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Prohibited Acts

What Is It?

The Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) sections that regulate prohibited acts are enforced by the Seattle Police Department, not by DPD.

Prohibited Acts by Owners. This code section prohibits a landlord from:

  • Changing locks on a tenant's door
  • Removing any door, window, fuse box, fixtures, furniture or other equipment from a tenant's unit
  • Shutting off any utility service provided by the landlord
  • Removing a tenant from his or her housing or premises without legal process
  • Evicting, increasing the rent, reducing services, increasing a tenant’s obligations or threatening a tenant after he or she has filed a complaint with DPD, the Seattle Police Department, or has otherwise asserted his or her rights as a tenant
  • Entering a tenant’s housing unit or premises without appropriate notice and the consent of the tenant, except in an emergency or when a tenant has abandoned the premises
  • Prohibiting a tenant from communicating about building affairs or tenant organizations, including:
    • Distributing leaflets
    • Posting material on community bulletin boards
    • Contacting other tenants
    • Assisting tenants to organize and hold meetings at reasonable times within the building that are not attended by building management

Harassing or Retaliating Against an Owner. This section of the code prohibits a tenant from:

  • Adding or tampering with any lock
  • Removing or tampering with equipment, fixtures, furniture, or services provided by the landlord
  • Intentionally damaging or causing others to damage the landlord’s building or premises

Read the Code

Proposed Changes


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  • Call us at (206) 615-0808
  • Visit Code Compliance
    700 Fifth Ave., 19th floor
    M,Tu,Th, F: 8:00 a.m - 4:30 p.m
    W: 10:00 - 4:30 p.m.