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Washington Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

Overview of State Lease and Rental Agreement Laws

Most states have laws limits limiting the amount a landlord may charge for a security deposit, deadlines for returning that deposit after a lease has expired, and other legal and financial parameters of the landlord-tenant relationship. It should be noted that these laws not only protect tenants from being mistreated or exploited, but they also protect the landlord from irresponsible tenants.

A lease agreement is essentially a contract between the landlord and tenant that outlines the terms of the relationship, such as the rent amount, rules about pets, which utilities are covered, and so on.

Washington Lease and Rental Agreement Laws in Detail

Washington lease and rental agreement laws place no limits on the amount a landlord may require as a security deposit, but there must be a written rental agreement in place before any deposit may be collected. State law also requires landlords to return the deposit (minus cleaning and repair fees, where applicable) within 14 days of the lease termination.

Washington anti-discrimination laws prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants (or prospective tenants) on the basis of race, color, disability, gender, and all other classes that are also protected under federal law. One exception is housing for older adults, which may discriminate on the basis of age.

The main provisions of Washington lease and rental agreement laws are highlighted below. See FindLaw's Rental and Lease Agreements section to learn more about rental laws throughout the country.

Code Section 49.60.010; 59.04.010, 020; 59.18.260, et seq.
Terms of Leases When term of tenancy is indefinite, period becomes that on which rent is payable
Deposits No limit on deposit, but no deposit may be collected unless rental agreement is in writing; interest on deposit not required; deposit must be returned within 14 days of termination
Discrimination No discrimination on basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or any sensory, mental, or physical handicap
Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted? No

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Washington landlord-tenant attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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