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Housing & Building Maintenance

What Is It?

Our Housing and Building Maintenance Code applies to all buildings in the City of Seattle. It contains minimum standards for structural integrity, heat, ventilation, electrical equipment, fire safety including exit requirements, and security for housing units. Our code also contains duties of owners and tenants, the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, and standards for vacant building maintenance.

Our ordinance requires that you:

  • Meet minimum maintenance standards for rental properties
  • Protect vacant buildings from unauthorized entry and weather
  • Follow rules regarding residential tenancies
  • Repair or demolish a building that has been declared unsafe to live in (called “unfit for human habitation” in the code)

What It Isn’t

This ordinance does not cover:

Read the Code

Read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) section on housing and building maintenance, SMC 22.200 - 22.208.

Recent Changes

City Council recently amended the Housing and Building Maintenance Code to bring references and requirements in line with current building codes and changes in state law, such as the requirement for carbon monoxide alarms. We are implementing these changes alongside changes to the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance. Our experience with the RRIO program highlighted Housing and Building Maintenance Code provisions that are out of date or ineffective to achieve the goal of safe and healthy housing. See our RRIO & Housing Code Update page for more information.

What Do You Want To Do?


Still Need Help?


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  • Call us at (206) 615-0808
  • Visit Code Compliance
    700 Fifth Ave., 19th floor
    Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m
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