Washington Landlord-Tenant Laws
Washington Tenant Screening
If you happen to be looking for information on tenant screening in Washington, be sure to check out our Washington Tenant Screening Guide. It is filled with free resources to help you find the best tenant for your rental.
Regarding Security Deposit
Washington state law places no restrictions on the amount that landlords may collect from a tenant for a security deposit.
Washington law requires landlords to hold a tenant’s security deposit in a federally insured facility located in the state.
The state laws of Washington require landlords to return a security deposit to a tenant within 21 days of the end of tenancy.
Washington laws concerning security deposits can be found in Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 59.04.010.
Regarding Application Fees
Washington law does not allow landlords to collect an application fee for tenant screening services that is more than the actual cost of those services. Tenants must receive a receipt for the background check from the landlord to confirm fees.
Regarding Tenant Bad Checks
Civil Penalties: The landlord can charge the lesser of the following, the original amount of the check or interest at 12%, plus cost of collections (not exceeding $40). If court action is required after 15 days, then the landlord can charge either $100 or three times the amount of the original check plus reasonable attorney fees, whichever is less.
Criminal Penalties: For a misdemeanor, the tenant will be required to make full restitution plus a minimum fine of $500. If it is considered a felony, then the tenant could get a fine of up to $1,000, 1 year in jail, or both.
Allowable Fees: $40
Regarding Notice of Termination for Nonpayment
In Washington, a landlord must give a tenant at least 3 days in which to pay rent or vacate. After that, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings according to Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 59.12.030(3).