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News >  WA Government

New law targets discrimination against low-income renters

UPDATED: Fri., March 16, 2018

In this Monday, March 5, 2018, photo, Karina O'Malley, right, who helps manage a car camp for homeless people in the parking lot of Lake Washington United Methodist Church, talks with another volunteer in a day room used by the women, in Kirkland, Wash. Some of the obstacles faced by the women in finding permanent housing will soon become illegal in Washington state, where legislators advanced a bill that prohibits landlords from turning away tenants who rely on Section 8 vouchers, Social Security or veterans benefits. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
In this Monday, March 5, 2018, photo, Karina O'Malley, right, who helps manage a car camp for homeless people in the parking lot of Lake Washington United Methodist Church, talks with another volunteer in a day room used by the women, in Kirkland, Wash. Some of the obstacles faced by the women in finding permanent housing will soon become illegal in Washington state, where legislators advanced a bill that prohibits landlords from turning away tenants who rely on Section 8 vouchers, Social Security or veterans benefits. (Elaine Thompson / AP)

OLYMPIA – Washington landlords can’t turn down prospective tenants or evict current ones for paying some of their rent with vouchers or other government aid, a new law says.

A change to the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, signed Thursday by Gov. Jay Inslee, prohibits discrimination against tenants based on their source of income, and allows for a civil suit to be filed if that happens. It also sets up a program in the state Department of Commerce that allows a landlord renting to tenants using a subsidy program to be reimbursed for certain damages to the rental unit.

The Landlord Mitigation Account will get its money from an increase in the fee charged by county auditors for recording documents, which will go to $13 from $10.

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