Not long ago, we shared with you a bad idea from Seattle Washington that will result in more pets getting abandoned by their owners and ultimately euthanized (Bad News for Pet Owners, February 6, 2017). Not to be outdone, now Seattle has bent over backwards to help less qualified renters get chosen for an apartment over there more qualified peers.
Basically, Seattle wants landlords to be forced to accept the first tenant that come that meets the rental criteria. While that might seem benign, let’s examine the spoiled fruit of the tree of good intentions.
First, it’s a bureaucratic nightmare for landlords keeping track of who applied first, but hey, landlords have suffered worse. The real loser in this whole gambit are the better qualified renters.
Landlords make rental decisions based upon things like income, credit scores, stability of income stream and past landlord reference. And verifying these things can take a little time. While the verification process is ongoing, another stronger application might come in. However, in Seattle, that stronger applicant would have to be denied in favor a weaker applicant that applied first.
So, busy, hardworking, qualified renters get to look a little longer for an apartment and perhaps enjoy fewer choices than lesser tenants that have more time to apply early and often. Way to go Seattle!
See also “Thanks for Meddling, Uncle Sam“