Judge overturns Seattle’s first-in-time rental law

A law requiring landlords to rent to the first qualified applicant has been ruled invalid by a King County Superior Court judge. Property owners claimed victory, while proponents of a Seattle law known as “first in time,” a law meant to regulate landlords and fight implicit bias against certain renters, vowed to appeal a judge’s ruling siding with landlords.

Late last month, King County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Parisien sided with landlords and their right to choose their own tenants. The decision stemmed from an action brought by Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of several small landlords.

The trial court held that Seattle violated four constitutional guarantees, including property, free speech and due process rights. Citing numerous Washington cases in her decision, Judge Parisien stated, “Choosing a tenant is a fundamental attribute of property ownership.”

Read the full ruling, and look out for more on the issue in the April edition of NW REporter.