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).