Washington Residential Lease Agreement

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The Washington residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a binding agreement between a landlord (“property owner“) and tenant (“occupant“) to rent residential property in exchange for a fee. Governed by Washington landlord-tenant law, the contract has terms and conditions describing the duties of each party.

Related Documents: Month-to-Month Agreement | Rental Application | Roommate Agreement | Sublease Agreement

Washington Lease Agreement Disclosures

The following disclosures are either required for some or all residential lease agreements in Washington.

There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts and/or legal liability in Washington.

Landlord’s Name & Address

Applicable to all rental units in Washington.

So that future legal notices and demands sent by the tenant can be properly delivered to the landlord, the name and address of either the landlord or the person authorized to act on the landlord’s behalf must be disclosed up-front (commonly done so in the lease agreement) .

Fire Safety and Protection Notice

Applicable to all rental units in Washington.

Landlords in Washington are required to provide information relating to whether the rental unit is equipped with smoke detectors and whether they are operational, details about fire sprinklers and alarms, and information about the fire safety system and evacuation plans. This information may be provided as a written notice or checklist and must include a diagram of emergency evacuation routes. It should also be signed by the landlord and tenant, with copies provided to each party .

The following disclosures are required in the notice:

(i) Whether the smoke detection device is hard-wired or battery operated;

(ii) Whether the building has a fire sprinkler system;

(iii) Whether the building has a fire alarm system;

(iv) Whether the building has a smoking policy, and what that policy is;

(v) Whether the building has an emergency notification plan for the occupants and, if so, provide a copy to the occupants;

(vi) Whether the building has an emergency relocation plan for the occupants and, if so, provide a copy to the occupants; and

(vii) Whether the building has an emergency evacuation plan for the occupants and, if so, provide a copy to the occupants.

Download: Washington State Fire & Safety Notice (PDF)

Mold Disclosure

Applicable to all rental units in Washington.

Washington requires all landlords to provide information about the dangers of indoor mold in the form of a lease disclosure or notice posted in a conspicuous location. It must include information about controlling growth and limiting the health risks it poses with proper precautions .

This informational guide will satisfy Washington disclosure requirements.

Download: Washington State Mold Disclosure Form (PDF)

Move-In Checklist

Applicable to any lease where a security deposit is charged.

In order for a security deposit to be collected by the landlord, they must provide a written move-in checklist that takes inventory of the dwelling unit upon commencement of the tenancy. It must be signed and dated by each party, and each party is to retain a copy to be used upon move-out for assessing damages .

Download: Washington State Move-In Checklist (PDF)

Security Deposit Holdings Disclosure

Applicable to any lease where a security deposit is charged and held.

When retaining a security deposit at the commencement of tenancy, Washington landlords are required to provide holding information to the tenant as a form of receipt, which includes the name and location of the depository where the funds are being held .

SECURITY DEPOSIT HOLDINGS. The security deposit collected as per this lease agreement can be found in a trust account at:


Download: Washington State Security Deposit Holdings Disclosure (PDF)

Refundable/Nonrefundable Fees

Applicable to any unit where the landlord imposes nonrefundable fees.

If fees are charged in the lease for pets or other one-time expenses like access to amenities, they must be stated to be nonrefundable in the lease. Otherwise, they are subject to a refund upon termination of the lease .

Lead Based Paint Disclosure

Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.

It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Washington to:

  1. Fill out and attach this lead based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
  2. Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
  3. Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.

Download: Washington State Lead Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)

The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Washington law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

  • Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Washington law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants.
  • Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. Washington does not limit how high these fees can be, but they should be considered reasonable (often no more than 10% of rent) and reflect the actual expenses incurred by the landlord as a result of a late payment. They must also be charged only after the agreed upon due date for rent, dictated in the lease. Returned check fees are limited to $40 per bad check .
  • Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
  • Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to establish an understanding of the current status of bed bugs at the property in case of a future infestation and to provide information on the protocol for handling one.
  • Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units in buildings built prior to 1981 (which are considered at-risk for asbestos), it is recommended to establish an understanding of any prior knowledge on the existence of asbestos on the property.