". SeattlePI. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  2. ^ Norton, Dee (April 11, 1992). "Judge Orders Nightclub Closed". Seattle Times.
  3. ^ Beekman, Daniel (1 October 2015). "Tenants of run-down building: Owner said pay more or get out". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  4. ^ Groover, Heidi (7 October 2015). "Accused "Slumlord" Carl Haglund Promises to Improve Building Where Tenants Are Living with Roaches and Rats". The Stranger. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  5. ^ Jolin, Marilee (7 October 2015). "100 Plus Assemble in Columbia City to Demand Better Conditions, No Rent Increases From Local Landlord". South Seattle Emerald. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  6. ^ Beekman, Daniel (5 October 2015). "City cracks down on rent hikes used to avoid relocation payments". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  7. ^ Feit, Josh (9 October 2015). "Controversial Landlord Haglund Faces Fines of $165,000 in West Seattle Case Over Tenant Relocation Assistance". PubliCola. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  8. ^ a b Groover, Heidi (28 July 2017). "Landlord Carl Haglund Files $25 Million Claim Against City After Kshama Sawant Dubbed Him a "Slumlord"". The Stranger. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  9. ^ Kinney, Jen (7 June 2016). "Tenants Rights Advocates Score Victory in Seattle". NextCity. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  10. ^ Badger, Emily (22 June 2016). "A guaranteed way to make landlords care about crumbling apartments". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  11. ^ Thompson, Lynn (6 June 2016). "Landlords blocked from raising rents on Seattle apartments with safety violations". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  12. ^ Lacitis, Erik (4 June 2018). "Landlord drops remaining defamation suit against Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  13. ^ Keeley, Sean (23 August 2016). "Carl Haglund's new Mount Baker project includes 150 apartments". Curbed Seattle. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  14. ^ Project Number 3018722‐LU Southeast Design Review Board report
  15. ^ Krell, Alexis (21 July 2017). "Notorious landlord must pay $1.1 million for damaging building on purpose". The News Tribune. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  16. ^ Cohen, Josh (13 June 2019). "How Seattle's vacant building problem is helping ex-prisoners and the homeless". Crosscut. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Corporations and Charities Filing System". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  18. ^ "Homeless Kenmore Man Nominated for Carnegie Hero Award". Tacoma Daily Index. May 12, 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Carl Haglund Foundation". Carl Haglund Foundation. Retrieved August 29, 2020.

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