The Washington rental agreements are legal contracts that are created between a landlord and a tenant. These documents include the terms and conditions associated with the use of the property, including the amount of the rent. All agreements must comply with Washington’s landlord-tenant law.
Washington Rental Agreement Types
Washington Required Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name & Address (required for all) – In order to send or receive legal notices and other communications pertaining to the rental property, all Washington landlords are required to provide their contact information in the leasing agreement.
- Fire Safety and Protection Notice (required for all) – Washington landlords are required to provide a written disclosure or checklist detailing emergency evacuation routes and the property’s fire safety system, as well as whether or not the rental unit is equipped with operational smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, and alarms to limit liability from personal damages resulting from a fire.
- Mold Disclosure (required for all) – To inform about the dangers of indoor mold, Washington landlords are required to provide a lease disclosure or notice in a conspicuous location, outlining risks and precautions.
- Move-In Checklist (required for some) – Landlords in Washington must provide a written move-in checklist that takes inventory of the dwelling unit in order to collect a security deposit so that an itemized list of damages can be used to retain a portion of the security deposit at move-out.
- Security Deposit Holdings Disclosure (required for some) – Washington landlords are required to provide holding information to the tenant as a form of receipt when retaining a security deposit so that the deposit can be verified to be handled legally and appropriately upon termination of the lease.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – Every Washington lease agreement is required to include a lead based paint disclosure (to protect a landlord’s liability from damages) alongside an EPA-approved pamphlet and information about any existing hazards that exist in a pre-1978 building to help keep tenants safe.
To learn more about required disclosures in Washington, click here.
Washington Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – In Washington, a lawful landlord must provide their tenants with adequate locks, plumbing, in-unit heating, a smoke detector, and more. Should they be needed, that landlord must also perform repairs within 10 days (except for water or electricity repairs, which must occur within 24 hours). If these requirements are not met, a Washington tenant may perform a repair and deduct or withhold rent altogether.
- Evictions – A Washington landlord may lawfully evict a tenant for failing to pay rent (3-day notice), violating a lease term (10-day notice), or committing a crime (3-day notice). In most cases, an eviction in this state can be wrapped up in around two weeks.
- Security Deposits – Currently, Washington lacks a standard limit for security deposit values. Even so, all security deposits must be returned to their owner within 14 days of that tenant’s lease ending.
- Lease Termination – To break off a month-to-month lease, a Washington tenant must provide at least 20 days of notice. Meanwhile, a Washington tenant can also prematurely terminate a fixed-term lease by providing proof of one of the following exceptions: active military duty, landlord harassment, unit uninhabitability, or domestic violence.
- Rent Increases & Fees – A Washington landlord may charge as much as they want for rent, regardless of reason. Any rent increases must come with a 30 day notice, though. Also, most operational fees are permitted in Washington without limits. That being said, bounced check fees are still capped at $40.
- Landlord Entry – To enter an occupied unit, a Washington landlord must state their purpose while providing notice at least 2 days in advance. These requirements do not apply when entering to inform a tenant of an impending emergency.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Washington landlord and tenants may settle disputes through the state’s small claims court. This venue may be used for this purpose if their case is valued at greater than $250, but less than $5,000. This upper limit may also be higher in some counties.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Washington, click here.