Washington Lease Agreements (6) | Residential & Commercial

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Updated December 30, 2022

A Washington lease agreement is a document that outlines the terms of a rental between a landlord and a tenant. There are different rules tenancy rules within Seattle versus outside Seattle. Therefore, the correct agreement must be used depending on the property location. Once the agreement is signed by the landlord and tenant, it becomes legally binding to all parties.

Rental Application – To be used by the landlord to review the applying tenant’s employment, background, and financial details.

Table of Contents

Agreement Types (6)

Standard Residential Lease Agreement (Outside SeattleWithin Seattle) – The most popular rental contract with a start and end date and rent that is due on the first of each month.

Download Outside Seattle: Adobe PDF, MS WordOpenDocument

Download Within Seattle: Adobe PDF

Commercial Lease Agreement – Agreement in relation to the renting of property for a business-related use such as office, retail, or industrial property.

Download: Adobe PDFMS WordOpenDocument

Month-to-Month Lease Agreement (Outside SeattleWithin Seattle) – Also referred to as a “tenancy at will” for a landlord-tenant relationship that can be canceled at any time with at least 20 days’ notice (RCW 59.18.200).

Download Outside Seattle: Adobe PDF

Download Within Seattle: Adobe PDF

Rent-to-Own Lease Agreement – A generic residential contract with added terms and conditions for the purchasing of real estate and personal property.

Download: Adobe PDF

Room Rental (Roommate) Agreement – For the persons living in a shared arrangement to acknowledge common rules in the property.

Download: Adobe PDF

Sublease Agreement – For the act of a tenant re-renting their space under agreement with the landlord. Otherwise known as “subletting.”

Download: Adobe PDFMS WordOpenDocument

Required Disclosures (8)

Fire Protection & Evacuation (RCW 59.18.060) – Upon lease commencement, the landlord must give the tenant a copy of fire protection/safety information, including an *evacuation plan. This should include if the property has a smoking policy, an emergency notification plan, and the route(s) to exit the building in the case of a fire.

*Only required if the property is located in a property with two (2) or more units.

Landlord/Agent Identification (RCW 59.18.060) – The landlord must give the tenant the person authorized to enter the property, including the legal address for notices. If the information is not mentioned in the lease, it must be listed conspicuously on the premises. NOTE: If the landlord does not reside in the State of Washington, they must elect an agent that resides in the county for all notices.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – Federal law requires all landlords of properties built prior to 1978 to disclose to their tenants as within the walls probably exists lead paint that is hazardous and was used during that timespan.

Mold Disclosure (RCW 59.18.060(13)) – At the time of signing, the landlord must give the tenant information about the dangers of mold as provided by the Department of Health.

Move-in Checklist (RCW 59.18.260) – The landlord is required to provide a move-in checklist to the tenant if there is a security deposit that is collected. If no checklist is provided, the tenant is entitled to their entire deposit, no matter the circumstances.

Nonrefundable Fees (RCW 59.18.285) – If there are to be any non-refundable fees assessed by the landlord, it must clearly state that the fee is not refundable.

Security Deposit Receipt (RCW 59.18.270) – The landlord must provide the name and address of the banking institution where the funds are to be held on behalf of the tenant. In addition, the landlord must provide the terms and conditions for how funds are to be held and dispersed.

Voter Registration Packet (SMC 7.24.080) (Seattle ONLY) – A voter registration packet must be provided to all tenants by the landlord.

Security Deposits

Maximum Amount – No maximum limit. The landlord may request as much as desired.

Returning (RCW 59.18.280) – The landlord must give back all funds related to the deposit within twenty-one (21) days of the tenant moving out.

When is Rent Due? (Grace Period)

Rent can be paid up to five (5) days after the due date mentioned in the lease without penalty. There is a six (6) day grace period in Washington (RCW 59.18.170).

If rent is not paid within the grace period, the landlord can send a 14-day notice to quit that gives the option to the tenant of paying all back rent due or vacating the premises.

Late Rent

Maximum Penalty (RCW 19.150.150) – The maximum late fee is $20 or 20% of the monthly rent amount, whichever is greater, and must be written in the lease.

NSF Fee (RCW 62A.3-515(a)) – If the tenant pays with a bad check, the landlord can charge $40 or the face value of the check, whichever is less.

Right to Enter (Landlord)

The landlord must provide at least two (2) days’ notice to enter the property for any maintenance or repair and one (1) day if they are seeking to show the property to another potential tenant or a prospective buyer (RCW 59.18.150(6)).

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