SEATTLE -- A new ordinance set to take effect in January would be the first of its kind in the nation to combat housing discrimination.

Seattle City Council approved the ordinance, and the Office for Civil Rights is now taking public comments until December 2 on some of its rules concerning income sources, subsidies and provisions.

The basics to the ordinance would require landlords to set screening requirements. From there, landlords would have to note the time and date they received the application and make an offer to qualified people in that order.
Landlords and renters have felt mixed on the issue. Some landlords feel they should have a right to pick who is renting their property. Some renters feel they may be better qualified than others and can't always be the first in line.

"On the pro side, I think if you're first up, you should have the first right to have a place leased to you," said Michelle Sievers, a Seattle renter. "The cons to me are what if I really like a place, but I'm not the first person?"
It may also serve as another reminder for landlords to make sure they've got good insurance coverage, especially if they can't cherry-pick who is living in their properties.

"If you are not living in a home, you don't really know what's going on there on a day-to-day basis," said Derek Wing, PEMCO Insurance spokesman.
It's also a good idea to have renters insurance, he says. In a recent PEMCO poll, six out of 10 Seattle-area renters did not have renters insurance.

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights will be taking public comment on the issue until December 2.
You can email or write a letter to:

Seattle Office for Civil Rights
810 Third Ave., Suite 750
Seattle, WA 98104-1627
Attn: Source of Income Protections Rule Comment