Fair Housing

What Is It?

Icon of person in wheelchair in front of apartment building.In Seattle it is illegal to discriminate in the rental or sale of housing because of:

  • Race, color, national origin, or ancestry
  • Sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity
  • Age
  • Disability or use of a service animal
  • Religion or creed
  • Retaliation
  • Alternative sources of income
  • Use of a Section 8 certificate or other subsidy programs
  • Marital status
  • Political ideology
  • Parental status
  • Military status or veteran

What It Isn’t

Seattle Office for Civil Rights also enforces a Source of Income Protections and First-in-Time ordinance. The protections require landlords to accept renters who use subsidies or alternative sources of income to pay for housing. Landlords also must accept the first complete application submitted by a renter as part of the new “first-in-time, first-in-line” rules.

Rules to Follow

Fair housing rules require that landlords or property managers:

  • Accept inquiries from all applicants
  • Apply fair and equitable criteria when evaluating applications
  • Enforce rules equally and without discrimination
  • Set rents, deposits, and fees without discrimination
  • Respond to repair requests and other tenant concerns equally
  • Provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities

Read the Code