Welcome to Renting in Seattle! This website provides comprehensive information and resources on rental regulations and fair housing laws in the City of Seattle as well as tips and best practices.

Whether you are a renter or a housing provider, there is a lot to know.

Seattle requires that landlords provide a printed copy of the Renter's Handbook to tenants when signing an initial rental agreement. 

Digital versions are permitted for renewal of a rental agreement, or annually for month-by-month tenants and whenever the City updates the handbook. 

Renter's Handbook 2024!

Renter's Handbook CoverOur goal is to make the rental process, and the rights and obligations of the rental community, clear and accessible.

The handbook is organized as a companion to this website. You can find information in the table of contents organized across the various stages of the renting cycle or search for a specific term in the index at the back.  

We designed the handbook based on decades of experience in handling landlord/tenant issues and with input from community stakeholders, and colleagues across multiple City departments.

Due to City office closures we are currently unable to distribute printed copies at Seattle Municipal Tower. You can download our printer-friendly version of the Renter's Handbook.  

For published copies, order from the Rental Housing Association. You do not have to be a member of RHA to order handbooks. Click www.rhawa.org/products/printed-materials-for-tenants to order, $5.00 for one book, or $12.30 for a pack of 10 books. 

For larger orders contact United Printing at carriec@Unitedpsg.com for a shipping & handling quote.

Translated versions available: Amharic, Chinese(Simplified), Chinese(Traditional), Khmer, Korean, Lao, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Thai, Tigrinya, Vietnamese.

Most recent rental regulations

Notice & Late Fees

Effective since June 6, 2023

SMC 7.24.034 limits fees for late rent payment to a maximum of $10 per month. The new rule also bans any other fees associated with the preparation or delivery of a landlord-issued notice.

7.24.034 Fees for notices and late rent

  • Effective date June 6, 2023
  • Fees for late payment of rent cannot be more than $10 per month
  • Fees may not be charged for
    • Notice preparation
    • Notice service/delivery

This covers all notices issued to a tenant by a landlord.

  • Remember late fees are still prohibited through October 31, 2023 (one year from the end of the civil emergency) per Ordinance 126081.

Economic Displacement Relocation Assistance (EDRA)

Effective since July 1, 2022

SMC 22.12 known as Economic Displacement Relocation Assistance (EDRA) ordinance applies to notices of housing cost increase issued on or after July 1 of 2022. The increase must equal or exceed 10% by itself or when combined with other increases in the 12 month period before the new increase takes effect.

Landlords are required to attach an EDRA notice whenever housing costs are increased by 10%+ within a 12 month period. All housing cost increases in Seattle require 180 days advance notice. 

The EDRA notice is translated in Amharic, Chinese (Traditional), Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese

Income-eligible tenant households may qualify for financial help to move if they intend to vacate before the increase takes effect.

Find more information on EDRA for renters and EDRA for landlords.

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Renting in Seattle

Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98124
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-5700
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The Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) includes permitting, construction inspections, code compliance and tenant protections, and rental housing registration and inspections.