Welcome to Renting in Seattle! This web site provides comprehensive information and resources on rental regulations and fair housing laws in the City of Seattle as well as tips and best practices.

Whether you are a renter or a housing provider, there is a lot to know.

Seattle requires that landlords provide a printed copy of the Renter's Handbook to tenants when signing an initial rental agreement. 

Digital versions are permitted upon renewal of a rental agreement, or annually for month-by-month tenants and whenever the City updates the handbook. 

Renter's Handbook!

Renter's Handbook CoverOur goal is to make the rental process, and the rights and obligations of the rental community, clear and accessible.

The handbook is organized as a companion to this web site. You can find information in the table of contents organized across the various stages in the renting cycle or search for a specific term in the index at the back.  

We designed the handbook based on decades of experience in handling landlord/tenant issues and with input from community stakeholders, and colleagues across multiple City departments

Due to City office closures we are currently unable to distribute printed copies at Seattle Municipal Tower. You can download our printer-friendly version of the Renter's Handbook.  

For published copies, you can order from the Rental Housing Association at a nominal cost for shipping and handling. You do not have to be a member of RHA to order handbooks.

Click www.rhawa.org/products/printed-materials-for-tenants to order, $3.30 for one book, or $12.30 for a pack of 10 books.  You do not have to be a subscribed member of RHA to order handbooks. 

 Translated versions available: Amharic Chinese(Simplified) Chinese(Traditional) 

Khmer Korean Lao Oromo Russian Somali Spanish Thai 

Tigrinya Vietnamese.

New! Notice & Late Fee Regulations

SMC 7.24.034 limits fees for late rent payment to a maximum of $10 per month. The new rule also bans any other fees associated with the preparation or delivery of a landlord-issued notice.

7.24.034 Fees for notices and late rent

  • Effective date June 6, 2023
  • Fees for late payment of rent cannot be more than $10 per month
  • Fees may not be charged for
    • Notice preparation
    • Notice service/delivery

This covers all notices issued to a tenant by a landlord.

  • Remember late fees are still prohibited through October 31, 2023 (one year from the end of the civil emergency) per Ordinance 126081.

Economic Displacement Relocation Assistance (EDRA)

Effective since July 1, 2022

The Economic Displacement Relocation Assistance, or EDRA, ordinance applies to notices of housing cost increase issued on or after July 1 of 2022. The increase must equal or exceed 10% by itself or when combined with other increases in the 12 month period before the new increase takes effect.

Landlords are required to attach an EDRA notice whenever housing costs are increased by 10%+ within a 12 month period. All housing cost increases in Seattle require 180 days advance notice. 

The EDRA notice is translated in Amharic, Chinese (Traditional), Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese

Income-eligible tenant households may qualify for financial help to move if they intend to vacate before the increase takes effect.

Find more information on EDRA for renters and EDRA for landlords.

Eviction Moratorium Expired February 28, 2022

Read the Mayor's eviction moratorium announcement.  Visit our eviction assistance page for both renters and landlords to learn about post-moratorium regulations and resources.

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Renting in Seattle

Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98124
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-5700
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The Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) includes permitting, construction inspections, code compliance and tenant protections, and rental housing registration and inspections.