Forms of Discrimination in Housing: Seattle Property Management Tips

December 3, 2023 0 comment

Navigating the rental landscape as a property manager or landlord in Seattle requires adherence to a stringent set of laws and regulations, particularly when it comes to discrimination. Here’s a rundown of the forms of discrimination in housing you should be aware of, followed by vital tips to ensure compliance:

Forms of Discrimination:

1. Race & Color: Denying housing based on a person’s race or skin color.
2. National Origin: Discriminating against someone because they’re from a particular country or region.
3. Religion: Basing rental decisions on a person’s religious beliefs or practices.
4. Sex: Discriminating based on gender. This includes gender discrimination and unfair treatment relating to pregnancy or sexual harassment.
5. Disability: Not accommodating or outright refusing to rent to someone because of a physical or mental disability.
6. Familial Status: Discriminating against individuals because they have children or are expecting a child.
7. Marital Status: Refusing to rent to someone based on whether they are married, single, divorced, or widowed.
8. Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: Discrimination against someone because of their LGBTQ+ status is illegal in many jurisdictions, including Seattle.
9. Veteran/Military Status: Some regions, including Seattle, prohibit discrimination based on a person’s military or veteran status.
10. Source of Income: In Seattle, landlords can’t discriminate against renters based on where their income comes from, as long as it’s legal. This includes income from public assistance or child support.

Seattle Property Management Tips to Prevent Discrimination:

1. Educate Yourself: Regularly attend workshops, seminars, or courses on fair housing laws. Seattle has its specific nuances, so be sure to stay informed.
2. Consistent Criteria: Ensure all potential renters are judged by the same set criteria, which should be transparent, objective, and written down.
3. Standardized Questions: Ask the same questions to every prospective tenant to ensure fairness and consistency.
4. Avoid Stereotyping: Make decisions based on facts, not prejudices or stereotypes.
5. Be Mindful of Advertising Language: Ensure that rental advertisements don’t show preference for or against any particular group.
6. Accommodate for Disabilities: Be prepared to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. This can range from installing grab bars in bathrooms to allowing service animals.
7. Keep Detailed Records: Maintain records of all interactions, showing reasons for any decisions made, like rejecting an application. This can be crucial evidence if your motivations are ever called into question.
8. Stay Updated: Laws and regulations evolve. Regularly review and update your practices to ensure continued compliance.
9. Seek Legal Counsel: If unsure, consult with a legal expert familiar with Seattle’s housing and anti-discrimination laws.


Adherence to anti-discrimination laws is not only a legal mandate but a moral obligation. By understanding the forms of housing discrimination and actively implementing fair practices, Seattle property managers can create an inclusive, respectful rental community.

Need Expert Property Management Advice? At, we prioritize fair and ethical housing practices. Our team stays abreast of all legal requirements to ensure our clients’ properties are managed with integrity. Contact us today for expert guidance on property management in Seattle.

Davis Property Management

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