Sep 24 2016

Know Your Rights – Tenants Union of Washington State

(Last Updated On: 29/09/2019)

#rental lease agreement

Rental Agreements

Restricted Language in Rental Agreements permalink

Rental Agreement Resources permalink

Rental Agreement Questions permalink

It is crucial that you read a lease very carefully before you sign it. It is a legally binding contract, and you can be held to any and all of the conditions of tenancy once you sign the document, as long as they do not conflict with any state or local laws.

Breaking A Lease permalink

The Landlord-Tenant Act allows only four reasons for breaking a lease during the term. They are:

Rule Changes Rent Increases permalink

A landlord cannot change any aspect of a lease during the fixed-term period except by mutual agreement. Therefore, rent is fixed during the lease term. In month-to-month tenancies, however, landlords can change the rules of tenancy more easily. In fact, the landlord is only required to give tenants 30 days written notice to change a term of the tenancy, including a rent increase ( RCW 59.18.140 ). An exception to this general rule concerns a rent increase in the City of Seattle where a tenant is entitled to 60 days prior written notice for an increase 10% or more in a 12-month period ( SMC 7.24.030 ).

Types of Rental Agreements permalink

1) Month-to-month rental agreements do not contain specific time limits. The tenancy continues until one party or the other issues a notice to vacate or terminate tenancy of 20 days written notice given before the rent is due. (Seattle tenants have Just Cause Eviction Protection that requires landlords to give more notice in some cases and restricts terminations of tenancy to 18 “Just Cause” reasons.) Month-to-month tenancies can be verbal or written. Verbal rental agreements are legal in Washington State and are considered to be month-to-month tenancies. If your landlord takes any kind of deposit or nonrefundable fee from you, the rental agreement must be in writing and state the terms and conditions under which your money is refundable.

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