Rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants
An overview of the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants can be found in the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA). The text of the Act is in Chapter 59.18 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Washington LawHelp's resource, Your Rights as a Tenant in Washington State, explains residential tenants' and landlords' rights and responsibilities in Washington as described in the RLTA.
Additional material at Washington LawHelp covers many specific issues related to tenants' rights including, What to Do if You Need Repairs, Getting Your Security Deposit Back, Can My Landlord Do That?, and much more.
If tenants and landlords need help working toward a resolution of issues they may have with each other, mediation is available from Community Mediation Services. They provide mediation resources to facilitate dialogue and negotiation between tenants and landlords about any issues, including rent payment plans to help renters maintain housing.
There were significant changes to the law in 2021 and 2022. Many forms, procedures, and requirements have changed. These links highlighting some of the changes have been posted for your convenience.
- Washington LawHelp has written a brief summary of the state's new 2021 landlord/tenant legislation.
- Another summary of some of the changes is available in an article from Avail.
- Additional information about some of the changes to the law is available from the law library.
- Some information about changes in notice requirements is available from Washington LawHelp.
- The Attorney General's Office has created a new form for a 14-day notice as well as an unpaid rent repayment plan worksheet.
- The Attorney General’s Office has a Landlord-Tenant page that includes information about the law and some resources.
- Community Mediation Services (CMS) has a Landlord Portal for landlords who would like to use their Eviction Resolution Program. CMS collects notices and provides status updates on cases and certificate requests through the portal.
- The Clark County Superior Court has issued General Order 21-07A about the Eviction Resolution Pilot Program and updated that with General Order 22-02. The latest General Orders are available on the Superior Court site.
Due to the extensive changes to the law, the library does not have an eviction kit available for purchase. Written materials in the library are no longer current. The law library cannot offer materials to read or purchase until new materials are available.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 564.397.2268 if you wish to be notified if/when an updated eviction kit is for sale.
Tenants can get information and forms at Washington LawHelp. There is a page specifically for Eviction Help in Clark County that includes information about free attorneys for eligible tenants under the new Right to Counsel program. There is also a page for tenants in Clark County to learn how to respond to a 14-Day Pay or Vacate notice and Eviction Resolution Pilot Program (ERPP) notices. The Eviction Defense Helper tool can assist you in figuring out what to do next.
Washington LawHelp also has information and forms for specific situations. Some examples:
- I Need to Respond to an Eviction Lawsuit as Soon as Possible
- Eviction and Your Defense
- Going to Your Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) Hearing
- Vacating (Canceling) a Judgment and Staying (Stopping) Enforcement of a Writ after You Defaulted in your Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) Case (if you did not go to court and did not file an answer for a good reason, such as the landlord didn’t serve you with the summons and complaint).