What landlords need to know about Seattle’s Fair Chance Housing law

The City of Seattle’s Fair Chance Housing law became effective this week on Monday, February 19, 23018. This new law makes it unlawful for landlords who are renting property in the city limits of Seattle to inquire about an applicant’s criminal history. There are a few exceptions outlined below in ‘ordinance does not apply to‘. To comply with this new law you will need to use an updated online application (or paper application) and criteria that includes specific language required by the City of Seattle Office of Civil Rights (SOCR). You will also need to use this language in your advertisement and your website. Seattle landlords are still required to continue to comply with First-in-Time, Rental Caps and Disparate Impact laws.

Fair Chance Housing Ordinance FAQ


• Single-family dwellings where the owner occupies part of the single-family dwelling.
• Accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) when the owner or person entitled to possession maintains a permanent residence on the same lot. An example of an ADU is a basement apartment or “mother-in-law” unit. These are separate living units with kitchen, sleeping, and bathroom facilities. They are smaller in size and appearance than the primary home and may have separate entrances. An example of a DADU is a backyard cottage.

• Federally assisted housing that is subject to federal regulations that require the denial of tenancy when a household member is subject to a lifetime sex offender registration requirement and/or convicted of manufacture or production of methamphetamine on the premises of the federally assisted housing. Qualifying organizations must follow all provisions of SMC 14.09, until the crimes noted above create an exclusion. Read more about Federally Assisted Housing in section B.

If you need additional information or have questions, please email us at tenantscreening@landlordsolutionsinc.com or call 253-396-0010 ext 1.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply