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Rental Agreement Regulation

What Is It?

Our ordinance prohibits certain criteria from being used in month-to-month rental agreements. Prohibited criteria include:

  • A requirement that a month-to-month tenant stay more than one month
  • A fine for moving out before the end of a minimum time period that is more than one month
  • The loss of a deposit because a tenant moves out before the end of a minimum time period that is more than twelve months

We generally refer to rental agreements with these provisions as “one-way” rental agreements.

Under our ordinance a landlord must:

  • Give written notice at least 60 days before increasing housing costs, such as rent, parking, and storage, and in some cases utilities, that totals 10 percent or more over one year.
  • Give each tenant and prospective renter a summary of the state and City landlord tenant laws. Tenants must receive this summary each time their rental agreement is renewed.

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

Proposed Changes


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