WA State Source of Income Law Effective Sept. 30



On March 15th, 2018, Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2578 – Source of Income Protections. HB 2578 becomes effective on September 30, 2018 and requires that a landlord within the State of Washington accept all sources of verifiable and legal income, including:

  • benefits or subsidy programs
  • housing & public assistance
  • emergency rental assistance
  • veteran & social security benefits
  • student loans
  • supplemental security income or other retirement programs, and
  • other programs administered by any federal, state, local or nonprofit entity.
Examples of these types of income may include, but not be limited to:
  • Section 8, Housing Choice, HUD, VASH Vouchers
  • Rapid Rehousing Program
  • HOPWA Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)
  • Shelter Plus Care – TBRA
  • Supportive Housing Program – TBRA
You may be located in a jurisdiction which already has a local ordinance with income protections.  However, local protections may not be as extensive as those required by HB 2578. If this is the case, common sense would tell us best practice would be to follow the requirements of HB 2578, which are broader in scope.

HB 2578 also provides funds of up to $5000 for a landlord through the landlord mitigation fund.  Funds are available for those tenants rented to using a housing subsidy program which include:

  • Up to $1000 for improvements, after an initial payment (by the landlord) of $500
  • Up to 14 days of lost rental income from the date of offer of housing
  • Reimbursement for damages
  • Reimbursement for unpaid rent and unpaid utilities

Click here to learn more about HB 2578

WHAT THIS MEANS TO FOR YOU: Review your criteria and any advertising

  • Do not exclude, or require additional conditions (cosigner, increased deposit, etc.) if an applicant is receiving assistance from any federal, state, local or nonprofit entity.
  • Do not exclude, or require additional conditions (cosigner, increased deposit, etc.) based on any verifiable, legal income source.
  • Consider all sources of income when determining “income-to-rent” ratio for those receiving assistance from federal, state, local or nonprofit entity.  In other words, an applicant should only be required to meet the income-to-rent ratio based on the applicant’s portion of rent – not the entire rental amount.

 Please understand that the information contained in this message touches on important legal matters and does not constitute – nor is it a substitute for advice of counsel.  We recommend that you not act upon this information without first consulting with your attorney.