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Rental Agreement Regulation

What Is It?

The Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) regulates parts of the rental agreement between a landlord and a tenant. Please call Seattle DCI code compliance for more information.

Our ordinance:

  • Prohibits penalties in month-to-month rental agreements if the tenant stays for only one month
  • Regulates the amount of security deposits and move-in fees a renter is required to pay at the beginning of the rental agreement
  • Requires landlords to give a copy of Information for Tenants to each applicant and to each tenant every year
  • Requires written notice before increasing a renter’s housing costs: at least 60 days before an increase of 10 percent or more; 30 days before an increase of less than 10 percent

What It Isn't

Our ordinance does not prevent a landlord from increasing rent. Washington state law does not allow rent control.

Read the Code

Our Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) and Washington state law (RCW) outline the rules for month-to-month rentals.

Proposed Changes


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  • Call us at (206) 615-0808
  • Visit Code Compliance
    700 Fifth Ave., 19th floor
    Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m - 4:30 p.m