Several recent changes to Seattle laws impact residential properties that require a Tenant Relocation License. The Right of First Refusal, SMC 7.24.030.J, requires owners to offer a lease renewal to existing tenants when their term lease is expiring unless there is just cause. To obtain just cause for development activity, you must obtain a Tenant Relocation License. Therefore, all properties that are tenant-occupied at the time of the permit application need to go through the Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance (TRAO) process regardless of whether the tenants have a term lease or are month-to-month. We highly recommend that you submit a service request for TRAO when you receive the notification that your project may require a license. If you wait until the end of the permitting process, your permits may be significantly delayed. You can submit a service request by calling (206) 615-0808.
The City of Seattle has made important changes to the City’s Rental Agreement Regulation Ordinance. Future rental agreements in the City of Seattle must follow these requirements: Security Deposit, Pet Deposit, and Move-in Fee Limits; Payment Plans Required; and Security Deposit Returns.
On July 10, new legislation became effective that prohibits rent increases on units that fail to meet minimum rental housing standards and gives Seattle DCI enforcement authority over “prohibited acts by owners.”
On July 10, the Carl Haglund Law becomes effective. The new legislation prohibits Seattle landlords from raising rent on units that fail to meet minimum rental housing standards. If a tenant believes their rent increase is not allowed under the new rules, the tenant must inform the landlord in writing (e-mail is allowed), after receiving notice of the rent increase, of any conditions that would fail the RRIO checklist. Tenants may then contact Seattle DCI through the general complaint line at (206) 615-0808.