As a longtime, small-scale landlord of two houses in Seattle, I seriously object to the new ordinance passed by the Seattle City Council that apparently mandates renting to the first qualified applicant [“New first-come, first-served rule for rentals puts city on new path,” Page One, Aug. 11]. This is like telling an employer that he or she must hire the first applicant who qualifies for a job opening — time-wasting job interviews are no longer needed. What employer would agree to that?
I have had tenant applicants in the past who were qualified based on income but had personalities that came out in talking to them that were clearly going to be problematic for a long-term-tenant relationship. Conversely, I have rented to lesser-qualified applicants who I just got along with better. This is not a demographic issue.
Lastly, this new rule is likely to have the opposite result of what is intended — those with flexible jobs pr those who can work at home, will be first through the door, while the worker who can’t come to look at the house until evening or the weekend, could lose out.
Thomas Friedman, Seattle