Deposit Returns

When a tenant moves out:

  • Within 30 days of the end of the rental agreement, you must return the deposit to the tenant or provide the tenant with a written statement explaining in detail why all or part of the deposit is being kept.
  • The rental unit should be in the same condition as it was when the tenant moved in minus reasonable wear and tear. Generally, wear and tear happens gradually over time from normal use whereas damage happens by accident or negligence.
  • Remember that the checklist from the tenant's move-in is used to determine what is wear and tear and what is new damage. If you don't have a checklist signed by you and the tenant from move-in, you must return the full deposit.
  • If you don't have a forwarding address for your tenant, you must use the last known address even if that happens to be your rental.

See the state laws on deposit returns.

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.