Landlords

Landlords and property managers can help end homelessness by renting to people with barriers to permanent housing, such as poor credit, a past eviction, or criminal history.

When you partner with LLP, you can help a family build a brighter future and strengthen our whole community.

There are many benefits for landlords who partner with LLP , including:

  • Fill vacant rental units with tenants who are motivated to succeed and supported by social service agencies.
  • Access to a 24-hour hotline and a rapid response from service agencies to concerns with LLP tenants.
  • Financial assistance if tenant breaks lease prematurely, falls behind in rent, or causes damage not covered by security deposit.
  • Free trainings and other helpful resources.
  • Screening Criteria: Meet with an LLP housing support specialist to determine screening criteria that lowers barriers to rental units for households that have experienced homelessness.
  • Partnership Agreement: Complete and sign partnership agreement, which is reviewed annually, then submit listings for vacant units to LLP as they become available.
  • Tenant Selection: Review tenants referred by LLP based on revised screening criteria. Once approved, tenant, service agency, and landlord meet to sign rental agreement and do move-in inspection together.
  • Mediation or Claims: Landlords with concerns about LLP tenants can call a 24-hour hotline for assistance and mediation. In case of damages, landlords may submit a claim to LLP for risk reduction funds.

Landlord Story – Raj

In his first year as a landlord, Raj had never approved a tenant with a criminal history or past substance abuse issues. Then he met Alena, a homeless mother with two young boys, and learned about LLP.

"I thought about it, Googled the Landlord Liaison Project, and said OK, let’s meet and talk about it. I just wanted to try it out,” he said.

Raj has not regretted his decision to take a chance on Alena. "When I met you, I didn’t see anything that would stop us from moving forward. I've had really good experiences with you — you’re communicative, you pay rent on time; it makes my job easier.”

Partnering with LLP has been a rewarding experience for Raj, and is one that he recommends to others. “I have definitely seen progress in her life, she has come a long way. You know, just taking that chance for a landlord, sometimes is worth it.”

What is the Landlord Liaison Project?

The King County Landlord Liaison Project (LLP) is a partnership among landlords and property managers, participating service providers, and people with barriers to accessing housing. The goal of LLP is to successfully house homeless individuals and families who could not otherwise access housing due to rental barriers.  Participating landlords agree to apply alternative screening criteria to applicants referred for housing through this program. In exchange, participating agencies will provide continuing support services to LLP tenants and will rapidly respond to landlords’ concerns. These services ensure that tenants and landlords receive support and assistance to sustain thriving tenancies and communities.

Do fair housing laws allow housing providers to participate in the Landlord Liaison Project?

Yes. In fact, housing providers and social service agencies collaborating under the Landlord Liaison Project are affirmatively furthering fair housing by:

  • Removing housing barriers for homeless individuals and families
  • Expanding housing opportunities for members of protected classes including:
    • Domestic violence survivors
    • Families with children
    • People with disabilities
    • Veterans

Do fair housing laws allow housing providers to use alternative screening criteria for Landlord Liaison Project clients?

Yes. Fair housing requires consistency. The key to consistency is to require all prospective residents to establish eligibility for housing by verifying that they can and will:

  • Pay rent on time
  • Care for the property
  • Be good neighbors

Often housing providers use strict screening criteria to establish an applicant’s eligibility. Fair housing laws allow the use of alternative criteria to enable applicants to establish eligibility. For example, a landlord may agree to use alternative screening criteria for applicants who will be participating in support services during their tenancy. Such support services can reassure the housing provider that the rent will be paid, the property will not be damaged and the lease will be followed. So, with the Landlord Liaison Project, the housing provider may use alternative screening criteria instead of strict, standardized criteria.

How can I get more information about fair housing rights and responsibilities?

Contact OCR at 206-296-7592 for more information about fair housing rights and responsibilities.