Legal Resources

Redevelopment of a Property in Seattle and Special Tenant Protections

by Abbey DeWeese

In addition to other tenant protections, the City of Seattle maintains a Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance that requires owners to obtain a “Tenant Relocation License” before permits can be issued for any new development that displaces tenants. This includes a change of use, building demolition, rehabilitation or remodel. As part of the application process for a License, the City evaluates whether any existing tenant households are low-income and qualify for relocation assistance. If the City determines tenant households are eligible for assistance, then the property owner must pay 50 percent of the relocation fee for each eligible household. Owners are not permitted to increase a tenant’s rent to avoid applying for a License.