In August 2017, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed Fair Chance Housing legislation, becoming the first city in the nation which prohibits use of criminal records when considering an applicant for rental property. This ordinance took effect in February 2018.
To help our owners comply, the Board has revised the criteria for renting units at Canal Station. Leases, Moving Fees and Resident Info Sheets are still required. However, in lieu of criminal background checks, the Board requires a search of the sex offender registries. To make things easier, here is a link to DOJ’s sex offender registry: https://www.nsopw.gov/en/Search/Verification. Be aware, the new city ordinance states owners must disclose they will be searching sex offender registries in the rental advertisement/screening criteria.
City of Seattle offers free seminars to help owners comply. The next seminar is, Renting in Seattle: Fair Housing and Rental Regulations for Landlords. You can learn more here: https://www.seattle.gov/civilrights/about/news-and-events/event-calendar#/?i=1
These links might be helpful in answering questions you may have:
Seattle’s FAQ page on Fair Chance Housing: https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CivilRights/Fair%20Housing/Fair%20Chance%20Housing%20FAQ_amendments%2006-21-18.pdf
Seattle Office for Civil Rights Fair Chance Housing Webpage: https://www.seattle.gov/civilrights/civil-rights/fair-housing/fair-chance-housing
Article by Rental Housing Assn of WA: https://medium.com/rhawas-current/seattle-ban-on-use-of-criminal-history-by-landlords-begins-on-february-19-2018-b9abd28f5596
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