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Last Update January 16th, 2023
- What is a Washington Residential Lease Agreement
- Types of Washington Lease Agreements
- Disclosures for Washington Lease Agreements
- Washington Lease Agreement Laws
- Washington Residential Lease Agreement Sample
- FAQs About Washington Lease Agreement
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What is a Washington Residential Lease Agreement
A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and a tenant. This is written to conform to state laws where the property is located. In Washington these allow both parties to comply with a series of set terms for a specified number of months or years.
A lease agreement should contain the following details:
How long the tenant may legally reside in the property
How much rent should be paid
Information about the security deposits necessary
When rental installments are due
Any additional costs that must be serviced by the tenant
The rules regarding the proper use of the property
Situations that constitute a lease violation eviction procedures
Types of Washington Lease Agreements
There are many types of WA lease agreement forms that can be used to manage and legally bind many different types of rental situations. They allow landlords to rent out various types of property they might have and for tenants to find the best kind of tenancy for their needs.
The most common types of lease agreements in Washington include:
Standard residential lease agreements: Under a standard lease agreement both the landlord and tenant commit to a fixed set of terms that last for a series of months or years.
Rent-to-own lease agreements: Lease agreements with rent-to-own options are designed for tenants that wish to buy the property they are renting. This requires them to pay a sum of money each month, in addition to rent, to cover the costs of the principal.
Month-to-month rental agreements: Month-to-month lease agreements will often have similar basic terms to standard residential lease contracts. However, they differ as they can be renewed or ended on a month-by-month basis. Their terms may also be flexibly altered each month.
Commercial lease agreements: Commercial leases are provided by landlords of retail property to tenants that intend to use the real estate to run a business.
Room rental agreements: In rental properties with shared living areas a room rental agreement can be used to rent a singular bedroom.
Lease to Own Agreement: This type of agreement features an option for the tenant to eventually purchase the property. It also includes the necessary terms and conditions for this transaction to eventually occur.
Sublease Agreement: a Washington sublease agreement allows tenants to reassign or ‘sublease’ the property to another individual. This requires the property landlord’s permission and must be specifically allowed in the original lease.
Disclosures for Washington Lease Agreements
Washington lease agreements must contain a few disclosures and addendums when they are completed and signed. This is to properly inform the tenant of any health risks or potential issues with the property or details about how the property is managed that they must be aware of.
These essential addendums include the following:
Lead paint disclosure: If the rental unit is in a building constructed before 1978, the landlord or their agent must disclose whether lead paint can be found on the property and must provide safety information for any located on the premises.
Security deposit holding disclosure: A section must be added advising the tenant on how the security deposit will be collected and stored, as well as informing the resident of key rules that apply in Washington regarding the deposit (RCW § 59.18.280).
Mold disclosure: Essential for properties where health risks may occur due to mold (RCW § 59.18.060 (13)).
Agent/owner identification: The lease agreement must include a section or an addendum that discloses the contact information of the landlord or a chosen agent who will act on their behalf (RCW § 19.02.115).
Conditions to cancel agreements: All rental agreements and lease agreements must contain a specific statement that informs tenants of their statutory rights to cancel the lease if they are a victim of family violence or are deployed for military service.
Washington Lease Agreement Laws
A WA lease agreement must be written and signed within the laws of Washington state, otherwise, it will be legally contestable and can be declared invalid and block either party from recourse if a violation is committed. These will police how you start and end the contract and control what procedures you can reasonably ask a tenant to follow.
The most important laws to consider when you are renting a property in Washington include:
Security deposits: Washington landlords may charge no more than one months’ rent if the property is a non-rent control unit. This must be returned to the tenant within 21 days of vacating the property and returning the keys. Landlords must also give advance notice of any deductions.
Landlord’s right to enter: Landlords can enter the rental property by giving 48 hours’ advance notice (a written notice is recommended). The same amount of notice is also required before the landlord may enter to give the final inspection before the tenant moves out.
Move-in checklist: Tenants must be provided with a rental inspection checklist when moving into the property.
Washington Residential Lease Agreement Sample
Before beginning the process of creating a residential lease agreement in Washington it is sensible to review an example document first. Use our WA lease agreement sample below to find out more about the structure and contents of a fully-fledged rental contract.
FAQs About Washington Lease Agreement
It is important to carefully prepare a Washington lease agreement to suit the needs of the landlord and tenant exactly. To help demystify the process a little simply review our FAQs below to learn more about the specificities of rental contracts in WA.
How to Get a Lease Agreement in Washington?
It is possible to create a WA lease agreement completely online. Using our residential lease agreement maker you can tailor your document for your specific needs and take advantage of professional templates and expert tips.
Lease Agreement or Rental Agreement?
There is a key difference between a Washington lease agreement and a Washington rental agreement, which is the length of duration that they each cover.
Lease agreements are normally longer-term arrangements that can last several months or even years, in which their terms remain fixed. Rental agreements on the other hand are shorter-term in nature but are more flexible and may be changed on a weekly or monthly basis.
How to Write a WA Lease Termination Letter?
If either the landlord or tenant for any reason needs to terminate a Washington lease agreement early, they must provide the correct amount of notice in a written WA lease termination letter.
This letter needs to contain the following information:
The name of the landlord and the tenant
The date the letter has been written and signed
The name and address of the property in question
Information explaining why the tenancy needs to be terminated early
The reason the lease is being broken
The date that the resident will vacate the property
Acknowledgment of any penalties that will be incurred
Signature of the signing party