Seattle Landlords Face New Rules

Seattle new landlord rules

Seattle Landlords don’t just face new rules, they actually have had their rentals taken away from them. Biggest land grab I ever heard of. The only thing now that a landlord has, is his name still listed as the owner and has to pay the inflated property tax or they will take it completely away form him. I believe this is a set of rules that will fall under its own weight. I want to state my source of information is taken from the Times paper and from emails from the Mayor and some city council members. I want to make it clear that I AM NOT MAKING THIS STUFF UP. Even the Mayor and Council members know this wont work but are trying to make the tenants dependent on them so they will vote for them. They have promised the tenants a little too much this time all at once trying to make them think they actually care about what they call discrimination. Don’t even know what that word means anymore. Absolutely anything a landlord does now he will be discriminating and can be sued. WOW They have just hired two new staffers to the tune of $200,000 to enforce the rules and the Times says the city will have to ramp up its sting operations. Might as well laugh here, wont help to cry. lol

Tenants must be dancing in the streets. The tenants union must be getting a lot of new members. Boy oh boy they are going to show those greedy old white landlords that they are in charge. Some old sayings are still true today. “Be careful what you wish for, it might come true”. Here is what the tenants have got from these new rules. From the day a landlord puts his rental on the market he loses all control of it. The tenants are running the rental business, not the landlord that owns the property. I have no idea what a new application will look like but the old legal applications are no good anymore. FYI I have a pile of applications that I have always had out for people to pick up and fill in and leave. I look them over and the ones that I think can afford it I contact them and they come back for a personal interview and a through look through the property. Then they have to pay $60 and I send it all to a company called Rental Research. They get the $60, not me. They can tell immediately if someone has a real poor rental record, if they have been evicted, if they have a criminal history, and if they have a good record of employment. Some people simply don’t make enough money to make it possible to pay the rent and have anything left to live on. NOT A LANDLORDS PROBLEM.


New Ordinance: (Ordinance 125114)

  • Has he ever been evicted.
  • Does he have a criminal record.
  • Does he have a good work history.
  • If they show up with a months rent they can’t be turned down. You have to rent to first come, first served or you are discriminating.
  • You can’t ask for a lump sum damage deposit (too hard on the tenant) He can pay it a little each month. IN OTHER WORDS WE CAN’T GET A DAMAGE DEPOSIT OF ASK HIM/HER A THING TO BASE WHETHER TO RENT TO HIM/HER AT ALL.  I have always charged  a damage deposit up front of a thousand dollars. This is to insure they wont move out the first night with the washer, dryer, fridge and stove. After they stay five or six years I have never kept one dime of the damage deposit. I expect to have to replace the carpet and paint. But to let a guy move in that you don’t know a thing about with maybe $10.00 on a damage deposit, it would take him 100 months to pay that. Dream on.

The prospective tenant is entitled to move in if he depends on unemployment benefits, social security, child support payments, veterans benefits, and any other assistance programs. No employment record good or bad is needed.

I stand corrected if I am wrong here, but anyone I know on social security gets around $1100 a month. This is NOT enough to pay rent, utilities, and have anything to eat. Unemployment benefits don’t last forever and child support payments are worthless. If child support payments have to be honored then the guy paying the child support should have to be the ones agreeing to make the rent payments. Also, just because you have a paper showing how much child support you are supposed to get doesn’t mean you get it. NOT THE LANDLORDS PROBLEM.

That just touches a few of the new really important rules that makes it so a landlord loses all his rights to his property completely. I want to state here that as a landlord I am not and never will be Mother Teresa. I think it’s fine if you want to give someone free rent but it should not be forced on you. Before this batch of rules were published a week or so ago, the city started the scheme over a year ago. Every person with a rental, had to register their rental and pay $175.00. THEN we are told we have to pay for an inspector to come and look it over and tell us what he/she thinks needs to be done. It has nothing to do with what the tenant or the landlord might think. How is that fair? The city encouraged at that time for anyone with a Mother in law or fixed up garage to make them available to rent. Prior to that they had shut down the mother in law units. lol But heck we can get $175 dollars each so the more the better. That was a legalized shake down, and if that wasn’t bad enough they now put out the landlords new rules. Can you imagine having a nice little apt connected right to your house and you have to take in the first person that wants a place to rent? He/she can have a criminal history, a past of evictions, no job history of any kind. OMG what were they thinking? They want the tenants to vote for them and be dependent on them. There are more tenants than landlords so this is democracy gone wild.

The Times published a nice tid bit. Big rich developers wont have a problem. They will never have to have any of these tenants that would fail any kind of a fair application. They just pay the city a big chunk and use it as a tax write off and laugh all their way to the bank. But the paper says they are wondering about enforcement. It says the City will have to ramp up its sting operations. They are having to hire two new staffers to the tune of $200,000 to help with the enforcement of just the first come first serve rule.

A landlord with a duplex that he thought was a good investment will have to take first come first served, no questions asked. Clean the place up really good and pay for the city to inspect it. The landlord will need to make any changes they tell him too and lets say he gets a guy that wants to practice his drums, and maybe have a little band practice, or a guy that wants to move in some junkers and work on cars in his yard, or a lady with a bunch of little kids to run through his flower beds. lol

This is not even fair to the good tenants out there and I have rented my little house out for 40 years right beside me. My criteria was getting someone who had a good job that was near by because I figured they would stay the longest. Most have always been here 6 years or so, til they get married, or buy a house of their own. It’s a big job to get a place ready to rent. I pay a cleaning lady $600 to scrub it top to bottom and hire someone to make any repairs necessary. I can’t afford to rent to someone who will only be there a month or two. As for the first come, I want to give you a good example. I had my for rent sign out, applications in a pile, cute little two bedroom house with a bath fitter bathroom. I turned lots down right at the top because there was no way they made enough to stay afloat if they paid their rent. Some were two people wanting to share the rent. I learned this wont work. One will pay his half, but the other wont, and it’s an on going fight and you never get all your rent. It costs approximately $4500 to do a legal eviction. Out of a big stack of applications I chose a black guy. City seems to think we don’t want them as renters. I chose him over lots of others because he had a good job nearby and could walk to work. It was a perfect fit. But under first come first served he would have lost out. So you are not helping blacks that are hard working and honest.

One more little scam is the rent vouchers. I had two woman with them come look. One was a little black lady with a small child. She loved the place, big yard etc. but my rent was $850 and she was allowed $1400 for rent. That is three hundred a month more than my social security check that I worked 68 years for. lol Instead of being happy and saying she wanted the place, she did not want to give up the $1400 she was allowed. I told her to go find a nicer  place but she said mine was the nicest she had looked at and maybe we could make a deal. There was no deal to make if everything was on the up and up. She implied that I could cash her voucher and take my money. Give her the change. I thought something is wrong here. We taxpayers are paying your rent not letting you get extra cash on top. I said my rent was $850, cash or check only so she left. Later called wanting to come back and make a deal, I hung up. Sooooo. They get this voucher and then try to find something cheaper and get the landlord to cash it and either take a kick back for himself and give her the rest to spend by trying to do a little under the table wheeling and dealing.

I think the only protection a landlord has is to not rent out his property. Sell it or leave it vacant (they may make that illegal too). You cannot hand over your keys to the first person who staggers in with the cash (heck the buddies at the corner tavern could all chip in, then come party once he got moved in). They could move out the fridge, stove, and mess it up in less than a week. A bum is a bum, a scammer is a scammer, a good renter doesn’t mind having his past checked out.

The city wants to make it easy for tenants to not be turned down but when my tenant moves, I am going to never rent it out again. I will move into it myself. It’s better than my house and I will use mine for storage. This will not increase the number of rentals in Seattle. This will not help good reliable tenants who will be at work and the welfare gal will be first to come, but you have to finish your shift. The day of reckoning will come and actually then renters will lose the most. When they head out with their list rules to show old Whitey they are in charge, old Whitey wont have anything to rent.

I think this violates the law of contracts somehow because we can’t make any agreements with the tenants at all this way. A little landlord is like a little business so if that set of rules can be enforced on us the little car dealer down the street that sells cars, with nothing down should not be allowed to ask a prospective buyer anything. He cant ask him if he has been in jail for running a chop shop, He cant ask him if he has ever had a car repossessed has a job or what his employment record is. Unless it is on all businesses then they are DISCRIMINATING against landlords.

FYI. I don’t feel anyone is entitled to a thing they didn’t work for. You are where you are because of your choices. I don’t feel sorry for the little black girl with 7 babies. She learned when she got pregnant the first time what caused it. After years of welfare and housing vouchers, help with utility bills has just made them expect the government to provide for them. The government has no money. They have to take it from the taxpayer to give to you. I did not work all those years and end up with a little rental to supplement my social security check thinking oh gee just cant wait to let a criminal or someone who has never gone to work a day in their life move in. My motto is unless I am married to you, gave birth to you, or adopted you I OWE YOU NOTHING. Somehow the government wants to say that blacks and LGBT people are better than us ordinary whites. They get to go to the head of the line. They get the favored treatment. They are no better or any worse and the playing field should be level. If the government wasn’t trying to control us to win votes we would not even have a problem.

Please readers, think about what I have written carefully even if it does not affect you today, think about what a person living alone in a house might get hit with. You might be required to take in a homeless person. Don’t laugh, its no worse than what they just did to people who own a rental. Remarks will be most welcome.


Having lived in Seattle (Georgetown) for over 80 years, Lilly has a passion for the area. A true Seattleite, Lilly has the history & experience to discuss any topic. Being retired, she enjoys visiting with her many grand children, gardening, and writing.


  1. I guess one way to avoid the first come first serve rule would be to only accept your applications via email. You can hand them out in person but will only take them back via email that way the issue is avoided.

  2. Good article Lilly! Our country has really gone into the toilet. We continue to support$, feed, and house people who don’t even care to try. They will never fix their lives and we’ll just keep paying for whatever they need. Oh you need housing OK we’ll take care of that for you. You’re sleep around and have 6 six kids – no problem we’ll give you monthly money for that. You can afford healthcare that’s ok we’ll just pay your share. You need drugs here try the governments heroin – don’t buy the stuff on the street ours is better (they never get off of course). It’s really out of control and unfortunately the people elected know that this is a large amount of people who vote for them. You want their vote then you make them happy by supporting them. These people will love you and obviously vote for you because you are “fair” and “care” for them. It’s all a big scam to collect money as well as votes.

    I think the time will come though eventually. This is only going to escalate with more and more wasteful spending each year to take care of the “unfortunate”. More and more of the public is getting really tire of it and perhaps they will just stop participating completing. Done filing taxes and done with the man. Others will argue that the only way to make change is with the pitch fork and as the years go by I maybe starting to believe them honestly. Voting sure doesn’t make a change anymore.

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