Landlords Are Giving Special Deals to Amazon and Microsoft Workers

Comments

1
Nice journalism. Thanks for this!
2
So the already incredibly well paid and well off individuals get preferential treatment when it comes to housing? Reminds me of Mitt Romney paying an effective tax rate of 13% on multi-million dollar income,.
3
It is no different than the practice of basing deposits on credit score, it is just another way to balance risk and profit, the entire basis of the marketplace.

The differences in costs you note here are not terribly different or over the top, it would be different if non-MS or Amazon employees were paying something absurd or the difference were something ludicrous like a 10x difference, but the "normal" deposit costs you quote here are not that out of the ordinary.
5
I love you, Kittenalarm.
6
It's pretty unlikely that this is out of spite. They're doing this because those tenants are on average less costly in certain ways. Probably they're more likely to pay rent on time and less likely to cause other problems. Landlords really, really want to avoid that bad-outlier of a tenant, so even though most other tenants cause zero issues, even if just a handful of them do and you can avoid that possibility by not renting to them, you might want to do that. One way to mitigate this would be to make that bad-outlier of a tenant less costly by making it easier to evict them. I do not expect this to be proposed.
7
@3

Sometimes things that make good business sense are rough on certain people (heck, that's probably the definition of good business sense).

But that doesn't preclude society from recognizing that the given practice is rough on people. And the society can decide that there sure be rules limiting the sort of thing that is rough on people, right?
8
The old "disparate impact standard." That's the same way you could ban tipping.... in practice it means that the busty, blonde women earn more tips than an older, hispanic male.

http://freakonomics.com/2013/06/03/shoul…
9
@7: Sure. I have no problem with cities passing laws that state no discounts based on place of employment. If that is important to the people and they want it, go right ahead.

But it is not like this is some new practice cooked up by elitist, racist/ableist/whateverist overlords, and it is not even necessarily favoring just the companies in the headline which The Stranger hates. Anyone else notice the "also within 5 mi radius" language, as well as the other entities the author did not want in the headline?

So not just Amazon and MS, but any business within a 5 mi radius, Evergreen Hospital employees, and enrollees at the technical college. The other ad offers the same discounts to military employees and Seatac employees, many of which may very well be minorities or lower income.

But I guess making the headline accurate does not have the same "oomph" or serve the same agenda does it?
10
It's like when a bar tender gives their friends free drinks. Total bullshit, amirite?!
11
@9. yeah, I agree with the oomph bit. I was just hoping that you weren't (or that future commenters wouldn't be) just noting that this is a justifiable thing from a business perspective. It certainly is, but that fact should hold very little moral sway with anyone.
12
Landlord's don't care who they rent to as long. What they care about is that their rental practices generate the highest possible revenue over time. They are solely about the money. It's ironic since many of these apartment projects if you dig past the developer, the ownership company, the syndicator that is the big investor in the company, etc. are public employee unions or retirement systems that otherwise support social justice (until and unless it means they have to contribute more toward their own retirement, or take a smaller benefit).
13
So, you interviewed housing advocates and lawyers — who offered some speculation about why this was going on — but didn't try to contact any of the landlords to ask them about their motivations?

I'm not so sure about @1's assessment.
14
@9: Yes, they're clearly favoring those over-entitled nurses and hospital workers, as well as those overpaid military employees and SeaTac workers.

Landlords want responsible tenants who will be around for a while and pay the rent on time. Chances of this are better with someone with a solid, regular paycheck than a freelance tattoo artist.

15
@14 Sure, but the question here is not 'why would landlords do this?' The answer to that is obvious.

The question is whether they should be allowed to do this. It's illegal to do with with respect to some portion of the population (no matter how sensible it might be form a business perspective) and the question here is should this include what sort of job you have.
16
Perhaps tech workers make up for it with the high tax rate on their relocation and signing bonuses provided by these companies. Hey, there's a thought! Tax those relocation bonuses at the city level!!! TAX TAX TAX

Like someone else mentioned, it's similar to a credit score. It's about risk. If you have an offer letter from one of the Big Employers, you get a discount on your deposit, or the deposit is waived, or you just pay first month and deposit, not first/last/deposit.

P.S. This is nothing new. This has been going on for years. Very old news.
17
2 things landlords hate: people who don't pay their rent, and people who damage the property.

When I was in the military, landlords loved renting to us even though we didn't make a whole lot of money. Why? Because if any of us didn't pay our rent, the landlord would call the base commander, and there would be hell to pay. The couple of occasions when I saw this happen, guys were made to pay up within 2 weeks, or have it taken out of their paycheck. They could also face reduction in rank. Same for damaging an apartment. Needless to say, nobody ever skipped town without paying their rent.

My guess is that is why the military is sometimes thrown in with high-income employers as being desirable to landlords. Even low paid, lower ranking enlisted military make very reliable tenants. No private employer has that level of direct immediate leverage over their employees.
18
@15, Too get someone to pay you then have to have the intent to pay you. That probably does not differ between Amholes and tattoo artists as broad classes of employees. They also have to have the means to pay you. Someone with regular, high, income has more means. Someone with a net worth has something to lose if they don't pay in terms of a credit rating and assets that can be attached with a court order. A tattoo artist or employee in a lower paid or less stable occupation, not so much.
19
Oh, and seriously? This is your "top story" on the front page? A bitch-whine-moan Slog post about Amazon.

Beat that dead horse. BEAT IT!
20
How is this not COMPLETELY ILLEGAL with regard to fair housing and non-discrimination laws? Seriously? People need to be SUING THE SHIT OUT OF THESE LANDLORDS. This is thoroughly sickening and enraging.
21
@14 If landlords are looking for "tenants who will be around for a while", why would they go after employees of Amazon, which has a famously low retention rate?
22
I guess I missed the part where "not an Amazon, Boeing, or Microsoft worker" became a protected class.
23
@16, 17 and 18

yes, yes, you guys are answering the question as to why it might make sense for a landlord to do this. But again: this is not the question that's relevant here! Trust me, we all get *why* a landlord might be sensible in doing this.

The question, again, is whether this is the sort of thing that is deemed 'ok' by society. I can imagine a bunch of different sensible opinions as to why this this should be ok or not.

But if the only reason why this should be ok is that there is a sensible reason for a business to do it, then that's like the weakest possible argument. Because, obviously, there are TONS of things that would make sense for a business to do that we have made illegal for other reasons.
24
Amazon jobs aren't secure. They have terrible turnover. Staying there only one year is the average, two years makes you an old timer. Any landlord who pretends they haven't seen Amazon renters lose their jobs again and again is playing dumb to dodge a discrimination suit.

Landlords aren't preferring those guys because they have job security. They like them because they're white. Obvious shit is obvious.
25
Pearls clutched.

Agree with previous comments that you cherry-picked Amazon and MS out of the more comprehensive lists which, when taken as a whole, makes the whole thing seem a lot less nefarious.

I am certainly willing to entertain the disparate impact argument but as a general rule of course landlords should be able to offer such incentives. Also should help all you bigots that can't look past someone's employer namebadge - why would you want to live there anyway when your neighbors will all be those awful 'Amholes'?
26
@24 there are a ton of non-white people at Amazon. Go for a stroll down Boren in SLU sometime during lunch hour. It's quite diverse except for the 73% male thing.
27
I'm pissed that housing ads don't have trigger warnings.
28
Bradl - First of all, I don't see how this practice is any more unfair than allowing landlords to choose tenants based on previous rental history, income, whether you have pets, whether you smell bad, whether you have good grammar in emails, or a million other things that might have more or less correlation to the likelihood that you will pay your rent on time and leave the apartment in nice condition. Even if you think this particular practices is unfair, the government should not be in the business of outlawing every practice that may or may not be unfair.
29
Rental agreements have always asked where you work and they run your credit history. So it shouldn't be any surprise that that's already a factor in a landlord deciding who gets the apartment.

And sometimes the big companies have a hold on a lot of apartments in a particular building as a perk for relocating employees from another area. Microsoft had (probably still has?) a ton of apartments at the Harbor Court downtown, for example.

Did you ask any landlords if these deals were somehow subsidized by the companies? Maybe not--could just be looking for 'reliable' renters, but it's a possibility.

Sorry to hear the 365-degree, dog-washing station apt was out of reach.
30
just an anecdote - i moved to seattle in 2002 with no job. vacancy on the hill was 35% and landlords were not only begging you to move in, they were paying you to do so. i got an apartment with no job and no proof of income. moving from nyc where you had to prove you were earning 3X the rent and basically give them a gallon of your blood prior to getting an apartment, i was amazed.

now it's like the freaking hunger games. (probably just like NYC now, but i don't know it's been a loooooong time since i lived in NYC). it's mind-blowing to me how quickly things change (and I wonder if there will be another crash like there was with the dot com boom or if this is how it will be in seattle from now until the end of time.
31
@28 yeah! I mean, I don't really have a strong opinion on this particular practice, but I just get really (probably unnecessarily) worked up by the shitty non-arguments that people bang out in this sort of comment section.

What you write happens to be, like, an actual point or argument or whatever. If I'm reading you correctly, your point is something like: this practice is not relevantly different from other things people think are acceptable, so this should be acceptable. Which is so much better than the other posts here because it's a contentful argument and something that people could argue about.

My particular intuition goes the other way, but I'm not really wedded to that.
32
I thought this was a free market?
33
Per the ads, I guess let's also march veterans and technical college students to the gallows along with the tech obsessed futurists, greedy flying machine unionists, and property owning real estate speculators.

Maybe a little actual revolution will stunt the desirability of this place and nobody will want to live here and then finally landlords on the hill will beg you to move in, just like the good old days of '02.

Maybe I should switch my vote to the bludgeoner under the magnolia bridge. I like the cut of his jib.
34
Does anyone besides Microsoft and Amazon employees want to live in overpriced apartments in Kirkland, SeaTac and Bellevue anyway?
35
Interesting how it says "Starbucks corporate" – as distinct from the riff-raff who actually serve the coffee, presumably.
36
@34

If you've never sipped an ice cold Mike's Hard while strolling Lake Washington Boulevard with your betrothed, marveling in the majesty of young love, lusty divorcees on harleys, and fitness, I recommend it.
37
I also got a "discount" from my apartment in Belltown in the form of them waiving some of the background check fees. I figure the landlord ppl have direct access to the employer's records so they don't have to do an extensive background check.

Also, I got a discount from my gym for being a Microsoft employee. Dunno the logic behind that one... they told me they have a Microsoft "account".
38
I would like to point out that Boeing hires a shit ton of veterans and still hires for a ton of blue collar work.
39
@Heidi Geover
Oh BOO FUCKING HOO.
Get over your entitlement complex.
No one owes you ANYTHING.

Just because someone else is able to make use of a benefit of their situation and you aren't, isnt a "fuck you".

What's next?
Slashing the tires of handicapped people who make use of the spot?
Beat downs for people who use coupons?
40
A lot of commenters seem to be missing a crucial point in all this: it's not just that landlords are actively seeking out "preferred tenants" who work for certain companies; certainly, the idea that a landlord would prefer a potential renter have a secure, steady source of income (Amazon retention rates notwithstanding) isn't what's out-of-whack here - it's the idea that landlords are specifically offering discounts and other financial incentives, effectively foregoing income, to people who can easily afford to rent an 800 ft/sq apartment for $2,000 a month WITHOUT needing the enticements in the first place.

This would seem to me to be more of an indication of just how unbalanced the rental situation is overall. All these highly-paid tech workers flooding into the city have pushed vacancy rates down to near-record levels, while average rents have continued to escalate, which, under normal circumstances would make it a Seller's Market; but landlords, by offering these discounts and incentives, seem to be treating it like it's a Buyer's Market instead. That just doesn't make sense. I mean, it's not like units aren't already renting as fast as they can be listed, so why would a landlord even feel the need to offer a discount, when there are literally hordes of otherwise qualifying renters lining up around the block?
41
This is one of the most disgusting housing injustice articles I've read in a long time. These preferred tenant discounts are completely analogous to white affluent people not getting shunted into predatory loans as so many POC including those with good credit ratings were in the ramp up to the crash of 2008. In addition, Saying "...most landlords are good people" is like saying "corporations are people." I'd expect a housing rights attorney to know better.
42
@40 - A friend lived in one of these apartments near the Seattle Center for a year when he moved to town to work for Microsoft. They are insanely over priced buildings that have up to 40% vacancy rates and tons of turnover. They think their niche to filling the apartments is to woo wealthy tech workers with incentives and they usually get free advertising and promotion out of it from the companies, who recommend these buildings. The employees rent jumps to normal in a month or two and as they get to know the city they realize they are paying 25-45% over market value rent rates and usually either break their lease or bail when it's up in 12 months. I don't condone the practice in anyway, but I'm positive the landlords are doing it to simply fill the apartments at their over-flated rent rates that they can't otherwise fill.
43
@40 I think the reason may be a fear on the part of the landlord that someone with that kind of money is spoiled for choice*, therefore they must give them something keep their attention. Once a handful of landlords do that, the rest must as well.

* Or more nefarious reasons already mentioned in the thread.
44
@40 good point. and from what number 37 said about that gym membership, might it be the case that the companies on these lists might be paying for these fees themselves? That would make this makes sense despite it being a seller's market, right?

If that were the case, it'd be a whole nother ball of wax, right?
45

@40 COMTE

I want you to read what you read again.

Two entire whiney paragraphs.

No seriously. Read it. Soak in it.

There you have two entire paragraphs dedicated to your gullible lack of understanding for what the world classifies as "basic shit."

Discounts offered to "preferred employers" is just a way to attract eyeballs. Here's how it works: You take a market rated $2,000 apartment, mark it up to $2,200, offer a $200 "incentive" to Amazon boys and rent it for - how much? Exactly. $2,000!

Anyone who walks into that unit is going to get the same deal. Can you imagine. "Oh golly no Mr Fiddlwicks...we're not going to let you sign a long-term lease. Ho Ho. Goodness no. We'd rather wait for someone from Microsoft -- to pay the EXACT SAME FUCKING RENT?

Bullshit. Make 'em the offer.

Did you really think the "free month's rent" was "free" when you negotiated your rent? Did you really think "free basic cable" meant they weren't going to just bury it in the lease amount?

How about you all stop sitting around grieving about how the world is so unfair to you, and just get in the game a little bit.

Seattle is a global city. And as a global city you're going to have to compete, globally. Our restaurants have to win tastebuds ever single fucking night. Our football players win or get traded. Our doctors have to be the best or money and patients will flee elsewhere. Our programmers and designers have to perform or be replaced.

And so to all of the mental midgets that get sucked into this boo-hoo session about the costs of Seattle. Our artists have to step-up their game. Our musicians have to stop being experimentally shitty and start sounding good. Our service workers better get good, or we'll replace you with shiny happy robots.

We live in a global economy. And it is a competitive contact sport.

Stop being a fucking blame-finding whiner about everything.

(And Comte, stop falling for stupid rent promotions. Moron.)
46
@42:

I can see how that might be the case, but still it completely defies the normal laws of "supply and demand". Any building with that high of a turnover and a 40% vacancy rate is already LOSING money hand-over-fist, no matter how much they're charging per-unit; so the idea that the landlord (and in this instance we're obviously not talking about a relatively small-scale mom-and-pop local owner, but more likely a very large - and probably overseas financed - development corporation) has to throw away even more money just to keep the tenancy rate at around 60% is crazy, plain-and-simple. If nothing else, it would stretch the ROI for a relatively new development way past what I would imagine most banks would consider minimally adequate. But on the other hand, the building is up, so the investment has already been made, and it has to generate revenue somehow, so I guess they must think a trickle is better than having the spigot shut off completely.
47
@45, Well I'm a mental midget I suppose by your standards. You seems pretty sure of yourself here. Would you say that the arguments you presented here would also hold for *anything* a business might do? It's a global competitive contact sport economy, what right do workers or non-workers have for *any* restraints on business by your arguments?
48
This has been happening for years. Ask anyone who's ever worked at large national/REIT-managed properties (think Equity Residential, Archstone, Riverstone, BRE, and Greystar, to name a few), and you'll hear about these concessions. Because these fees are arbitrary to begin with, properties are allowed to give concessions whenever they feel like it, but they have to set regulations, and they have to follow them equitably as part of 'fair housing' laws. Solution? Just modify fair housing laws to abolish Preferred Employer Programs (PEPs) - then everyone suffers the same. Most apartments waive or reduce those fees anyway as move-in specials, but in times of high occupancy when they don't need to offer a special because they don't have much or anything to rent, they won't.
49
@45:

What the FUCK are you on about this time? Where did I say I was: A.) actively looking to rent; B.) considering these "promotions"; or C.) getting sucked in by them? I simply made a very general observation pointing out the glaring disparity between the current state of the local rental market and how offering incentives (which must be being taken seriously by those looking to rent - which, again, I am NOT - otherwise government agencies and advocacy groups wouldn't be bothering to look into the practices in the first place) in such runs against the normally-understood rules of economics, and you decide to go on a hysterical rant about MY gullibility? Did someone shove a fiery hot poker up your ass right before your fingers hit the keyboard? Or do you work for one of these landlords and this is just your inept, ham-fisted way of trying to sock-puppet the conversation?

Seriously, take a Vicodin, chase it with a couple jiggers of vodka, make at least a half-hearted attempt to avoid the impulse to rage-trigger at comments that have absolutely nothing to do with what you think they do, and chill the fuck out already.
50
"Product that no low or middle income person can afford only advertised to rich people".

YAWN.
52
@40,

"A lot of commenters seem to be missing a crucial point in all this: it's not just that landlords are actively seeking out "preferred tenants" who work for certain companies; certainly, the idea that a landlord would prefer a potential renter have a secure, steady source of income (Amazon retention rates notwithstanding) isn't what's out-of-whack here - it's the idea that landlords are specifically offering discounts and other financial incentives, effectively foregoing income, to people who can easily afford to rent an 800 ft/sq apartment for $2,000 a month WITHOUT needing the enticements in the first place. "

Two things,

1) They are NOT foregoing income. It can take months to evict a non-paying tenant. If they destroyed the unit on the way out that could easily wipe out a years' profit on the unit. $200 is a tiny price to pay to help ensure that you are getting a tenant who will pay rent and play by the rules. When you think about it in terms of a whole apartment building of units it makes even more sense - if this incentive reduces the rate of future non-paying tenants by even a tiny percentage it is worth every penny.

2) If they can easily afford THIS $2,000/mo apartment they can also easily afford THAT $2,000/mo apartment. Even in a low-vacancy market like Seattle landlords still have to compete to attract the best / most ideal / lowest risk tenants because as you stated, they can afford to shop around.
53
This is superb reporting. Kudos Heidi!
54
@51:

May we assume you weren't one of several tens of thousands of new hires at Amazon, Microsoft, Google, or Adobe, and weren't renting an 800 ft/sq loft apartment in a brand-new high-rise in a market with an average 4% vacancy rate, where rents are increasing by 11 - 12% per year?
55
How is this not COMPLETELY ILLEGAL with regard to fair housing and non-discrimination laws? Seriously? People need to be SUING THE SHIT OUT OF THESE LANDLORDS.

You don't understand anti-discrimination law. It specifies categories of discrimination, and outlaws them. Discrimination based on non-protected criteria has always been perfectly legal. (That's why we fought so hard to get sexual orientation added as a category in anti-discrimination law). So waiving a fee or giving a discount to white people, straight people, women, or Christians (for example) would be illegal. Employer is fine.
56
There is zero difference between this and income-tests for applicants. Landlords have been legally turning down lower-income applicants for years with no recourse. Landlords saying "I'll only rent to someone making $X per year" is what pushed me out of city limits and into Burien.

Now that it's got the "amazon" buzzword on it, though, everyone'll be up in arms all of a sudden.

Disgusting.
57
@52:

But in your scenario, that still doesn't really make sense, because normal supply-and-demand would dictate that incentives only work when the buyer has the advantage; and in the current rental market the seller has the advantage, since the vacancy rate is so low, which is a strong indicator that, other factors being considered, the ratio of buyers to sellers is almost equal, which generally equates as a Sellers Market.

And of course they're foregoing income, the entire point is that they're taking less money up front or by incentivizing amenities at below-normal cost, in order to attract people whose income is already high enough to meet their demand. Or do you think "risky" low-income people are showing up in droves to rent units that go for roughly 80% of what they would make in an entire month at $15 Minimum Wage? That's why this seems like such a bullshit practice: the people they DON'T want already can't afford rent that high, and the people they DO want CAN afford it without the incentives - and there are more than enough of them out there looking at a comparatively small number of available units in an already sizzling, white-hot rental market. Many renters-plus-few places to rent should create a market (such as we see in the SFD market) where it should be the buyers making offers, not the sellers.
58
Right or wrong, this sort of thing has been going on for decades - how is this news to anyone?
60
Straight up dumb if only because 2 identical good renters with stable income from a large employers, and one gets benefits because they're from the 2 or 3 large Seattle employers any idiot can name off the top of their heads.

There's more work in this town than just AmazBuckSoft
61
calm down poors, everything that's happening in the seattle area is good and correct and justified, and everything you are whining about is bad and dumb. You guys clearly can't afford to live her because you're willfully wrong and terrible, and you should probably move away somewhere your wrongful terribleness can't infect other people. Landlords, the city council, city hall, the major employers and their employees are all benevolent philosopher kings who can do no wrong, so best to just let them run this city correctly.
63
bs detected!
the article misses these facts:
1) amazon pay rates are not that high
2) most of amazon workers who rent are chinese and indians on work visas
3) land lords are humans too and work for profit not for charity
happy fact checking, dear "journalist"
65
I see both Lebowskis have opinions about this.
66
Seattle has had a reputation for years of being a progressive city. Well, oddly enough, I think by and large the people are, but the government is not. One would think a progressive city would have more protections for renters. Seattle landlords get away with murder, and the renters' bill of rights has so many holes in it, it could be Emmentaler.
67
WTF? Low Income "Advocates" are crying about Rich People Subsidues at certain buildings? WTF? Why bother? Their "Clients" can't afford to live there anyways. So what are they complaining about?
68
@61

EXACTLY.

Anyone capable of believing there's any room for shady dealings in the rental business has obviously never signed a lease in their lives. The law of marketplace can't tolerate any landlord who doesn't adhere to the HIGHEST ethical standards. It the nature of the business that everything stays on the up and up. Ask any renter. Any renter!

Obviously that goes double for Amazon and Microsoft.
69
If I start a massage company across the street from Amazon, should I be banned from offering an Amazon employee discount?
72
The Stranger has realized that any controversial article about Amazon/tech workers gets tons of clicks, which for The Stranger means more $. I imagine all the managers there are begging their staff for more Anti-Amazon articles.

Funny that Stranger uses Amazon Associates advertising software (http://builtwith.com/Thestranger.com), which enriches Amazon, and me, as someone who works at Amazon.

It's pathetic that the Stranger staff want to produce click-bait entertainment pieces, rather than something more substantive.
74
#55 -You're right, I don't understand anti-discrimination laws. I guess discriminating against the poor is acceptable in America (never mind that that usually means discriminating against non-whites, women, the elderly, and the disabled). I am a white, disabled woman (former Amazon employee who only lasted 6 months, they fired me when I got sick). I am unable to work and live on SSD. Seems to me that if I were to apply for the same the apartment as a current Amazon employee (proving I could pay the rent), it would be discriminatory (violation of federal law, the Americans with Disabilities Act) to charge me more. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are other employers whose employees are earning more than people who work at the "preferred employee" and might not work for an employer like Amazon where turnover is high. I'd be just as pissed if I were one of those people. Seems to me that landlords have found yet another way to weed out anyone they don't want living in their apartments all under the guise of the free market and the majority of Seattle shrugs their shoulders and says "eh, oh well, too bad you don't have a better job!"
75
A reduced or eliminated move-in deposit (holding fee, &c.) just means the renter gets a (bigger) bill at move-out time. The landlord is betting the prospective renter will just pay the bill quietly at departure. Conversely, a higher move-in deposit is the landlord hedging his bet against the risk of a troublesome tenant.

I do like all of the yelling about discrimination -- does the student body at Lake Washington Technical College sound like a haven for rich male WASPs?
76
How can The Stranger continue to support a fake liberal mayor like Ed Murray who can't find a spine whenever Big Money is involved?

Seattle's supposedly sophisticated voters can't see through token social gestures like rainbow crosswalks to realize that big money-developers and corporations-run this town like they do all other second tier cities that are too gutless to impose impact fees, development standards and regard for quality of life in the face of Big Money interests. SF and NYC may be expensive but they have standards and exact a pound of flesh on corporate expansion. Ed Murray is a spineless phony.
77
When I read this I just picture a group of gazelles sitting around complaining about how the lions only eat the weak and allow of their herd.
78
I moved into a new apartment complex in Redmond 6 years ago and received a discounted rental rate and a waived deposit as part of their preferred employer policy. At the time, I was a grad student at UW living on a $25K annual stipend. So, nothing new here, and nothing to do with highly-paid tech workers, sticking it to the poor, or the downfall of Seattle. It's just advertising/promotion on the part of the building owners.
79
Buh buh...but the pro developer dudes on here was arguing that all these new over priced apartments and aPODments weren't specifically marketed to Techies! Remember that?

No. All these new apartments were for the almost dozens of new working-class Boeing, Nordstrom and Safeco jobs! Not the 40,000 techies that moved here last year.
80
@63 HAHAHA. What?

You can read Amazon's diversity numbers here: http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=tb_surl_dive….

And No. 60% of all non-warehouse employees are white. 63% are male. Most are single.

Most of those rent because most only work at Amazon less than 3 years.
81
"blatantly", as if there would be something to hide? Please. Landlords should be free to set any terms of any rental deal they want. It's call freedom, folks.
82
Landlords believe that people who spend their entire lives at work will be less likely than average to trash the place or to not pay their rent. Exhausted people tend to spend their weekends recuperating on the couch with a beer. It's that simple.

If I were in their position, I too would want to entrust my property to one of those Wage Slaves, rather than renting to Person X who may or may not present a noise/damage risk.
83
@81:

So, if the landlord was to post an ad saying "preferred races offered special move-in discount" or "white males get 50% off rental deposit" that would be totally okay with you?
84
All the jealous haters should consider trying to work at Amazon. It isn't as if Amazon isn't hiring people who can fit a role. Are we mad that they make money? Are we mad that they are successful. Those who are mad that people have things that they dont should spend more time looking in the mirror than judging others. You will be happier sooner, and maybe you will be making more money and get better rental agreements too.
85
To offer anything special to any renter is illegal in the City of Seattle. Every renter must all be treated the same. So what the people are doing by offering Amazon workers a special rate is illegal! Read the tenant landlord laws!!!
86
Discounting rent/fees based on working for certain employers is the same as charging everyone else a premium, and accepting a standard rate from those so employed. A disincentive for the majority.

This advertising tactic attracts eyeballs, but to me is poor business practice. Naming preferred employers isn’t an effective screening method.
Offering all prospective tenants the same rent incentives, perks and inducements in a competitive market works much better than assuming certain employees bring a halo.

Redmond or SLU tech employment shouldn’t get anyone a pass. We leased our home to a senior systems architect, and a lawyer. They intentionally trashed it and the deposit didn’t come close to covering the damage.

BTW love your moniker: Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
Can hardly wait!
87
@83: Yes.