Tenant Screening Rules (First-in-Time)

On November 14th, 2019, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld new tenant screening requirements for properties located within the City of Seattle. These requirements, referred to as "first-in-time" requirements, require landlords to provide notice of their screening criteria to applicants and to offer tenancy to the first qualified applicant who provides a completed application. 

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) is responsible for administering and enforcing this ordinance, in addition to providing technical assistance to rental housing providers.  The ordinance also requires SOCR to work with the Seattle City Auditor to conduct an evaluation of the law's impact after 18 months of implementation, including an analysis of the program's impact on "discrimination based on a protected class and impact on the ability of low-income persons and persons with limited English proficiency to obtain housing." 

If you believe you were subject to a violation of this law or would like more information about First-in-Time, please call us at (206) 684-4500 or email discrimination@seattle.gov.


Frequently Asked Questions

Seattle's Open Housing Ordinance - First-in-Time Section

Civil Rights

Newsletter Updates


Sign up for the latest updates from Civil Rights

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) works to advance civil rights and end barriers to equity. We enforce laws against illegal discrimination in employment, housing, public places, and contracting within Seattle.