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Renting in Tacoma

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Renting in Tacoma


March 2024: Tutorials for Tenants and Landlords

Join us for the last two of the seven tutorial sessions to learn more about rental housing regulations and requirements. All sessions cover the City's updated Rental Housing Code, the new Landlord Fairness Code, how those codes work together, and what it all means for anyone who owns, operates or rents residential property within the Tacoma City Limits.

  • Thursday, March 21 from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM in person at Tacoma Community House, 1314 South L Street, Tacoma, WA 98405
  • Thursday, March 28 from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM on Zoom

*Dial-in option for Zoom meetings:
  Phone Number: (253) 215-8782
  Meeting ID: 886 0533 7356
  Passcode: 369518

Renting in Tacoma: PowerPoints and Webinar Presentations

The Measure 1 ballot initiative, also known as the Landlord Fairness Code Initiative (LFCI), will be in effect starting December 8, 2023, along with the City’s Rental Housing Code (RHC), which was updated by the City Council in July 2023.


Statement by Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Pauli, December 5, 2023--Council Study Session:

"The City of Tacoma’s priority and purpose is to serve and support the voice of the people. In the last election cycle, the people of Tacoma used their voices and their vote and approve the Landlord Fairness Code Initiative (formerly known as Measure 1) and on December 8, it will become city law. If it faces a legal challenge, the law will be defended by the City. Much like the State of Washington’s Landlord Tenant Act, the Landlord Fairness Code Initiative is structured to provide tenants and property owners the right to take civil action and seek enforcement in a court of law if they believe a violation has occurred.”


On July 11, 2023, the Tacoma City Council passed Amended Substitute Ordinance 28894, which updated the Rental Housing Code (TMC 1.95, RHC) to strengthen requirements around notices to increase rent; shared housing standards; standardized tenant screening criteria; standards for fees and deposits; business license, health and safety requirements; rental agreement regulations and more.



Changes to the Rental Housing Code (RHC) TMC 1.95


Outline of the Landlord Fairness Code Initiative (LFCI) TMC 1.100


How the Rental Housing Code and the Landlord Fairness Code Initiative Work Together



Does the Rental Housing Code Apply to Me?

If you own, operate, or rent residential rental property within the Tacoma city limits, the Rental Housing Code applies to you. Verify if your rental property is within the Tacoma city limits.


Additional Information and Resources


Business License, Health, and Safety Requirements:

 A landlord will not be able to pursue eviction or increase rent without a current City of Tacoma business license or if a dwelling unit does not comply with RCW 59.18.060 and presents conditions that endanger or impair tenant health and safety.


*For additional information on the business license for rental properties, please visit the Rental Business page. 


I am a Renter

I am a Landlord/Property Manager







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Please email us at tacomarhc@cityoftacoma.org.




What is the Rental Housing Code?

On November 20, 2018, the Tacoma City Council passed the Rental Housing Code (TMC 1.95, RHC). The RHC provides protections for tenants and provide specific guidance to landlords who own or operate residential rental property in Tacoma City limits. 


The RHC includes relocation assistance to low-income tenants who are displaced due to the property being demolished, substantially rehabbed, or a change of use and Just Cause Eviction (JCE) provisions.

Why did the City pass the Rental Housing Code?

The City of Tacoma recognizes that the rental market in Tacoma is drastically changing. The City has been working in collaboration with its Rental Housing Stakeholder Advisory Group to increase the availability of housing in Tacoma and ensure that every resident in Tacoma, including our most vulnerable populations, has access to stable housing. The City's Rental Housing Stakeholder Advisory Group is comprised of City of Tacoma staff, non-profit and affordable housing representatives, landlord and tenant advocates, and legal representatives. 

Does the Rental Housing Code replace the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18)?

The Rental Housing Code (RHC) does not replace the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18, RLTA).  However, it does expand on certain protections under the RLTA and allows the City to regulate and enforce violations of the RHC.