Renting and Disability Rights

Accessibility Requirements

If you are a person with a disability, housing accessibility allows you to live independently. Accessibility issues can include stronger walls for grab bars, how much space is needed for a wheelchair to turn around, how hard it is to open a glass door, and more. It can also cover things outside a building like a ramp, elevator in the parking garage, or disabled parking.

If you have questions or want to file a complaint, contact the Renting in Seattle Helpline at (206) 684-5700.

Reasonable Accommodation and Reasonable Modification Requests

If you have a disability, you can ask for a reasonable accommodation or modification. An accommodation is a change in rules, policies, practices, or services to allow you the equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. An example of reasonable accommodation is to make an exception in a parking policy so a person in a wheelchair can have a spot closest to their unit.

A reasonable modification allows you to make changes to the property necessary to make the rental property accessible. You are responsible for paying for reasonable modifications unless the landlord receives federal funds. An example of a reasonable modification is asking permission to widen the bathroom doorway beyond what the building code requires to accommodate a large scooter.

If you have questions or want to file a complaint, contact the Renting in Seattle helpline (206) 684-5700.

Pets vs Service Animals

Service animals are broadly defined in Seattle and include therapy, emotional support, companion animals and more. Fair housing rules require reasonable accommodation. A service animal falls under this category. Landlords can ask for verification of your disability-related need for the animal from a qualified third party. "No pet" policies do not apply to your service animal and training of the animal is not required. Landlords cannot charge pet deposits for service animals or restrict breeds. If your service animal damages a unit, you are responsible for all associated costs. Your service animal must be under your control at all times.