Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More
Seattle.gov Home Page
I want to search within the following: Seattle.gov This Department
Link to Seattle Department of Planning and Development home page

Rental Agreement Regulation

What Is It?

Our ordinance prohibits certain requirements from being used in month-to-month rental agreements. Your rental agreement may not require:

  • That you stay more than one month, if you are a month-to-month tenant 
  • That you pay a fine for moving out before the end of a minimum time period, if your agreement is for longer than one month
  • That you lose your deposit because you move out before the end of a minimum time period, if your agreement is for longer than one month

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

None

What Do You Want To Do?


Still Need Help?


 Ask Us

  • Call us at (206) 615-0808
  • Visit Code Compliance
    700 Fifth Ave., 19th floor
    M,Tu,Th, F: 8:00 a.m - 4:30 p.m
    W: 10:00 - 4:30 p.m.