Seattle City Council votes down rent control ‘trigger law’

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks during a press conference advocating for rent control legislation she is sponsoring.

The Seattle City Council voted against legislation, sponsored by Councilmember Kshama Sawant, that would have established a rent control policy for the city. That legislation would have only gone into effect if Washington State repeals its laws outlawing cities from implementing rent control.  

The legislation was rejected by a vote of 6-2.  

Washington State has prohibited cities, like Seattle, from implementing rent control policies since 1981. 

Per RCW 32.21.830, “no city or town of any class may enact, maintain, or enforce ordinances or other provisions which regulate the amount of rent to be charged.” Until that law is changed, Seattle cannot implement any controls on rent, including this legislation.