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This information is provided by the Attorney General's Office to give general
information about the state's Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW
Since this is a lengthy and complicated law that continues to be interpreted
by the courts, we recommend contacting an attorney when dealing with your specific
Who is not covered by the law?
Most tenants who rent a place to live come under the state's
. However, certain renters are specifically excluded
from the law.
Those who are generally not covered by the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act
- Renters of a space in a mobile home park. They are usually covered by the
state's Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW
59.20 ). However, renters of both a space and a mobile home are usually
covered by the residential law.
- Residents of hotels, motels, or other transient lodgings.
- Residents of a public or private medical, religious, educational, recreational
or correctional institutions and licensed nursing homes, monasteries, convents
- Tenants with an earnest money agreement to purchase the dwelling.
- Residents of a single-family dwelling rented as part of a lease for agricultural
- Residents of housing provided for seasonal farm work.
- Tenants employed by the landlord who live in the rental unit as a job condition
(such as an apartment house manager).
- Tenants leasing a single family dwelling for one year or more, when their
attorney has approved the exemption.
- Tenants using the property for commercial rather than residential purposes.
- Tenants with rental agreements with the state of Washington.
RIGHTS OF ALL TENANTS:
Renters not covered by the Landlord-Tenant Act do have these basic rights
under other state laws, including:
- Right to a livable dwelling.
- Protection from unlawful discrimination.
- Right to hold the landlord liable for damage caused by the landlord's negligence.
- Protection against lockouts and seizure of personal property by the landlord.