Recent Seattle Lawsuit Over Lawful Tenant Selection Highlights Urgent Need For Landlords To Review Tenant Screening Policies; Opines TenantScreeningUSA.com

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In Seattle a pending lawsuit (Case No. 17-2-05585-6-SEA) attempts to reverse recent “first-in-time” legislation which restricts to whom a landlord can or cannot legally rent property. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com opines: “Lawsuits such as the one in Seattle highlights an urgent need for landlords and property managers to work closely with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency in order to stay current with all laws affecting tenant screening.”

Tenant Background Checks include Credit Report, Credit Score, Eviction Record Search, Criminal Record Search, Resident Score and Leasing Recommendation.

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The legal action in Seattle is dramatic enough that landlords and property managers should take note of their tenant screening policies and work with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency.

A lawsuit in Seattle, Washington attempts to reverse recent “first-in-time” legislation which attempts to regulate to whom a landlord can legally rent a property. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com opines: “Dramatic legal action affecting who a property can be rented to is a clear and obvious reason for landlords to work with well-qualified third-party tenant screening agencies in order to remain fully compliant and current with all laws governing tenant screening.”

An advocacy group in Seattle filed a lawsuit in an attempt to reverse a recent law restricting a landlord’s ability to freely pick a qualified tenant.

From Reason.com (Dec. 28, 17):

The Pacific Legal Foundation, a pro-property rights public interest law firm, recently filed a lawsuit challenging a Seattle law that forbids landlords from picking and choosing among potential tenants. The purpose of the new regulation is to combat implicit or subconscious bias by landlords:

Seattle is apparently breaking new ground by requiring landlords in the city to rent their housing units to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.... (1)

Almeida states: “Laws change on a frequent basis and oftentimes those changes are challenged in court. The legal action in Seattle is dramatic enough that landlords and property managers should take note of their tenant screening policies and work with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency as a best practice to ensure compliance.”

The Seattle law attempts to create a more equitable renting environment and decrease potential discrimination or favoritism.

From SeattleTimes.com (Aug. 10, 16) discussing the reasoning behind the so-called “first-in-time” law:

The goal is to ensure prospective renters are treated equally, according to Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who championed the policy. When landlords pick one renter among multiple qualified applicants, their own biases — conscious or unconscious — may come into play, she says. (2)

Almeida opines: “Any time there is a significant challenge to law, either from a city enacting new legislation or advocacy groups fighting implementation of new law, landlords should take immediate notice. A best practice remains for landlords to work closely with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency in order to remain complaint with law.”

TenantScreeningUSA.com is a third-party background screening company providing tenant background check services to landlords and property managers managing all size and types of rental complexes. From the single-unit to the large rental communities, TenantScreeningUSA.com has the ability to customize a tenant screening package specific to each unique requirement.

Notes:
(1)    reason.com/volokh/2017/12/28/seattle-bans-landlords-from-screening-te
(2)    seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/a-primer-on-seattles-new-first-come-first-served-renters-law/

The above article concerns Case Number 17-2-05595-6 – SEA; CHONG and MARILYN YIM, KELLY LYLES, BETH BYLUND, CNA APARTMENTS, LLC, and EILEEN, LLC, Plaintiffs, v. THE CITY OF SEATTLE, a Washington Municipal corporation, Defendant.

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