Information for Renters

The City of Burien has laws in place to ensure safe, healthy, and thriving rental housing in our community, including:

  • Rental housing security policy to provide protections for renters
  • Rental Housing Inspection Program to encourage the proper maintenance of rental housing by identifying and requiring correction of substandard housing conditions

Rental Housing Policy

In 2019, the Burien City Council adopted Ordinance 716 to provide more protection for renters and to help improve the condition of rental housing in Burien. Ordinance 804, updating Burien’s rental housing policy, was adopted on October 24, 2022.

The City's Rental Housing Policy requires landlords to distribute information to tenants, allow tenants to make installment payments, and requires just cause for an eviction. 

Renting in Burien Handbook

The Rental Housing Policy requires landlords to provide Renting in Burien Handbook – A Guide for Landlords and Tenants to all tenants. This handbook provides information regarding the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants and provides details on just cause evictions. 

En EspañolManual de alquiler en Burien (Renting in Burien Handbook) 

Rent increases

Landlords may not increase rent unless they have provided 120 days’ prior notice of a rent increase over 3% and 180 days’ prior notice of a rent increase over 10%. Rent increases cannot go into effect prior to the completion of the term of the rental agreement. Notice of rent increases of 3% must follow requirements set in Washington State law. Landlords are not allowed to increase rent if the dwelling unit has “defective conditions” making the rental home uninhabitable.

Rental Housing Inspection Program

The Rental Housing Inspection Program requires property owners of duplexes, triplexes, four-plexes, and apartments to have at least 20% of their units inspected every three years. More information on the Rental Housing Inspection Program is available here.

Tenant Resources

  • Washington State 2-1-1 has the most up-to-date information for financial assistance and housing referrals. Call 2-1-1.
  • Tenants Union of Washington State - provides counseling, education, and assistance to help tenants learn their rights and resolve housing problems. Tenants’ Rights Hotline:  (206) 723-0500
  • Solid Ground - provides housing counseling services to help families and individuals maintain permanent and reliable rental housing. Phone: (206) 694-6767 
  • Download list of tenant resources: English | Español

Financial Assistance

Legal/Other Resources

  • Washington LawHelp - Free online legal education materials and tools that provide basic information on a variety of legal problems, including detailed packets and forms.
  • Housing Justice Project - King County Bar Association’s free legal assistance to renters facing eviction in King County. Phone: (206) 267-7069.
  • Tenant Law Center - Catholic Community Center’s free legal assistance to qualifying low-income persons in King County facing eviction or subsidy termination. Phone (206) 324-6890
  • Neighborhood Legal Clinics - King County Bar Association’s free 30-minute legal consultations at locations throughout King County. Phone: (206) 267-7070    
  • CLEAR Line Legal Help - Northwest Justice Project’s free legal assistance for Washington’s low-income residents. Phone: (888) 201-1014   
  •  Attorney General Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution - Assistance for owners of manufactured and mobile homes to resolve disputes with landlords. Phone: (866) 924-6458   
  • King County Dispute Resolution Center - Trained mediators can assist tenants and landlords in resolving conflicts. Phone: (206) 443-9603    
  • City of Burien Code Compliance - Investigates Burien code compliance violations.  Tenant must first try to resolve issues following procedures in Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA) (RCW 59.18). Phone: (206) 241-4647 
  • Summary of Eviction Law in Washington State - Read non-legal advice on eviction law in Washington state.

Fair Housing Resources

  • Washington State Human Rights Commission - Enforces the law against discrimination and investigates complaints regarding civil rights violations. Phone: (800) 233-3247    
  • Fair Housing Center of Washington - Provides support and education for renters filing discrimination complaints or requesting reasonable accommodations from their landlords. Phone: (253) 274-9523

Register to Vote

For additional information about the rental housing program in Burien, email [email protected], or call (206) 241-4647.

Updated May 2, 2023