Challenge to Seattle law banning choice of tenants

“In Yim v. City of Seattle, PLF is challenging an anti-discrimination law that prohibits landlords from choosing their own tenants. Today, we filed our opening brief to ask the Court to invalidate this oppressive and brazen violation of fundamental rights. Under Seattle’s ‘first-in-time’ rule, a landlord must offer a rental unit to the first person who submits an adequate application.” [Ethan Blevins, Pacific Legal Foundation, earlier on Seattle law purporting to require landlords to rent to first qualified tenant who applies] The law has been rationalized in part as a way to restrict the operation of “unconscious” bias. “The Seattle law illustrates an important downside of trying to use government regulation to offset the subconscious cognitive biases of the private sector: there is little, if any reason to believe that voters and politicians are less biased than the people whose behavior they are trying to regulate. Much of the time, they are likely to be more so.” [Ilya Somin]


  • This law discriminates against the disabled and favors the more mobile.

    • You can prove that if the local papers do not publish online until a day after the print version goes out. There are probably other ways of “proving” that, but i’ve provided the obvious one. 😀

  • I owned & managed rental properties for 40+ years. My success was BECAUSE I could pick the best of my applicants to be my tenants. This crap is one of the reasons I now own no real estate at all. This Seattle liberal legislation is unrealistic BS!

  • Washington is the most difficult state for people to find a place to rent, I passed 5 months in a hotel because they claimed that I had a bankruptcy open. I think that was absurd and discriminatory.

  • Oh, it gets worse. Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant plans to introduce a bill requiring landlords to pay to relocate tenants who can no longer afford rent. Portland has a similar ordinance. A challenge is at the OR Appellate Court in Salem.

    The good news is that since she insulted the police dept., the Seattle Times has de-emphasized her relevance. She may be out of office in 2019.

    • A very brief review of taxes in the King County and State Of Washington show that the tax rates are going up more than 10%.

      That means that according to Sawant’s logic, the State and Counties should pay people for three years of taxes.

      Also, Sawant says that she was inspired by he customers:

      It’s inspired, Sawant says, by the housing affordability crisis she sees everyday and the people who come up to her in the grocery store and share their horror stories. “This is a real situation that people are facing,” she says. “What we want to bring is a real sense of urgency. It’s not just one policy here or there, it needs a really serious framework.”

      Cool beans. The moment something in her grocery store goes up more than 10% in a year, she should pay people for three months of their food bill.

      Fair is fair, but I ain’t holding my breath for either “fair” outcome.

  • Who WAS John Galt?