A new law, the Fair Tenant Screening Act, will help protect Washington renters from discrimination. Renters will still have to fill out an application and get screened for things like credit and criminal history. But now, if the landlord denies the person housing, the renter now has the right to ask why. The renter can request the landlord fill out a new form called an Adverse Action Report, which will explain in writing why the person didn’t meet requirements. This will guarantee the landlord has a legal reason to turn the person away. It also gives renters the opportunity to fix incorrect information, and sometimes resolve issues they never even knew about.
“I’ve actually talked to many tenants who didn’t even know that they were named in an eviction lawsuit,” said Michele Thomas, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance Director of Policy and Advocacy. “So this is a lot of disclosure to the tenant.”