Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Opinion: Seattle Values Criminal Rights Over the Rights of Property Owners

In this opinion piece, attorney (and renter) Ethan Blevins. Blevins writes: 
First-in-time, the only ordinance of its kind in the country, required landlords to offer tenancy to the first applicant who meets rental criteria—credit history and such. We defeated that law in court in April. The Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, on the other hand, forbids landlords from checking criminal background or considering prior criminal convictions when selecting tenants.

Each of these laws by itself curtails landlords’ rights to their own property and raises serious safety and financial risks. But in tandem, the two rules make the risks of renting out property utterly intolerable for the average mom-and-pop landlord.
Read more.

Interestingly, Portland City Councilor Chloe Eudaly plans to do the same in Portland, and released a draft screening criteria and worksheet last week. You can read a copy here.

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