NAA Files Amicus Brief on Criminal Screening Case

2 minute read

As part of its continued efforts to weigh in on legal cases of national concern, NAA has filed an amicus brief in Yim et al. v. City of Seattle. The case is an ongoing battle between a small property owner and the City of Seattle over its Fair Chance Housing ordinance. The ordinance, which went into effect earlier this year, bars owners from evaluating the criminal history of applicants during the resident screening process (with very few limited exceptions). The ordinance in question would have a severe impact on owners and operators across the country if other policymakers were persuaded to adopt similar legislation.

In its brief, NAA argues emphatically that it is not in the business interests of rental housing providers to reject potential residents without good cause and urges the Court to recognize the importance of tenant screening in the context of rental housing. “The Seattle Fair Chance Housing Ordinance not only violates the First Amendment…but it also ignores common sense and experience in predicting human behavior. It further impairs rental property owners’ ability to provide safe rental housing, and it creates liability concerns for rental housing owners and operators.”

NAA urges the Court to grant the Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and strike down the ordinance. We continue to monitor this case and will update NAA affiliates and members on the outcome. To learn more about this amicus brief, please see the Criminal Screening of Residents issue page.