Seattle First in Time Law

Seattle residential landlords must provide notice to prospective tenants of:

  • screening criteria and minimum thresholds for each criterion
  • all information, documentation, and other submissions necessary to apply
  • explanation of how to request additional time or a reasonable accommodation, and how such a request impacts the application receipt date
  • applicability of any exceptions as a set aside for vulnerable populations

In addition to providing this information to all prospective tenants, the landlord must also post this information in the leasing office or in the rental building, and on any website advertising a rental listing. 

The landlord must note the date and time of when the owner receives a completed rental application (whether submitted through the mail, electronically, or in person) and screen each applicant in chronological order.

If the landlord needs additional information the landlord must notify the applicant of what additional information is needed and that the applicant has 72 hours to provide the additional information. If the applicant supplies the additional information within the 72-hour period, the applicant keeps his/her place in the chronological order. If the 72-hour time passes and the applicant fails to provide the additional information the landlord may reject the rental application.

An applicant may request additional time, which the landlord may not unreasonably refuse.

The landlord must accept the first applicant who meets the rental criteria. The applicant has 48 hours to accept. If the applicant does not accept the offer within 48 hours the landlord must review the next application in chronological order.

This short summary is not a substitute for legal advice