The Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance has two primary benefits for renters being displaced by development:
Renters are considered displaced when their housing is scheduled to:
Property owners and developers must get a Tenant Relocation License if the project meets the criteria listed above. The license covers all renters in your building. Only low-income renters receive relocation assistance of $3,848.00. Property owners pay half of that amount and the City of Seattle pays the other half.
We will not issue a master use, construction, demolition, or change of use permit for a property where renters will be required to move until we have issued a Tenant Relocation License.
A landlord cannot raise the rent in order to avoid applying for a Tenant Relocation License. SDCI has authority (Seattle Municipal Code 22.210.136) to investigate rent increases to determine whether the intent of the increase is to avoid the Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance. Violations of this ordinance are subject to fines and penalties of up to $1,000.00 per day.
Procedures and timelines:
The Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance applies only to rental housing affected by construction, demolition, and other development. Other types of relocation assistance for renters apply in different circumstances (see the common question page about tenant relocation).
We do not require a landlord to pay relocation assistance to a renter who is evicted as a result of a court order in a legal eviction action.
Read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) section about the Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance, SMC 22.210.