Victory! Move-in fee legislation upheld in King County Superior Court

Press Release:

Court upholds Seattle Move-in fee legislation, marking major win for tenant protections

Tenant advocates are celebrating a major win Friday after King County Superior Court ruled in favor of Seattle’s Move-in Fee legislation, which requires landlords to accept payment plans for move-in costs like security deposits.

“This win comes at a critical moment in Seattle’s history. We are in the midst of a regional housing crisis that is hitting poor tenants and people of color hardest,” Washington CAN Political Director Xochitl Maykovich said. “This win affirms what Washington CAN members have been arguing since the beginning of our campaign to pass Move-In Fee legislation: Common-sense regulations can win in city councils, and they can also hold up against the landlord lobby’s lawsuits, no matter how much money landlords invest in these anti-tenant efforts. I hope lawmakers throughout King County can be heartened by this decision, knowing that legislation to ease the financial burden renters face is legally and ethically sound policy.”

Background:  Seattle’s Move-In Fee legislation was passed unanimously by Seattle City Council in 2016. The policy capped the move-in costs landlords could charge tenants and requires landlords to accept payment plans for these fees. The Rental Housing Association of Washington filed a lawsuit against the city over the policy in 2017.