Prepare a printable, free Washington rental application form to verify potential tenants. Tailor your application to Washington’s statutes now with all the critical details required by law.
Last Update August 15th, 2021
What Is a Washington Residential Rental Application
A Washington rental application is a legal document used by landlords and property managers to assess and choose an appropriate tenant for a rental property. They are sometimes known by other common names such as:
Rental lease applications
Application for a rental property
Having a rental application can prove highly important to make sure you get the right tenant into your property. The process of screening prospective residents in this way allows you to discover any issues such as their inability to pay rent or the likelihood to cause a nuisance before signing a contract.
Washington Rental Applications by Type
There are two main types of rental applications in Washington. You must select the most relevant one depending on the type of property being rented, local laws, and the type of leasing agreement that will be used.
Standard/General Washington Rental Application
The most common type of vetting document used by WA landlords is the Washington Standard Rental Application. This form can be customized according to the specific necessities of the property owner or manager.
Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) Rental Application
Landlords of low-income tenants or those offering Section 8 Housing should use a HUD rental application. It is specifically designed to only include information that is allowed under subsidized housing rules.
What to Include in a Washington Rental Application Form
When you fill in a simple rental application form for Washington you’ll need to ask for some crucial data from the tenant to make the vetting process as effective as possible.
When you create your own application for a rental property you should request the following information:
Permission for background checks
Furthermore, landlords must make a number of important disclosures on a standard rental application form. This information might include:
The property’s condition
Potential hazards to the tenant
Shared utility arrangements
Rent control rules
The security deposit
Washington Rental Application Laws
Washington state has various laws regarding the use of rental applications. If your document is not compliant with WA law, you may get sued by the applicant and face other legal consequences.
An application fee can be charged by Washington landlords as long as it is only used to cover the costs of any checks or tenant screening. You will need to provide a screening cost receipt to the tenant to show that the money given has only been used for this purpose.
Washington doesn’t set any limits on how much you can charge as a security deposit. However, it is recommended not to charge more than 1-2 months rent for this amount.
Housing Discrimination Law
In Washington, there is no specific state law relating to housing discrimination. However, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) is in place. The FHA states that it is illegal to discriminate based on the following characteristics:
As a consequence, you are not allowed to ask for any of these details on a Washington Rental Application form nor to include them in the decision-making process.
Notice of Eligibility
Potential tenants must be informed about the screening criteria and reasons for denial or approval. To prove that these facts were shared, a signature of acknowledgment must be provided within the application or alongside it.
Consent Credit Check
Within Washington, federal law is in effect that requires potential renters to provide written consent for a credit history check during the application process. This is known as the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
FAQs About Washington Rental Application Form
Understanding what your Washington rental application can and cannot do is vital before you create your own from scratch. Find out more about how these screening documents work and what you need to know when writing them.
How to Fill Out a Washington Rental Application
Creating a Washington rental application can be easily done with the help of our contract maker and template tools. When you fill out a rental application form you will usually request the following information from the tenant:
Permission for background checks
You must also include important legal disclosures on the property and the lease agreement being proposed. This will outline details on the condition of the property, any hazards, and information on details such as security deposit and fees. Our template designer will help you add the data that must be added.
What Cannot Be Asked on Rental Applications in Washington?
You cannot ask tenants a number of questions when you are vetting them with a Washington rental application document. You must not request any of the following information from the applicant during this process:
Race or ethnicity
Immigration or citizenship status
Marital or familial status
Whether they have children or not
How Much Can A Landlord Charge For An Application Fee?
In Washington state, a landlord may only charge a fee that covers the cost of any tenant screening checks. When a fee is paid to process a rental application the landlord must provide the tenant with a screening cost receipt as evidence of these costs.