Tenancy Agreement in Washington State: All You Need to Know
If you’re planning to rent a property in Washington State, one of the most important things you need to do is sign a tenancy agreement. This is a legally binding contract that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant. It also protects both parties in case of any disputes that may arise during the tenancy.
Here’s everything you need to know about tenancy agreements in Washington State.
1. Types of tenancy agreements
In Washington State, there are two types of tenancy agreements: fixed-term and month-to-month. A fixed-term tenancy is for a specific period of time, usually six months or a year. A month-to-month tenancy, on the other hand, allows the tenant to stay in the property for as long as they pay rent and the landlord agrees.
2. What should be included in the agreement
A tenancy agreement in Washington State should include the names of the landlord and tenant, the address of the property, the rent amount and due date, and the lease term. It should also outline the tenant’s responsibilities, such as keeping the property clean and not causing damage.
3. Security deposits
Washington State law allows landlords to charge a security deposit of up to one month’s rent. The deposit should be returned to the tenant within 14 days of the end of the tenancy, as long as there is no damage to the property.
4. Rent increases
If the landlord wants to increase the rent during a fixed-term tenancy, they must wait until the lease term is up. For a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord must give the tenant at least 30 days’ notice before increasing the rent.
5. Termination of tenancy
If the tenant wants to end the tenancy, they should give the landlord at least 20 days’ notice. If the landlord wants to terminate the tenancy, they should give the tenant at least 20 days’ notice for a month-to-month tenancy, or wait until the end of the lease term for a fixed-term tenancy.
6. Repairs and maintenance
The landlord is responsible for keeping the property in a safe and habitable condition. They should make repairs promptly and maintain the property, including keeping the common areas clean and safe.
If the landlord allows pets in the property, this should be specified in the tenancy agreement. The agreement should also outline any restrictions or requirements for pet owners.
8. Illegal activities
The tenant should not engage in any illegal activities on the property, such as drug use or distribution. The agreement should specify that any illegal activities will result in immediate termination of the tenancy.
The tenant should be encouraged to obtain renter’s insurance to protect their personal belongings. The landlord should also have insurance to protect the property.
10. Dispute resolution
The tenancy agreement should outline the process for resolving disputes between the landlord and tenant. This may include mediation or arbitration before going to court.
In summary, a tenancy agreement in Washington State is a vital document that protects the rights of both the landlord and tenant. It should be reviewed carefully before signing and should outline all the important details of the lease. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth and successful tenancy.