Landlords in Seattle, Washington, are suing the city over its newly adopted law that forces them to rent their houses on a first-come, first-served policy – taking away their right to choose a tenant using their own discernment concerning safety and reliability.
Attorneys representing the landlords argue that the new law – that was effective on New Year’s Day – is unconstitutional.
“Landlords in the city filed a lawsuit last week claiming that the new policy violates the state constitution and requesting a permanent injunction preventing the city from enforcing it – which would essentially make the law void,” TheBlaze reports. “The law went into effect Jan. 1, but is not slated to be enforced until July.”
Seattle – which is home to Federal Judge James Robart, who rejected President Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order on immigration – has been designated as a sanctuary city – a title its Democratic mayor has told the president he is willing to defend. Taking in a large number of recipients of government assistance, many progressive city officials have pressed for a nondiscrimination policy that forces landlords to accept rental applicants who the land owners might have second thoughts about.
“The first-come, first-served policy was adopted by the city council in August as an effort to prevent landlords from discriminating against renters who receive government assistance as a secondary form of income,” TheBlaze’s Sara Gonzales informed. “It requires landlords to develop a specific screening criteria for prospective tenants, review the pending applications in the order they were received, and make offers in that same order to those who meet the criteria. Landlords would not be able to deviate from the order [in which] applications were submitted.”
The new law is just the latest non-discriminatory legislation forced on Seattle residents who rent out their property, as they are currently compelled by the government to exercise an LGBT-friendly rental process when dealing with applicants who identify with an alternative lifestyle – including transgenders and transvestites.
“Landlords are already prohibited from discriminating against prospective tenants on the basis of gender, race and sexual orientation, but advocates of the new Seattle policy say that it is too hard to prove discrimination in court, and the new law will help with that problem,” Gonzales continued.
Appealing to existing law
Pushing back against the progressive wave sweeping over the Pacific Northwest’s most populous city, landlords are banding together in a legal offensive against Leftist city officials by arguing that the law slated to be enforced this summer violates the state constitution by forcing an unlawful seizure of property, according to the Seattle Times.
Seattle’s leading daily also reported that the landlord’s complaint against the city also claims that the new law violates the free speech protections guaranteed to all United States citizens – asserting that it tramples their due process rights, as well.
Not allowed to protect one’s family …
One couple involved in the lawsuit, Chong and MariLyn Yim, are landlords who own a duplex and a triplex. They contend that the new law works against some landlords – like themselves – and for others.
“The Yim family argues that the policy unfairly offers exemptions to those renting out mother-in-law apartments or backyard cottages, but not to those renting out duplexes or triplexes,” Gonzales informed about the couple, who live in one of their units with their children. “The Yims also say the policy prevents them from keeping their family safe in the best way they see fit.”
Jeopardizing the safety of their children – because the city wants to steamroll its progressive agenda on Seattle residents – is one of the major arguments being presented in the case.
“The Yim family cannot afford to absorb losses because of a tenancy gone bad,” the lawsuit argues. “And for a family with three children, selecting a tenant who will also be their close neighbor requires careful discretion. The Yims treasure their right to ensure compatibility and safety by choosing among eligible applicants.”
Another problem with the new policy is also argued in the suit, as excessive restrictions imposed by the city could possibly add to down time between renters – who must follow strict guidelines when searching for new roommates.
“[Chong and MariLyn] also say the policy has made it much harder for one of their tenants to find a replacement roommate, due to the stringent regulations,” Gonzales noted.
Ethan Blevins, who serves as an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), is representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The conservative nonprofit law firm with offices in Bellevue, Washington, focuses exclusively on cases defending property rights, especially lawsuits such as the Yims — ones that are waged to protect citizens from the encroaching arm of the government.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.