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Washington Landlord Tenant Law

Washington Landlord Tenant Law


What is Washington Landlord Tenant Law?

If you rent an apartment or a home, you are covered by the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act. The Washington Landlord Tenant Law states that the General’s Office is prohibited from serving as a private attorney in individual residential landlord-tenant complaints. Listed below are some of the most common questions associated with Washington Landlord Tenant law:

Washington Landlord Tenant Laws: Application Fees, Returned Payments and Late Fees

WA Landlord Tenant Law: Laws Associated with Application Fees

A landlord—according to Washington Landlord Tenant Law—may not charge an applicant more than the true cost of the background check. Landlords must provide receipts to the tenant for deposits or fees charged to hold a rental space. Moreover, landlords are required to provide a written description of the conditions under which the security deposit must be returned. 

WA Landlord Tenant Law: Laws Associated with Late Fees

Washington Landlord Tenant Laws state that late fees should remain reasonable and elastic to the landlord’s actual expenses incurred

WA Landlord Tenant Law: Laws Associated with Returned Payments

WA Landlord Tenant Law states that with regards to returned payments, a payee is permitted to collect reasonable handling fees. If these fees are not satisfied within 15 days, a collection cost is not allowed to exceed $40 or face amount of the check, whichever is lower.

WA Landlord Tenant Law: Rent Increases and Types of Leases

WA Landlord Tenant Law: Monthly Rent Agreements: According to Washington Landlord Tenant Law, if the landlord wishes to change (i.e. raise rent) the provisions of a monthly lease agreement, the tenant must be sent a written notice within 30 days of the change. Said chances may only become effective at the beginning of the rental period. With regards to rent increases, Washington landlord tenant law does not place a limit on how much rent may increase or how frequently. That being said, Washington Landlord Tenant Law imposes a restriction on landlords which impedes them from raising rent as a retaliatory action against a tenant. 

If the landlord wants to convert the property to a condo, the tenant must be provided a 90-day notice. If the renter has a traditional lease, changes cannot be made to the property unless both the tenant and landlord agree to the proposed alteration. 

Washington Landlord Tenant Laws: Security Deposits

WA landlord tenant laws do not place any restrictions with regards to the maximum amount that may be collected as a security deposit. The landlord, according to WA landlord tenant law must provide an inspection checklist stating the condition of the dwelling along with the rental contract. The conditions under which a security deposit may be kept must be elucidated within the lease. Moreover, the landlord is required to place the security deposit in an escrow or trust account and provide the tenant with a receipt indicating the address and name of the financial institution. 

Washington landlord tenant laws state that when a tenant moves out, the landlord must either mail or hand deliver the security deposit return, along with a written statement itemizing any deductions. This form must be delivered to the tenant within 14 days after the tenant moves. That being said, the 14 day period begins on the date the landlord notices that the tenant left the dwelling. 

Washington Landlord Tenant Laws: Terminating a Washington Lease

Periodic leases may be terminated by either the landlord or the tenant when the resident is damaged or destroyed or any situation that deems the property uninhabitable. Tenants may seek release from rental agreements with the court when a landlord fails to adhere by the WA landlord tenant laws. Fixed term leases will terminate automatically on the last day of the lease; however, the tenant—assuming the landlord agrees—can opt to renew the lease when it runs out. At this time, Washington landlord tenant laws state that the landlord may raise the rent if the tenant does not live-in a rent-controlled property. 

Washington Landlord Tenant Laws: Failure to Pay Rent

According to Washington Landlord Tenant Laws, a landlord may evict a tenant for failure to pay rent. That being said, before a complaint or summons for eviction can be filed, a 3 day notice to vacate or pay is required; when the 3-day notice is served, a court proceeding will commence. If, other violations are present (failure to adhere to the rental agreement) then a 10-day notice to vacate or comply is necessary. Multiple noise complaints, destruction of property, engaging in drug-related activities, or conducting illegal businesses requires a 3-day written notice. 

WA Landlord Tenant Laws: How Long Does the Eviction Process Take?

As is common with any legal matter, timing issues will vary based on circumstances. In general; however, the eviction process will take approximately 4-5 weeks.