Washington State Rent Increase Laws in 2024

Tenants in Washington state need to keep themselves updated on the laws regarding rent increases in order to effectively manage their finances and avoid being taken advantage of. The state government created new rules to protect tenants from unfair increases in rent and improve housing stability.

This article provides important information about Washington State’s rent increase laws. It is designed to help tenants and landlords understand and navigate the rental market.

How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Washington?

In Washington State, there is no set limit on how much a landlord can raise the rent. Landlords must give tenants at least 30 days’ notice before increasing the rent in month-to-month rental agreements. Some cities, like Seattle and Tacoma, may have additional rules and regulations that landlords must follow.

Rent Increase Notice in Washington State

Landlords are required to give tenants a written notice of any rent increase at least 60 days in advance. However, in Seattle, landlords must give a 60-day notice for rent increases of 10% or more.

Prohibited Rent Increases

Washington state allows landlords to raise rent, but there are rules in place to prevent unfair practices. Landlords are not allowed to raise the rent as a way to punish a tenant for using their legal rights, like making a complaint to a housing authority or joining a tenant organization.

Furthermore, it is strictly forbidden to discriminate based on race, gender, religion, or other protected categories, even when deciding on rent prices.

Also Read: Opinion: Detroit Police Struggle to Adjust to Legalized Marijuana

How Often Can a Washington State Landlord Increase Rent?

In Washington State, there are no specific rules regarding how often landlords can increase rent. Landlords are typically allowed to increase the rent for tenants who have a month-to-month lease, as long as they provide a 60-day notice. However, landlords should be fair when changing rental rates. When there are too many or frequent increases, it can lead to conflicts and potential legal problems.

Updates in 2024 to Washington State Rent Increase Laws

There have been important changes to the laws that govern landlords and tenants in Washington state. These changes impact multiple important aspects.

  • Now, landlords are required to provide tenants with written proof, such as receipts or invoices, for any part of the security deposit that they keep.
  • Within 30 days after a tenant moves out, the landlord must do one of two things: return the entire security deposit to the tenant, or provide a written statement explaining why they are keeping some or all of it.
  • Landlords cannot keep the security deposit money to repair or clean rental units, such as carpets, walls, or appliances, that have become worn or dirty, as long as the damage is from normal use of the premises.
  • Repair or cleaning costs that have not been reported, whether they are due to regular use or lack of proper documentation, cannot be sent to a collection agency, tenant screening service, or another landlord.
  • The process of eviction now provides tenants with new options. They have the option to participate in eviction hearings from a remote location and can ask for a virtual (electronic) hearing.

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