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Thursday, December 12, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Court upholds the first-come, first-served law for renters

In this July 8, 2015, file photo, people view the Seattle skyline from the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. The Washington state Supreme Court on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, has upheld a Seattle law that requires landlords to publicize their criteria for prospective renters and accept the first qualified applicant, (Jordan Stead / Associated Press)
In this July 8, 2015, file photo, people view the Seattle skyline from the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. The Washington state Supreme Court on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, has upheld a Seattle law that requires landlords to publicize their criteria for prospective renters and accept the first qualified applicant, (Jordan Stead / Associated Press)
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington state Supreme Court has upheld a Seattle law that requires landlords to publicize their criteria for prospective renters and accept the first qualified applicant.

The Seattle Times reports that the court on Thursday reversed a decision by a King County judge last year to strike down the first-come, first-served law for renters, which was adopted by the City Council in 2016.

In a unanimous opinion, the court rejected claims by landlords who said the law amounted to a regulatory taking of private property and who said it violated their due-process and free-speech rights under the state Constitution.

In a separate case related to a Seattle law that mostly prohibits landlords from screening and choosing renters based on criminal records, the Supreme Court has also sided with the city.

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