Outline of Tenant Rights in Washington State

Tenants in Washington State are provided certain rights when renting a property.

Here is an outline of what those rights happen to be.

1. Security Deposits My Be Returned In 14 Days Or Less.

Although Washington laws do not limit how much landlords can charge for a security deposit, there are restrictions in place for how they are returned.

Tenants must receive their deposit or an itemized invoice detailing why no deposit is being received within 14 days of moving out of a unit.

Tenants can sue for the return of their deposit, even if there are liabilities, in an amount up to $5,000 if this is not met.

2. Tenants Have a 3 Day Notice To Pay Unpaid Rent.

Many landlords offer a grace period to the 5th of the month in Washington.

If rent remains unpaid past this point, a 3 day eviction notice may be delivered.

3. Tenants Have The Right To Withhold Rent.

A tenant is required to notify their landlord of needed maintenance issues in writing.

If this notification has occurred on a 24 hour item, which means the repair must be made because of a health or safety issue, and no response has been received, a tenant may withhold an amount from the rent that covers the actual cost of the repair.

4. Tenants Are Required To Control Interior Mold.

Because of the damp environment of the Pacific Northwest, tenants are required to control mold levels in the interior of the home.

A failure to do so can result in cleaning charges on a security deposit or even the potential of an eviction.

5. Landlords Must Store Abandoned Property.

Landlords have a responsibility to store abandoned property at the tenant's expense for up to 45 days.

If no action is taken, the property may be sold or destroyed and income used to compensate the landlord for any past due amount that is owed.

If the total value is $250 or less, however, this may happen after 7 days unless it involves family photos, personal pictures, or other keepsakes.

Tenants also have the right to reasonably enjoy their rental units in peace.

A 48 hour notice is required for any interior inspection and a 24 hour notice is required for any sales showings.

By understanding these rights, it becomes easier to manage the landlord/tenant relationship in Washington State.

Posted on Jul 29, 2015


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