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Problems With Your Rental Unit

See also: Evictions, Prohibited Acts, Illegal Living Units, Rental Agreement RegulationsTenant Relocation

What Is It?

A black woman reporting a leaking bathtub.Seattle has a Housing and Building Maintenance Code that requires minimum standards in rental housing. The code regulates minimum:

  • Space and Occupancy Standards (floor area, light and ventilation, and sanitation)
  • Structural Standards (roofs, floors, walls, chimneys, foundations, and maintenance)
  • Mechanical Standards (heating, ventilation and electrical)
  • Fire and Safety Standards (stairs, exits, emergency escapes, windows, doors, guardrails)
  • Security Standards (entry doors, locks, windows, observation ports)
  • Buildings Unfit for Human Habitation or Other Use (buildings or structures that pose an imminent health and safety risk)

What It Isn’t

The code in general does not cover items like carpeting, window coverings, or cosmetic issues.

Rules to Follow

The Housing and Building Maintenance Code requires that:

  • Property owners comply with these minimum standards and maintain their units accordingly
  • Tenants in units where these standards are not met can ask for a housing inspection that may result in a notice of violation subject to fines and penalties

Read the Code

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.