To best serve the students of the University of Washington Tacoma and ensure that discrimination laws are upheld, Residence Life & Housing has established the following guidelines that all housing listings must meet.
- Residence Life & Housing provides this service to the students, faculty and staff of the University of Washington Tacoma, and in doing so does not endorse or recommend any landlords, tenants or rental facilities posted through this office. Further, Residence Life & Housing assumes no responsibility for any information contained in its offices, listings and evaluations, nor does Residence Life & Housing assume any responsibility for any events that may arise from their use. This service is provided in order for landlords and renters to contact each other.
- All listings will remain up for either one month or one year (depending on option selected) from when they are approved or until the landlord or admin removes the listing. Payment is required prior to posting.
- Persons listing will be allowed one listing for each property under their control (one house or apartment unit or room equals one property). If there is more than one listing for the same unit, they will be removed by Residence Life & Housing staff.
Residence Life & Housing may not post listings that are in violation of any federal, state, county, or city housing laws. These laws include, but are not limited to, discrimination based on race, sex, creed, color or national origin, ancestry, marital status, parental status, physical disability, sexual orientation and political ideology.
Some exceptions to the posting policy are allowed for those listings that conform to the definition of “shared housing.” These exceptions are listed in the Unfair Housing Practices code 14.08.190. The primary exception is that a person living in the same unit (i.e. the same apartment) may request a roommate the same gender as himself or herself. Residence Life & Housing can answer some questions regarding these conditions, but does not dispense legal advice. Residence Life & Housing reserves the right to edit postings. The posted policy is based upon recommendations by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights.
To ensure compliance with all applicable laws, please observe the following when writing your ad:
- Do not mention the age of the person you are looking for. Also, refrain from mentioning the standing (junior, senior, grad student, professor) that you are looking for. The wording is up to the discretion of the Department, and may be edited.
- If you have a split household (male and female), DO NOT mention the gender you are looking for to maintain balance.
- Other words to avoid: quiet (for a person’s attribute), couples, live-in lovers, sane, single, etc.
Ideally, what is acceptable is a description of the dwelling and yourselves (if it’s a shared situation). It is up to you in the interview or when you are contacted by a potential renter to discuss what you are looking for in a roommate/tenant. Residence Life & Housing reserves the right to edit postings.
Reasons for wording policy
- Standing of student (i.e. graduate student, senior, junior, etc.) — while not a protected class, this can be considered age discrimination. Better wording – if you are looking for attributes of typical grad students, use words like “studious,” “responsible" or “mature.”
- Quiet (i.e. "Quiet and studious person only") – can be considered discrimination on the basis of handicap, for those who have syndromes such as Tourette’s, where they are loud occasionally. Better wording — studious.
- Listing of ideal age range — can be considered age discrimination. Better wording — describe yourselves and ages.
- Specifying a gender preference — okay to use ONLY if the dwelling is all one gender. If it is a split household, it can be considered discrimination on the basis of sex.
- Couple, single, live-in lover — depending on the wording of the ad, some leeway may be granted at the discretion of the Department. Generally, it can be considered discrimination on the basis of marital status. Please ask if you have questions about this.