What A Landlord Cannot Do In Washington State?

As a landlord in Washington State, there are certain rules and regulations that you must adhere to. It is important to understand what you cannot do as a landlord to avoid legal issues and protect the rights of your tenants.

1. Discriminate

Landlords in Washington State cannot discriminate against potential tenants based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, or sexual orientation.

2. Retaliate Against Tenants

A landlord cannot retaliate against a tenant for exercising their legal rights, such as complaining about unsafe living conditions or requesting repairs.

3. Enter the Property Without Notice

Landlords must provide at least 48 hours’ notice before entering a tenant’s unit, except in cases of emergency. It is illegal for a landlord to enter without proper notice.

4. Increase Rent Without Proper Notice

Landlords must give tenants at least 30 days’ notice before increasing the rent. Rent cannot be increased in a retaliatory or discriminatory manner.

5. Evict Without Proper Procedures

Landlords must follow the legal eviction process, which includes serving the tenant with a written notice and obtaining a court order for eviction. Self-help evictions are illegal in Washington State.

6. Withhold Security Deposit Unfairly

Landlords must return a tenant’s security deposit within 21 days of the tenant moving out, along with an itemized list of any deductions. It is illegal to withhold the deposit without a valid reason.

7. Disclose Misleading Information

Landlords must provide accurate and truthful information to tenants, especially regarding the condition of the property, rental terms, and any potential hazards. Misleading information can lead to legal consequences.

8. Harass Tenants

It is illegal for landlords to harass their tenants, whether through threats, intimidation, or frequent unannounced visits. Tenants have the right to live in peace and quiet without interference from the landlord.

9. Neglect Repairs and Maintenance

Landlords have a legal obligation to maintain the property in a habitable condition. Failure to make necessary repairs or provide essential services can lead to legal action from the tenants.

10. Violate Lease Agreements

Landlords must abide by the terms of the lease agreement signed with the tenant. Violating the lease terms can result in legal disputes and potential eviction proceedings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Landlord Refuse To Rent To Someone In Washington State?

Yes, landlords in Washington State can refuse to rent to someone if they have a legitimate non-discriminatory reason, such as previous evictions or insufficient income.

Can A Landlord Increase The Rent Without Notice In Washington State?

No, landlords in Washington State are required to provide written notice at least 30 days before increasing the rent, unless otherwise stated in the rental agreement.

Can A Landlord Enter A Rental Property In Washington State Without Permission?

Generally, landlords in Washington State are required to provide notice and obtain consent before entering a rental property, unless it is an emergency or specified in the rental agreement.

Can A Landlord Evict A Tenant Without A Valid Reason In Washington State?

No, landlords in Washington State can only evict tenants for valid reasons, such as non-payment of rent or violation of the lease agreement. They must follow the legal eviction process and provide proper notice to the tenant.


Being a landlord in Washington State comes with responsibilities and obligations. By understanding what you cannot do as a landlord, you can protect the rights of your tenants and maintain a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

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