Washington Room Rental Agreement

For tenants in the capital, understanding the features of a Washington room rental agreement is important. This legal document delineated the roles and responsibilities of each party during the tenancy. Furthermore, when disputes arise, it provides guidance in case of conflict.

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Washington Room Rental Agreement

AWashington room rental agreement must be anchored in law as a binding agreement. Its clauses and provisions follow existing legislation and ordinances. Before signing one, it’s vital to read through the provisions to ensure they adhere to rental rules. 

Access to the Room

  • 48-hour written notice: Except in emergencies, a Washington landlord must provide 48-hour written notice before entering a tenant’s rented room. The notice must specify exact dates/times or time ranges for entry. 
  • 24-hour notice: If the landlord needs to enter to show the room to prospective new tenants or purchasers, they must provide only 24 hours written notice.
  • Tenant availability: Tenants must make the room available within reasonable times after receiving proper notice. Reasonable times are usually defined as business hours.
  • Entry refusal: Tenants can refuse entry if the landlord hasn’t provided proper written notice. However, tenants are still responsible for making the room available at a later time.
  • Purpose of entry: Valid reasons for landlord entry under state law include repairs, maintenance, improvements, and inspections. Entries cannot be used to harass the tenant.
  • Frequency of entry: There are no specific legal limitations on frequency, provided it’s not done to harass tenants. Multiple intrusive inspections could potentially qualify as tenant harassment.  

Guest & Pets Policy

  • Guests policy:  Tenants have a right to host guests in rented rooms for reasonable periods. Landlords can set guest policies to protect property. Most standard leases limit guests to stays under 14 consecutive days.
  • Service animals: Landlords can’t restrict tenants having legitimately needed disability assistance animals. They’re not considered pets under Seattle laws.
  • Permitted pet types and number: Landlords may prohibit certain dog breeds and limit the number of pets in rented rooms.
  • Pet deposits and damage fees: Seattle landlords can charge deposits equal to 25% of one (1) month’s rent maximum and monthly pet rents, but no non-refundable pet fees.
  • Multiple pet deposits: Only one deposit total is allowed per dwelling, regardless of the number of pets.
  • Pet damage payment plans: Pet deposits may be paid over three (3) equal monthly installments if tenants cannot pay them upfront.

Security Deposit Regulations

  • Amount of deposit: Generally, landlords can’t charge security deposit amounts exceeding one (1) month’s rent. 
  • Mandatory checklist: Before collecting security deposits, landlords must provide tenants with a signed checklist detailing the rental unit’s current cleanliness, condition, and existing damages. Tenants can request one (1) free updated checklist after moving in.
  • Ordinary wear and tear: Landlords can’t deduct deposits to repair/clean damages from normal usage over time. This includes worn carpets, appliances, walls, and paint.
  • Return timeline: Washington now requires landlords to refund security deposit balances or provide itemized withholding statements to tenants within 30 days after tenancies end.  
  • Documentation of repairs: Landlord withholding statements must now include receipts/invoices documenting all claimed repair/replacement costs and cleaning fees.
  • Undocumented claims: Any deposit deductions lacking proper documentation cannot be reported to screening services or collection agencies.