In Washington, the regulation of rent is primarily governed by WA Rev Code § 36.01.130. This state preempts rent control. The law bans rent control throughout the state, allowing all landlords to set rent and increase it with proper notice.
|Minimum Notice for Rent Increases||60 Days|
|Max. Late Fee||$20 or 20% of monthly rent|
|Max. Bounced Check Fee||12% interest +$40|
When Can a Landlord Increase Rent in Washington?
A Washington landlord is bound by the terms of the written lease. He/she may increase rent when the lease is renewed or if both parties agree to a change in the conditions of the lease. When dealing with a month-to-month tenant, a landlord may increase rent as he/she sees fit so long as the appropriate notice is provided. (RCW 59.18.140)
When Is It Illegal to Raise Rent in Washington?
According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, in Washington state it is illegal for a landlord to raise rent based on the age, race, religion, nation or origin, familial status, or disability status of a tenant.
It is also illegal for a Washington landlord to increase rent on a tenant in retaliation for exercising his/her legal rights by filing a complaint regarding the health, safety, or housing code violations of the rental property with the appropriate agency. (RCW 59.18.240)
Is There a Rent Increase Limit in Washington?
The state of Washington does not dictate a maximum amount of rent a landlord may charge.
How Much Notice Is Needed for Raising Rent in Washington?
A Washington landlord must provide a written 60-Day Notice to tenants before increasing rent. (RCW 59.18.140)
In the city of Seattle, a landlord must provide a minimum 60-Day Notice prior to a rent increase that is 10% or more, unless the tenancy is subsidized. It the tenant has subsidized rent, the landlord must provide a written 30-Day Notice prior to an increase in rent. (Seattle Code 7.24.030)
For a FREE rent increase notice template, click here.
How Often Can Rent Be Increased in Washington?
The state of Washington does not regulate the frequency with which a landlord may increase rent.
Laws Regarding Late Fees in Washington
Washington landlords can charge a late fee of $20 or 20% of the monthly rental amount, whichever is greater and is a “reasonable” amount. The late fee must be written in the lease agreement. (RCW 19.150.150)
Laws Regarding Bounced Check Fees in Washington
A Washington landlord may charge a tenant up to 12% interest and collect a fee of up to $40 when a rent check has insufficient funds and remains unpaid for 15 days. (RCW 62A.3-515)
Washington Cities With Rent Control
Washington state has no legislation controlling the amount of rent a landlord may charge. The state does have legislation preempting legislation attempts by local municipalities to control rent. (RCW 35.21.830)