Does Washington Have Rent Control?
No, Washington does not have rent control laws limiting the amount that landlords may ask for rent and state law prohibits local governments from establishing their own rent control laws.
How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent By in Washington?
In Washington, landlords can raise the rent by any amount and for any reason as long as they give proper notice, don’t do so during the fixed term of a lease, and aren’t doing so for certain discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.
In Seattle, if a landlord increases rent by more than 10%, the tenant is entitled to request three times the monthly rent to cover moving costs.
When Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Washington?
In Washington, landlords can raise the rent for any reason as long as it is not discriminatory or retaliatory in nature and proper notice is given.
When Can’t a Landlord Raise Rent in Washington?
In Washington, landlords cannot raise the rent during the middle of a lease’s fixed term, for certain discriminatory reasons (like race or age) or for certain retaliatory reasons (such as in response to a tenant requesting repairs).
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination due to:
- Gender (including gender identity)
- Sexual orientation
- Nationality or origin
- Familial status
In addition to the characteristics above, Seattle’s Fair Chance Housing law also prohibits discrimination due to:
- Immigration status
- Political ideology
- Military or veteran status
- Participation in Section 8 or other subsidy programs
- Alternative source of income
Washington law prevents landlords from increasing rent in retaliation. An action is considered retaliatory if it occurs within 90 days of a tenant action. Rent increases are considered retaliatory if in response to a tenant:
- Filing a complaint with the appropriate agency regarding the property’s health or safety
- Joining or organizing a tenants’ group or union
- Submitting a notice of defect
- Requesting repairs or reimbursement of repair costs
How Much Notice is Needed to Raise Rent in Washington?
Washington law prohibits landlords from increasing rent during a lease term and requires that landlords give 60 days’ notice before increasing rent. For subsidized housing, landlords are only required to provide 30 days’ notice. However, city laws may require a larger amount of notice, such as in Seattle.
Seattle law requires that landlords give 180 days’ notice for new leases after November 8, 2021. For subsidized housing, the state’s 30-day notice period still applies.
Landlords do not need to provide a reason for the rent increase on the notice letter. When the tenant receives the notice, they may choose to enter a new lease at a higher rate or move out.
A sample Notice of Rent Increase letter is provided on our website.
How Often Can Rent Be Increased in Washington?
Landlords in Washington can increase the rent as often as they choose as long as they provide sufficient notice each time.