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WA: Landlords sue Seattle over tenant history ordinance

[richmond.com 5/1/18]

SEATTLE (AP) — A landlord group has sued the city of Seattle over an ordinance passed in August that prohibits them from making rental decisions based on a tenant’s criminal background.

The Rental Housing Association of Washington sued the city in King County Superior Court Tuesday.

The complaint alleges the city has violated property owners’ due process and free speech rights. It says landowners have a right to select their tenants and the ordinance is unreasonable.

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved the “fair chance housing” ordinance in August to help formerly incarcerated people find housing.

The ordinance prohibits landlords from screening a tenant based on arrests or convictions. They also can’t ask about or consider arrests that didn’t lead to a conviction. The law doesn’t apply to adult sex offenders.

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  1. Eric

    This law doesn’t apply to sex offenders. This shows the total absurdity and hysteria of the community. At first I thought this was a good law. it was designed to make housing available to all (yeah, right) convicted felons, and then I saw the catch, it doesn’t apply to RSO’s. So drug dealers that have an 80% recidivism rate, gang members with a 95% recidivism rate, dog fighters, armed robbers, car jackcers, embezzlers, hackers are all welcome. They cannot be judged or discriminated against due to their past convictions, but oh lord, that vile individual that looked at pictures over a decade, no way. I would never want him living in my apartment complex, too risky.

    • AO

      As a landlord, I’d be far more concerned about potentially renting to someone who was busted for a home meth lab than an RC.

      • Eric

        AO our land lord discovered a great secret, she prefers to rent to SO’s. About a third of the tenants here are such. I got lucky to get in here. Everybody is quiet, there is zero crime, everybody is respectful. We are all just very grateful to have a place to stay, we focus on our jobs, and not attracting attention. She cashed in on this. I heard some gun fire in the apartment down the street the other night and police showed up. Maybe they will get wise and start renting to SO’s.

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