Not only is Washington the home of Microsoft and Bill Gates but the place where the great cup of coffee of Starbucks was born. Washington tends to favor the tenant in its landlord tenant laws.
Washington Landlord-Tenant Laws at a Glance:
Late Fees: Washington does not have a stated late fee limit.
Security Deposit: There is no stipulated limitation on what a landlord may collect for a security deposit.
Returned Payment Fee Limit: There are specific laws around NSF fees, and they can be no more than $40 or the face amount of the check, whichever is less.
Notice to Enter: State of Washington requires 48 hours’ notice before entering for non-emergencies.
Application Fee/Late Fee/Returned Check Fee
Application Fee: The application fee must be exactly the same amount that the tenant screening costs.
Late Fee: There are no limitations placed on the amount of a late charge a landlord may charge.
Returned Payment Fees: Washington landlords may charge returned payment or NSF fee of 12% interest plus the collection costs not to exceed $40 or the face amount of the check, whichever is less. However, the landlord must first send the tenant a notice and wait 15 days before imposing the fee.
In Washington, there are no stated limitations placed on the amount a landlord may collect for a security deposit.
Once the tenant vacates the rental property, if there are deductions made from the security deposit, a statement and balance, as applicable, need to be returned within 21 days. If no deductions are made, then the entire amount must be returned within 14 days.
In Washington, the landlord must adhere to state and local habitability laws including but not limited to functioning plumbing, electric, and working HVAC. IF the tenant reports a needed repair, the landlord must take action within 24-72 hours depending on the issue. It is also important to note that when a landlord supplies a feature or amenity, that is not required by law, they are usually responsible for maintaining it.
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Right of Entry
The landlord may enter the rental premises for maintenance, repairs, supply services, inspect or show the property by giving the tenant two days advanced notice. Notice is not needed for emergencies.
Notice to End Lease
A 20-day advance notice must be provided before the termination of a lease. This is for month-to-month, year-to-year, or quarter-to-quarter. For weekly rentals, there is no specified notice stated in Washington’s landlord-tenant law.
Non-Payment of Rent: When a tenant fails to make payment of rent in accordance with the lease terms, the landlord must issue a 14-day notice providing the tenant to pay all due. If tenant ignores the notice, the landlord may go to court and file for an eviction on the 15th day.
Other Violations: If the tenant violates a provision of the lease agreement, the landlord shall provide the tenant a 10-day notice to comply. If the tenant fails to remedy the issue, the landlord may go to court and file for eviction on the 11th day.
Illegal Activity: In Washington, if a tenant or tenant’s friends or relatives commit or are involved in illegal activity, landlord may provide a 3-day notice to vacate the premises. If the tenant fails to vacate, the landlord may file for eviction. Please note, the landlord may determine what illegal activity warrants eviction action.
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