Rules and Regulations

Seattle’s First In Time rental law found constitutional

legal scale seattle first in time rental law

On Thursday November 14, 2019 the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that Seattle’s First In Time rental law conforms to the state constitution.   The law was passed in 2016 but has not been enforced pending legal challenges.  While Pacific Legal Foundation (a nonprofit) has indicated that it will appeal the case to the US Supreme Court, landlords in Seattle would be wise to get educated on the implications of the law and begin complying immediately.  

New Law Overview

Broadly, the legislation requires landlords to do the following:

  • Post specific criteria that will be used in tenant selection whenever and wherever they advertise an open unit.  
  • Accept the first applicant who meets these criteria.  
  • Document the time and date an application is received.
  • Grant additional time to complete the application upon request, to individuals who need it due to English language limitations or disabilities.

Know the law and how to comply

We have compiled resources we believe to be helpful in learning about the law and how to comply with it:

Next Steps

Critically important in navigating Seattle’s First In Time rental law is the development of a screening criteria checklist. Read more about that and get a sample checklist here.

Legal Help

When in doubt, consult a legal professional. RocketLawyer is one good resource, offering the advice of staff attorneys as well as forms such as leases and eviction notices.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.

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About Eli Secor

Eli comes from a family of real estate investors, dating back several generations. He currently manages his own multifamily property, apartment buildings for clients, and commercial spaces. He has particular expertise in the construction and maintenance arena, having spent almost 20 years in the construction fields.
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