TU Victory! The Seattle condo conversion law exists because members of the Tenants Union worked together and fought for it. If you have benefited from this law, go to Tenants Union Membership to find out more about becoming a member to support the TU’s work for housing justice.
- SMC 22.903
- RCW 64.34.440
- RCW 59.12.200
- Condominium Conversion: A Guide for Tenants and Prospective Buyers
Both state and municipal laws govern condo conversions in the city of Seattle. State law entitles tenants to 120 days’ notice in the case of condo conversion, and gives renters the right of first refusal to purchase the unit. Seattle also has a relocation requirement for condominium conversions, and requires that landlords inform tenants of the relocation assistance in writing with 120 days’ notice. Households earning less than 80% of area median income will qualify for relocation assistance if they opt not to or cannot purchase and remain in their unit. Qualifying households will receive the equivalent of three months’ rent in relocation assistance. Elderly renters or people with disabilities may receive some additional funds to help with moving costs. The developer must pay this relocation assistance by the date the tenants vacate the units.
RCW 64.34.440(1) also states the specific reasons that a landlord can evict a tenant during the 120-day notice period. During the notice period immediately preceding a condo conversion, tenants can be evicted for failing pay rent, causing a waste or nuisance on the property, or violating another tenant’s peaceful enjoyment of the property, or any other reason listed in RCW 59.12.030, such as failure to comply with a 10-day notice to comply or vacate.