A Quick Overview of WA Rental Laws Broken Down by Area

As always, this is informational only and not legal advice. Please consult with your attorney before making any decisions!

WA State

  • The eviction moratorium ended November 1, 2021.
  • If you want to serve a 14 day pay or vacate for rent in arrears for unpaid rent during the moratorium, you can IF it’s not located in Seattle, Burien, or Kenmore, but you must submit the notice to the county and must participate in the Eviction Resolution Program until at least July 1, 2023. There are also additional disclosures that must be made to the Tenant for 14 Day Pay or Vacates. Talk to the Rental Housing Association or contact the city of Seattle for more info.
  • You must still offer a payment plan for late rent payments until six months after the “end of the public health emergency,” which is still legally ongoing. Each installment in the plan can be no greater than 1/3 of the rent and the first installment must be due no less than 30 days after the date of the offer.
  • You are allowed to serve a 10 Day Comply or Vacate IF it’s not in Seattle, Burien, or Kenmore.
  • Requires that housing providers allow tenants to pay all move-in costs (other than first month’s rent) on a payment plan. (Note that Seattle has a slightly longer payment schedule than what the state allows.)
  • Required handouts: Mold Handout, Lead Based Paint Disclosure is required for all properties built before 1978,
    having a Property Condition Checklist / Move In Checklist  signed by all parties before collecting any security deposit.
  • Timelines: Rent increases are allowed with 60 days notice IF not located in Seattle, Auburn, Kenmore, and unincorporated King County. Security deposit refunds must be mailed within 21 days of move-out.

City of Seattle

  • The eviction moratorium will end January 15, 2022 and Ordinance 126075 goes into effect, which says: ​
  • Lessors may not evict for an additional six months after, which means until July 15, 2022.
  • No notices may be served regarding end of tenancy except the 3 Day Notice to Quit if the tenant’s behavior is causing serious and imminent risk to safety or property.
  • Rent increase are permitted following the new rent increase rules.
  • Late fees, interest, or other charges associated with non-payment of rent during and for one year after the civil emergency ends (until January 15, 2023) are banned.
  • Deposit guidelines:
  • The combined total of security deposit, non-refundable screening fees (ones that are paid directly to the Lessor/Agent, not to Intellirent) and/or move-in cleaning fees may not exceed the amount of the total first full month’s rent.
  • Other than charging non-refundable screening and cleaning fees, security deposits, and last month’s rent, Lessors are prohibited from charging Tenants any one-time fee at the beginning of tenancy.
  • Total non-refundable fees may not exceed 10% of the first full month’s rent.
  • Pet deposits cannot exceed 25% of the first full month’s rent. No other one time fees can be charged for pets at the time of move-in. Pet rent is allowed.
  • Locks must be changed with every new tenancy at no additional cost to the tenant.
  • In most cases, you must permit tenants to add roommates and immediate family members as tenants as additional occupants. (Contact the Rental Housing Association or the city of Seattle for more info on the roommate law.)
  • You must give the Seattle Renter Handbook to renters at each renewal and new lease signing.
  • Rent increases:
  • Any rent increase taking effect after November 8, 2021 requires 180 days’ notice.
  • You must then also offer the lease extension or just cause reason for not renewing between 60-90 days pior to the lease end date.
  • If the rent increase will take effect on July 1, 2022 or later and is for 10% or more over the lowest rate in the past 12 months, the notice of increase must either be delivered to each adult at the unit by either hand-delivery or mailing both by certified mail with return receipt requested and by regular US mail. The notice must also include a packet about the new economic displacement relocation assistance program, which may charge the Lessor up to three month’s rent for tenant relocation expenses.
  • Lessors must provide a lease extension or just cause reason for not renewing a lease 60-90 days prior to the lease end date.
  • Tenants must be screened first come, first serve, with special time limits (see First in Time).
  • Seattle Fair Housing Poster is required to be displayed in all rentals.

City of Tacoma

  • You must give the Tacoma city renter handbook (“DCI Information for Tenants”) to Tenants at these times: Each renewal, each new lease signing, any time the tenant info packet is updated.
  • You must give the specific Tacoma Tenant Resources handouts (found on the city of Tacoma website) to Tenants at these times: Every notice served during the lease term, every end of tenancy notice.

City of Burien

  • The eviction moratorium ended January 15, 2022.
  • Rent increases are permitted.
  • 3-Day Notice to Quit permitted with an affidavit.
  • End of Tenancy with just cause is permitted only for sale or owner occupancy with an affidavit.
  • You must give the Burien city renter handbook (“Burien Tenant Resources”) to renters at each renewal and new lease signing.

City of Auburn

  • Any total rent increase greater than 5% requires 120 days notice.
  • You must give the Auburn city renter handbook (“Auburn Tenant Resources”) to renters at each renewal and new lease signing.
  • Late fees for late payment of rent are limited to ten dollars ($10.00) per month.

City of Kenmore

  • Any total rent increase greater than 10% requires 90 days notice.

Unincorporated King County

  • Any total rent increase greater than 3% requires 120 days notice.