Prohibited Acts

What Is It?

The Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) sections that regulate prohibited acts are enforced by the Seattle Police Department. Please contact them at their non-emergency number (206) 625-5011.

Prohibited Acts by Owners. This landlord may not:

  • Change locks on a tenant's door
  • Remove any door, window, fuse box, fixtures, furniture or other equipment from a tenant's unit
  • Shut off any utility service provided by the landlord
  • Remove a tenant from his or her housing or premises without legal process
  • Evict, increase the rent, reduce services, increase a tenant’s obligations or threaten a tenant after he or she has filed a complaint with Seattle DCI, the Seattle Police Department, or has otherwise asserted his or her rights as a tenant
  • Enter 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
  • Prohibit 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. The tenant may not:

  • Add or tamper with any lock
  • Remove or tamper with equipment, fixtures, furniture, or services provided by the landlord
  • Intentionally damage or cause others to damage the landlord’s building or premises

Read the Code

Proposed Changes


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    Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m