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Landlord Tenant Laws in Seattle Every Self Manager Needs to Know


Dave Poletti - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

When landlords and investors hire a professional property manager to protect and maintain their rental properties, they often do so because the laws are so detailed and complex. As a landlord, you are required to pay attention and obey a number of federal, state, and local laws. If you don’t know these laws, or you don’t have a system in place to keep up with the updates to the laws, you’re putting yourself at risk for lawsuits and claims from tenants.

Section 8 Tenants in Seattle

The Section 8 program is administered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and it provides vouchers for low income residents to use towards their housing costs. You are not permitted to discriminate against Section 8 tenants when you are renting out a property in Seattle. As long as the applicants meet all of your documented requirements and rental criteria, you need to consider them for tenancy.

Landlord Tenant Laws in Seattle and Washington

The Washington State Residential Landlord/Tenant Act has a series of laws pertaining to landlords and tenants that you need to follow when you’re renting out property in the state. There are also local laws that need to be understood and followed, depending on where your rental properties are located. In the city of Seattle, you’ll need to follow the Seattle Landlord-Tenant laws, which include building codes, ordinances, and other requirements for operating a rental property in Seattle. Make sure you understand what’s required in the state and in the city.

How to Post Notices Properly

The process for lawfully posting notices for your tenants is specific and must be followed carefully. If you are beginning an eviction process, correctly serving the notices associated with eviction is essential, otherwise that eviction will not stand up in court. If you want to post a Notice to Pay or Vacate, you need to hand deliver a copy to each adult tenant in the property. When you cannot reach the adult tenants personally, you then need to post the notice in a conspicuous manner and mail the notice to your tenants. A single mistake will delay the process, and your eviction will take longer and be costlier.

RRIO Laws – The City Rental Inspection Program

The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance is intended to keep all properties safe and habitable. As a landlord, you need to register your rental home with the local government and renew your registration every five years. When you register your property, you’ll be required to have it inspected at least once every 10 years. You’ll need to hire a qualified rental housing inspector, or use a City inspector. It’s important that you understand what you need to do in order to lawfully operate a residential rental property.

If you are unsure of these laws, or you have any questions, please contact us at Dave Poletti & Associates, and we’d be happy to help you.


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