Tenant Relocation

See also: Condominium Conversions, Cooperative ConversionTenant Relocation Assistance

What Is It?

A white man with a beard thinking about moving.We require landlords to offer tenants relocation assistance if tenants must move out of their rental unit due to redevelopment or certain code violations.

What It Isn't

The City does not require a landlord to pay relocation assistance to a tenant who is evicted by order of the King County Superior Court. If a unit is cited for a code violation, but the violations are being corrected so that the tenant does not have to move, relocation assistance is not paid.

We require an owner who issues a rent increase of 10% or more to a household to pay relocation assistance. Please see Renting in Seattle's web page about  Economic Displacement Relocation Assistance for more details because the requirements for the Renting in Seattle program differ from the relocation assistance listed below.

Rules To Follow

Landlords need to pay tenant relocation assistance in certain situations if the tenant meets the following income eligibility:

Household Size 50% of Area Median Income
1 Person $45, 300
2 People $51,800
3 People $58,250
4 People $64,700
5 People $69,900
6 People $75,100
7 People $80,250
8 People $85,450

Our codes apply to the following situations:

  • Your building is being torn down or renovated. If housing is being torn down or renovated, if its use is being changed, or when certain restrictions on its use are removed, relocation assistance is paid to low-income tenants who have to move. Each low-income tenant household must be paid $4,486 in relocation assistance; half is paid by the City, and half is paid by the property owner or developer.
  • Your building is being converted to a cooperative. The property owner must pay $500 in relocation assistance to a tenant when his or her housing is changed into a cooperative.
  • Your building is being converted to a condominium. The property owner or developer must pay low-income tenants relocation assistance equal to 3 months of rent when housing is converted into condominiums.
  • Your unit is not allowed under our Land Use Code and you must move. A landlord must pay relocation assistance to a tenant when the landlord must stop renting an illegal unit, no longer wants to rent an accessory dwelling unit, or must reduce the number of unrelated tenants living in a housing unit. A low-income tenant must be paid $2,000; a tenant who is not low-income must be paid an amount equal to 2 months’ rent.
  • Your unit is vacated and closed due to an emergency condition that is within the control of the landlord. If you must move because your housing unit is ordered vacated and closed, the property owner must pay you relocation assistance. The amount to be paid to a low income tenant is $5,022; the amount paid to a tenant who is not low income is 2 months of rent.

Read the Code

  • Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance, Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 22.210
  • Cooperative Conversion Ordinance, SMC 22.902
  • Condominium Conversion Ordinance, SMC 22.903
  • Units Not Allowed Under Land Use Code, SMC 22.205.010, (22.205.010.I, 22.205.010.J, and 22.205.010.M)
  • Units Vacated Due to Emergency Conditions, SMC 22.206.265


See each specific code for fines that apply to that situation.

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.