Rent control laws are not something to ignore if you are a Washington State landlord or property owner who wants to raise rent without infringing on the right of your tenants.
While landlords are given a lot of freedom regarding the frequency of the rent hikes and the amount of rent they can increase, there are strict laws in place that protect the tenants from being suddenly saddled with rent increases without a proper notice period.
If you are a Washington State landlord, increase rent only after reading this article and understanding your obligations to your tenants!
The following are six of the most important rent control facts that you need to know before issuing any rent increase:
What Is a Rent Increase Notice?
A rent increase notice, just like an ordinary lease agreement, is a legally binding document that the landlord gives to the tenant informing them of their intention to raise rent and dictating the effective date of the rent increase.
In Washington State, there is no maximum amount of rent that is set and rent increases are made at the landlord's discretion and according to the local rental prices.
No rent control law determines how often rental prices can be hiked as long as this is not done during a lease term.
A Proper Notice Period Is Required
One thing all landlords have to be wary of before they increase rent is the requirement to issue a proper written notice to their tenants.
Landlords who fail to provide proper notice to tenants risk having their proposed rental increases refused or even being sued by their tenants for breaching the lease agreement.
How much notice a tenant is entitled to depend on the specifics of their lease agreement. The appropriate notice period for Washington citizens is a 60-day notice if the rent increase is more than 10%.
However, any tenants whose rent is subsidized are only entitled to a 30-day notice.
If you are about to increase rent for your rental properties, there are many avenues you can use to contact your tenants and let them know of the new rental prices and the effective date.
Most Washington State property managers and landlords alike use emails, fax, or mail to deliver their rent increase notices.
As a landlord, you also must make sure the rent increase notice has been successfully delivered and read by your tenants.
Tenants Cannot Refuse Lawful Rent Increases
When a Washington landlord chooses to increase rent, there is very little a tenant can do to stop the new rent amount from being implemented because there is no rent increase limit set for any rental unit in the state.
Therefore, tenants living in any of the cities in Washington that do not accept paying higher rent for their residence have no choice but to move out and find more affordable accommodation.
Failing this, Washington law gives the landlord the power to charge late fees on outstanding rent, claim breach of the lease agreement, and initiate eviction proceedings.
Washington State Rent Control Laws
The laws that control rent throughout the cities in Washington are very easy to understand for landlords that wish to raise the rent on their real estate investment properties.
Doorloop has all the documents, templates, forms, and rent increase warning information that you need. Download free Washington rent control laws from the website today.
Washington State's Rental Agreement Laws Allow Eviction
Increasing rent can be a source of a lot of friction between the landlord and the tenant. If this is not resolved quickly, the lease agreement may end up not being renewed and thereafter, eviction of the tenant will be the next step.
Any Washington landlord that chooses to take this drastic measure to raise the rent on their property needs to fully understand the laws that govern eviction proceedings in all Washington cities.
Another thing to consider is if there happens to be an eviction moratorium in place, as was the case during the recent Coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
During this period, whether both parties agree or not on the new rent prices, tenants cannot be evicted from the rental unit.
DoorLoop Is a One-stop Shop for All Forms
DoorLoop has all the rent increase notice forms, documents, and templates for Washington and other states. Landlords in Washington can simply go to the website and download what they need.
Alternatively, you can build and customize your rent increase templates as well as all other lease agreement forms you need right here.
What Reasons Are Not Acceptable for a Landlord To Raise Rent Prices?
Some reasons are deemed not acceptable for a Washington landlord to raise the rent for their tenants, such as:
- Gender or sexual orientation
- Familial status
What Notice Period Is Required for Increasing Rent Prices for a Month-to-Month Tenant?
The required written notice must be not less than 60 days if the proposed rent increase for a month-to-month tenant is more than 10% of the current rental price.
Tenants whose rent is being subsidized will only be given 30 days’ notice before the new rent is due.
Is a Written Lease Renewal Needed After Washington State Landlords Increase Rent?
Unless the landlords change the terms of the lease by altering the rental rate and getting the tenant to sign the contract, the terms and rent price of the previous lease will be legally binding.
This means yes, lease renewal is necessary when a landlord chooses to increase rentals for the coming lease term.