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How to Remove Racist Restrictive Covenant Language From Your Home’s Property Deed in Pierce County

Anders Ibsen April 4, 2019

“In the Pacific Northwest, there is an unfortunate legacy of housing discrimination,” shares REALTOR® Anders Ibsen. “Developers and property owners would write discriminatory language in private covenants to prevent certain groups from being able to buy properties in those neighborhoods. While this language has long been legally unenforceable, until recently it has been costly and burdensome for property owners to remove this hurtful language from the title to their homes.” 

Thanks to recent action by the Washington State Legislature, there is now an application you can submit through your County Auditor to change the language. The Pierce County website has a page dedicated to Restrictive Covenants, and in addition to a step-by-step guide that details how to prepare and record a restrictive covenant modification document, there’s also some useful background information.

“In many Tacoma neighborhoods, particularly in the West Slope, we have an unfortunate history of discriminatory covenants on our properties,” says Anders. “Thankfully, erasing this despicable language is now significantly more convenient. As a community, it's vital that we practice what we preach with our stated ideals of equity and inclusion, and this act by the Legislature brings us one step closer.”

You can read more on this subject in The Seattle Times article “The deed to your Seattle-area home may contain racist language. Here’s how to fix it.” from January 2019. Have a question? REALTOR® Anders Ibsen is happy to chat—you can get in touch here!

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