The Washington Rental Lease Agreements are a group of documents designed to facilitate the transfer of property from a property owner to a temporary tenant. As different kinds of leases are required based on the length of the agreement or what the property is being used for, a variety of different leases are included here. If you wish to sell or lease property in Washington state, you will need a Real Estate Broker License.
Each lease is unique, with a variety of different clauses contained within it and local laws that can apply to it, depending on the type of property and its location. As such, every lease should be read carefully, to ensure that the tenant does not accidentally break it due to inattention to detail. A residential lease is typically required to have easy to understand language that can be easily read by a layperson.
Form Description Types
Washington Rental Laws
Laws are pursuant to Washington Revised Code, Title 59.
Most landlords will wish to charge a security deposit, to pay for any wear and tear a property can accrue during a tenancy, as well as to account for the possibility a tenant may exit the tenancy with rent owed.
In Washington, there are no laws on the state level limiting how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit. However, a landlord must provide the tenant with a Move In Checklist detailing the property’s condition before the tenant moves in, or they may not withhold any amount from the deposit when the tenant moves out. The landlord is required to return the deposit within fourteen (14) days after the tenant vacates the property.
Regardless of the type and length of the lease, how much rent is, when it is due, what forms are acceptable and where it must be delivered to will all be spelled out in the lease. If the tenant fails to pay rent on time and in full, they may accrue a late fee. Although there are no laws limiting how much a late fee can be or when it can be charged in Washington, a late fee policy must be spelled out in the lease. If one is not spelled out in the lease, then no late fee can be charged.
In a Month to Month Lease, a landlord must give the tenant thirty (30) days written notice before increasing the rent or altering the lease in any way. In a One Year Lease the landlord may not increase rent until the lease has terminated, unless the lease itself allows for a rent increase.
In a Month to Month Lease the landlord is required to give the tenant thirty (30) days written notice before ending the tenancy. If the tenant fails to move out by the end of that thirty days, the landlord may file for eviction. Due to the nature of the lease, the landlord may serve this notice essentially at their discretion, although doing so in a discriminatory manner is of course illegal.
In a One Year Lease, if the tenant has somehow violated the lease, the landlord may serve written notice of the violation. At this point the tenant will have ten (10) days to fix the violation or move out before the landlord can file for eviction. If the tenant’s violation is exceptionally serious however (maintaining a nuisance, causing significant damage to the property, operating an illegal business or being involved in gang activity) the landlord may file an Unconditional Quit Notice and give the tenant three (3) days to move out before filing for eviction.
Once the allotted time has expired, the landlord must go to a local court, have a hearing and, if successful, be allowed to file an Eviction Notice. Note that, until an Eviction Notice has been obtained, the landlord may not attempt to force the tenant out by tampering with utilities, installing a deadbolt, changing locks or otherwise making the apartment unavailable to the tenant.
In Washington it is illegal to discriminate (refuse housing, alter rent, deny housing is available when it is) based on the following reason:
- race, color, national origin, sex, religion, family status, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability
Landlord’s Right to Enter
In Washington, a landlord is required to give a tenant two (2) days notice before entering a property to perform repairs or inspections. If the landlord is showing the tenant to prospective new tenants or buyers, they are required to give the tenant one (1) day notice. In an emergency these rules are suspended and a landlord can enter without giving notice.