Types of Rental Agreements

Verbal rental agreements are allowed in Washington state but are ill-advised. Without a written agreement, you cannot collect a security/damage deposit, charge late fees or enforce any specific rules that are not provided under the broad scope of the state landlord tenant act and city codes.  It is essential to have a written rental agreement signed and dated by you and your tenant acknowledging the agreed upon terms and conditions.  A rental agreement is a legally binding contract and a comprehensive rental agreement is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your property. Without a written agreement, your tenant is considered a month-to-month tenant by verbal agreement. There are three main types of rental agreements:

Terminating Lease Agreement

This type of agreement is set for a specific period and offers the tenant no automatic right to renew at the end. Specifically, it gives you as the landlord the authority to decide if you would like to offer the tenant an option to renew the lease. The terms and conditions as well as the rent amount cannot change unless by mutual agreement for the duration of the agreement.

Month to Month Agreement

This type of agreement is just like it states, a month to month rental agreement that renews monthly until the landlord or tenant terminates it. In Seattle a landlord has to have a just cause reason to terminate a month to month tenancy. The tenant can terminate the tenancy with a minimum of 20 days written advance, notice. The notice must coincide with the end of a rental period. You as a Landlord, have the ability, to change the terms and rent amount with proper notice during a month by month agreement.

Lease that converts to a month to month 

This type of agreement is set for a specific period but automatically reverts to a month by month agreement at the of the specified time period. 

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
Contact Us

The Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) includes permitting, construction inspections, code compliance and tenant protections, and rental housing registration and inspections.