The Washington month-to-month rental agreement allows a tenant to rent from a landlord for one month at a time with no end date. Once the contract has been signed, the landlord will collect a one-month security deposit and a fee for rent.
A month-to-month lease is a short-term rental arrangement that continues until either the landlord or the tenant gives the other party at least 20 days’ written notice to vacate. Landlords and tenants should give this notice right after the first day of a month with a termination date at the end of that month.
Washington Notice Requirements for Month-to-Month Lease Termination
There are some exceptions when more than 20 days’ notice is required. For example, 90 days’ notice is required for a rental agreement policy change such as changing to a lawfully-allowed age-restricted facility. 120 days’ notice is required for a major renovation or building-use change.
In all parts of Washington state, a landlord does not need to have any cause to terminate a month-to-month lease, except in Seattle. In Seattle, a landlord must have one of these causes to terminate a month-to-month rental agreement, which are:
- Tenant’s failure to pay rent.
- The tenant received more than four late rent notices in the past 12 months.
- Tenant violated a material condition of the rental agreement and failed to fix the problem after getting 10 days’ notice.
- Tenant got more than three of these 10 days’ notices in the past 12 months.
- The landlord wants to move into the unit or have a family member move in. This requires 90 days’ notice.
- The landlord wants to sell the property.
- A tenant’s occupancy is due to employment and the employment is terminated.
- Landlord lives in the same property and no longer wants to share it.
- The landlord wants to substantially remodel or demolish the property. This requires 120 days’ notice.
- The landlord wants to covert the rental property into condominiums or a cooperative association. This requires 120 days’ notice.
- The landlord receives notice of housing-standards violation(s) and must pay relocation assistance to the tenants.
- The landlord receives a notice that the rental unit is illegal or unauthorized and must pay relocation assistance to the tenants.
- The landlord is ordered to reduce the number of tenants on a property. This requires 30 days’ notice and the landlord must pay relocation assistance to the tenants.
- The landlord receives notice of hazardous conditions on the property. If this is the landlord’s fault, then the landlord must pay relocation assistance to the tenants.
- A tenant is engaged in criminal activity and the landlord has proof of the crimes.
Raising Rent in Washington
The new laws in 2019 now require 60 days’ written notice in advance of a rent increase that can only happen at the end of a lease term, with the sole exception of rent based on income in certain public housing.