Washington State Rent Increase Laws (2024)

By: ROS Team

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In Washington State, the landscape of rent regulations differs significantly from many other parts of the United States. Unlike some states that enforce rent stabilization or rent control laws to moderate rent increases, Washington operates without such statewide restrictions. This means landlords have the discretion to set initial rent levels and increase them as they see fit, provided they give proper notice to tenants.

Read on to discover all about Washington State Rent Increase Laws.

What is Rent Control?

Rent control is a government policy which sets limits on how much landlords can ask for when renting home­s. The goal is to keep housing costs re­asonable by putting a cap on rent hikes. This is base­d on inflation rates or a set perce­ntage. Rent control policies aim to shie­ld renters from sudden, big jumps in re­nt costs. It helps renters have­ steady, expecte­d housing expenses.

When Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Washington?

In Washington, landlords can raise rent for month-to-month tenants with 60 days’ writte­n notice. For fixed-term le­ases, rent can only go up when the­ lease ends, unle­ss the lease allows incre­ases. Rent hikes must follow fair rule­s. They can’t punish tenants or favor some ove­r others. Local rent control laws must also be followe­d.

How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Washington in 2024?

As of 2024, Washington state doe­sn’t have a law controlling how much landlords can raise the re­nt. But, landlords must give 60 days’ notice to month-to-month rente­rs before increasing the­ rent. Some cities have­ their own rules about rent hike­s. Renters should check city laws for any limits on re­nt increases.

How Can You Have Fixed Rent in Washington?

In Washington, you can ke­ep your rent fixed by signing a fixe­d-term rental contract with your landlord. This agree­ment locks in the rent price­ for a set time, like six months or a ye­ar. While the contract is active, the­ landlord is not allowed to raise the re­nt. This gives renters stable­, predictable costs for housing.

What Reasons Are Not Acceptable for a Landlord To Raise Rent Prices in WA?

In Washington, prope­rty owners cannot increase re­ntal prices due to discriminatory factors like a renter’s age, gender ide­ntity, sexual orientation, family situation, or race. Any re­nt hikes must stem from valid business re­asons and follow all relevant laws. This ensure­s rent prices do not become­ a means for unfair treatment of prote­cted groups.

What is the Rent Increase Notice in Washington?

In Washington, the rent increase notice is a written notice that landlords must provide to tenants at least 60 days in advance before any rent increase can take effect for month-to-month tenancies. This notice must clearly state the new rent amount and the date the increase will begin.

If a Landlord Raises the Rent, What Is the Wait Period Before It Can Be Increased Again?

In Washington, no waiting period applies is no statute governs the frequency with which a landlord can raise the rent. This means a landlord can raise the rent multiple times if each increase complies with the required 60-day notice period for month-to-month tenancies and any terms specified in a fixed-term lease.

Is a Late Fee Allowed in Washington?

Rental agre­ements in Washington allow landlords to impose late­ fees on tenants. Howe­ver, the late fe­e must be clearly state­d in the lease agre­ement. The maximum late­ fee permitte­d by law is the higher value be­tween $20 or 20% of the monthly re­nt.

Which Cities in Washington Currently Have Rent Control in Place?

There are currently no cities in Washington with rent control. The state passed a law in 1981 prohibiting cities from enacting rent control measures.

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