Move In Fees and Deposits / Installment Payments

Non-refundable fees can only be charged for cleaning and screening and cannot exceed 10% of one month's rent. If the actual screening cost equals more than 10% you can charge the actual overage as long as the charge is consistent with the standard cost of screening in Seattle. You cannot charge for cleaning at the end of your rental agreement if you opt to charge for cleaning at the start.

Security deposit and fees combined cannot exceed one month's rent.

Example: Rent = $1,000. Fees = $100. Security Deposit = $900

Pet deposit of 25% of one month's rent can be charged in addition to the security deposit and fees. 

Example: Rent = $1,000. Fees = $100 + Security Deposit $900 + $250 (pet deposit).   

Installment Payments

Tenants have a right to opt to pay their move-in costs and their last month's rent in advance in installment payments.  The table below shows the options depending on the length of the rental agreement. Alternatively, you and your tenant can reach an alternative schedule by mutual agreement. You can't cahrge a tenant interest of refuse to rent to a tenant who opts to pay in installments. If a tenant fails to pay installments when due, you can issue a 14 day notice to pay or vacate, as late installments can be treated like late rent.

Length of Tenancy Security Deposit & Fees Pet Deposits Last Month's Rent in Advance
6 months + Six equal monthly Three equal Six equal monthly
30 days - 6 months Four equal monthly Three equal  
60 days - 6 months Four equal monthly    
Month to Month Two equal monthly Three equal  

Renting in Seattle

Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98124
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-5700
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The Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) includes permitting, construction inspections, code compliance and tenant protections, and rental housing registration and inspections.