Big government at work: Seattle set to prevent landlords from considering applicants’ criminal records

government solve all problems

Get this: While permitted to deny housing to a registered sex offender, you STILL have to provide a LEGITIMATE reason for doing so. Liberals are insane.

From Seattle Times: Seattle landlords would be almost completely prohibited from screening prospective tenants based on their criminal histories, under a proposed ordinance approved by a City Council committee Tuesday.

The only people who could be denied housing based on their criminal histories would be those listed on sex-offender registries due to adult convictions. And landlords denying housing to such sex offenders would still need to state a legitimate business reason for doing so.

The proposed ordinance cleared the civil-rights committee with a 6-0 vote, which means the full nine-member council will almost certainly approve it. A final vote is scheduled for Monday.

Some landlords say they should be allowed to consider the criminal histories of prospective tenants in order to better protect their property and other tenants.

Proponents of the legislation say people who already have served their time shouldn’t be again punished by landlords. They say people denied by landlords based on their criminal histories can end up on the street and are more likely to reoffend.

“Nobody is more safe when people who have criminal backgrounds are unhoused,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold, chair of the committee and a sponsor of the ordinance with Council President Bruce Harrell.

The version of the legislation that Mayor Ed Murray sent to the council in June said landlords would be allowed to consider criminal convictions less than two years old, and it said landlord-occupied buildings with four or fewer units would be exempt.

But the civil-rights committee voted unanimously Tuesday to eliminate the 2-year look-back clause and nix the exemption for small, landlord-occupied buildings.

Councilmember Mike O’Brien brought forward the amendments, receiving support from Herbold and council members Debora Juarez, Sally Bagshaw, Kshama Sawant and M. Lorena González. Harrell and council members Rob Johnson and Tim Burgess didn’t attend the committee meeting.

A Herbold amendment approved Tuesday calls for the new regulations to be evaluated by the city auditor, with a report due by the end of 2019.

In addition to criminal convictions unrelated to sex-offender registries, the proposed Fair Chance Housing ordinance would prohibit landlords from looking at pending criminal charges, arrests not resulting in convictions or juvenile records, including juvenile convictions causing people to be listed on sex-offender registries as adults.

Under current law, landlords can deny housing to tenants for arrests that happened within seven years, including arrests not resulting in convictions, according to Herbold. “Landlords will still be able to screen applicants based on employment, credit scores, income ratios or other criteria,” Herbold said in a statement.

“For a criminal justice system that disproportionately arrests people of color, punishing someone who hasn’t been found guilty is a true injustice,” she added.

“Blocking formerly incarcerated people from accessing stable housing or a job is an extrajudicial punishment and is also a recipe for recidivism and less safety for our communities. I would expect anyone in favor of a safer Seattle to support this bill.

The ordinance would take effect 150 days after being signed by the mayor, with the Seattle Office of Civil Rights taking responsibility for enforcing the new regulations.

There may be new costs to the city, but those have yet to be determined, according to a City Hall analysis of the legislation.

The push for the ordinance began in late 2015, when a group of local organizations led by the Tenants Union of Washington State and Columbia Legal Services started a campaign called FARE — Fair Access to Renting for Everyoe.

In early 2016, Murray convened a task force on the issue, including representatives from both landlord and tenants groups.

Tuesday’s meeting was the fourth at which Herbold’s committee discussed the legislation.


26 responses to “Big government at work: Seattle set to prevent landlords from considering applicants’ criminal records

  1. One would have to be insane to be a landlord in Seattle.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. A recipe for disaster. 😼

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What IS it with Seattle? Why do we even continue to pay attention to their STUPID administration? They’re just like Chicago,DC and MOST of California (I have to stop myself from calling it Mexifornia since I DO have friends from this Forum there…) ,they seem to go out of their way EVERY DAY to dream up rules and laws that are MORE STUPID and counterproductive than the idiocy they dredged up yesterday. They truly ARE Hell-bent on legislative suicide.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Truck: Since I moved out of the Seattle area over three years ago, I like to keep tabs on their silliness. Makes me sooooo glad to be living in Oklahoma every day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Give it time, it will follow you like a dark cloud. It isn’t just in one place or another. They will never stop until they have everything we own or plan to buy.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Big government at work: Seattle set to prevent landlords from considering applicants’ criminal records — Fellowship of the Minds – NZ Conservative Coalition

  5. The Left just doesn’t get it: Their “business model” just doesn’t work.
    America needs radical, at-the-root, prison reform. And parolees must be monitored closely. I am not against a paroled felon having a job and a place to live; But discrimination is not the evil word politicians and advocates make it out to be. Without the proper discrimination, we would not be able to even reason correctly; We would not be able to survive.
    The boarding house I am living in has been sold. The new owner, who also lives on the block, is fixing up the house. We’re not friends—it’s business. But I get it: He didn’t buy the house for the love of mankind; He wants to turn a profit. Nothing wrong with that. If New York had Seattle’s law, would he have bought the house? Would anyone have?


    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, they are insane. I can say, however, that after a career in government, they will never stop. I used to receive a magazine called “Governing”. It is now an electronic publication. Most of it was devoted to new scams for stealing the taxpayer’s money.

      It was full of tax-generating ideas. If they passed in one state you could download the statute, change the names, and bam, you’re in business. If people think these things happen in isolation, they’re naive.

      It doesn’t matter if its NYC or Pocatello Idaho, they all get this information. They are constantly trying to feather their nests.

      Just a decade or so ago these ideas would have been outwardly dismissed as “un-American”. Not anymore. No, were’ “Global Citizens of the World” now. Guess who determines what that means.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I heard on Pratt on Texas there’s a county there seeking voter approved levies to fund roadway maintenance programs. They can’t even budget for maintenance and are treating that item as a CIP. Bloodsuckers…

        Liked by 2 people

    • ” Without the proper discrimination, we would not be able to even reason correctly”
      The Left’s game plan is PROOF of that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So far, people are entitled to protect their property. Vetting renters is part of that protection. Is the city council ready to accept responsibility if something bad goes wrong?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So, are you tellin’ me that, as a part of every released incarcerated individual….they get their belongings back, a nominal amount of money to send them off….and now—-we should start a “fund me” page so that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM from anywhere in the USA gets a bus ticket to SEATTLE?????? Sign me up!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It would be easier to say their credit sucks when denying sex offenders housing…..

    Liked by 2 people

  9. And it’s official:

    The Seattle City Council approved an ordinance Monday that will mostly prohibit landlords from screening tenants based on their criminal records.

    Landlords will be barred from excluding people with records in advertisements. When taking applications, they will be barred from asking about records. And in choosing tenants, they will be barred from rejecting people due to their records.

    The only people who may be denied rental housing will be those listed on sex-offender registries because of adult convictions, and landlords denying housing to such people will still need to demonstrate a legitimate business reason for doing so.


    • Just for clarification, since when does a landlord have to provide a reason for denial? Why not, “I don’t like you”? This is more Communist control.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You have to provide a valid reason when you end up in court, if the applicant decides to sue you for discrimination. I wonder if there’s a lawyer group who gets in on these ideas. More potential business for them after all.


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