- Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017

SEATTLE (AP) - Landlords will not be allowed to screen tenants based on their criminal records under a measure passed by the Seattle City Council.

The ordinance unanimously approved Monday says landlords can’t screen a tenant based on arrests or convictions. Landlords also won’t be able to ask about or consider arrests that didn’t lead to a conviction. The law won’t apply to adult sex offenders.

Supporters say the rise in online criminal background checks have made it harder for formerly incarcerated people to find housing and get back on their feet.

Councilwoman Lisa Herbold, a bill co-sponsor, says landlords can still screen tenants based on other factors, such as employment, credit scores and income ratios.

The Rental Housing Association of Washington opposed the measure, calling it poor policy with unintended consequences. The group says a mandate offering no supportive services won’t encourage landlords to take chances on under-qualified applicants.


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