Washington Landlords Must Accept All Sources of Income

Washington residential landlords must accept all income sources when screening tenants under a new law that goes into effect September 30, 2018.

Under the new law, Landlords must accept all sources of income, including Section 8 housing vouchers, public assistance, emergency rental assistance, veterans benefits, social security, and SSI benefits. The source of income may be from government or non-profit organizations.

If a landlord requires an income threshold, any rent subsidy must be subtracted from the monthly rent before calculating whether the prospective tenant meets the income threshold.

Landlords may not refuse to rent to new or current tenants based on source of income. The law’s prohibitions are broad. Landlords may not “make any distinction, discrimination, or restriction against prospective tenant or current tenant in the price, terms, conditions, fees, or privileges” or “in the furnishing of any facilities or
services in connection with the rental, lease, or occupancy of real property.” So, for example, landlords may not require a higher security deposit, or charge higher rent or fees to tenants based on source of income.