Washington Apartment Lease Agreement

In Washington state, leases over 12 months old must be in writing. A written Washington apartment lease apartment is highly recommended for clarity and legal protection for landlords and tenants. It serves as a crucial document outlining the terms and conditions of the tenancy, including rental duration.

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Washington Apartment Lease Agreement

A Washington apartment lease agreement follows the legal framework set forth by state landlord-tenant laws and regulations. Additionally, Washington’s Residential Landlord-Tenant Act provides specific protections and guidelines for landlords and tenants. It ensures fair and equitable treatment.

Security Deposit

  • Purpose and amount: Security deposits provide financial protection to landlords in case tenants cause damage or owe rent. Deposits can be at most one (1) month’s rent for unfurnished units or two (2) months’ rent if furnished. However, Washington state doesn’t mandate a limit on the security deposit. 
  • Move-in checklist: Landlords must provide a comprehensive checklist documenting the unit’s condition and cleanliness before the security deposit can be collected. Both parties must sign it.
  • Permissible deductions: Deposits can only be used to repair negligent, careless, or intentional damage beyond normal wear and tear. Ordinary deterioration like worn carpets or scuffed walls is not deductible.
  • Security deposit refund: Deposits must be returned in full or with an itemized deduction statement within 30 days of tenancy termination. 
  • Documentation of repairs: Landlords must provide invoices, receipts, or hourly rates proving all deduction amounts. Lack of documentation requires a full refund. Furthermore, improper deductions without documentation entitle tenants to full deposit refunds, and landlords may face additional penalties.

Entry and Access

  • Reason for entry: Landlords may enter to repair, inspect, show the unit, or address emergencies. Tenants cannot unreasonably deny access.
  • Entry notice:  At least two (2) days’ written notice is required stating the entry date, time, and purpose. Landlords must provide contact information to reschedule if needed.
  • Tenant Rights: Reasonable denial of entry is allowed. Tenants should communicate scheduling preferences. Excessive showings can be limited.
  • Penalties: Harassment, lack of notice, or unreasonable entry may entitle tenants to up to $100 per violation. Tenants should document incidents.

Pets Policy

  • Pet restrictions: Landlords can prohibit pets or limit type, size, and number. Review policies carefully before signing.
  • Service animals: Tenants with disabilities can request waiving pet bans for needed service or assistance animals. Supporting documentation may be required. Denying housing or reasonable accommodations to disabled tenants with service animals is prohibited.
  • Pet deposits: While landlords can charge all tenants pet deposits, they cannot charge deposits for legitimate service animals. 
  • Damages: Tenants are responsible for any damages caused by their animals.


Proper disclosures in a Washington apartment lease agreement protect tenant rights and safety. Washington landlords must provide all mandatory notices before signing.

  • Contact information: The name and address of the landlord must be provided for proper legal notice.
  • Fire safety: Details on fire protection, evacuation, drills, and equipment in multi-unit buildings must be disclosed.
  • Mold: Information on health hazards, prevention, and property owner responsibilities are essential.
  • Move-in checklist: Documents property condition at possession if security deposit is charged.
  • Security deposit holdings: Landlords are expected to reveal where the security deposit is held and the landlord’s contact information. 
  • Non-refundable fees: Any non-refundable fees must be disclosed before the tenants sign the lease. Must be disclosed upfront if charged.  

Lead paint: The tenants must be informed about hazards and risks disclosed for pre-1978 housing