Washington Security Deposit
Washington Security Deposits

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WASHINGTON SECURITY DEPOSITS

A nonrefundable fee cannot be called a "deposit." A refundable damage or security deposit must be distinguished from nonrefundable cleaning fees.

If a deposit or nonrefundable fee is charged, the lease or rental agreement must be in writing, and must include the terms and conditions under which any deposit will be returned. A deposit cannot be withheld for normal wear and tear
A written checklist or statement specifically describing the condition and cleanliness of or existing damages to the premises and furnishings, including, but not limited to, walls, floors, countertops, carpets, drapes, furniture, and appliances, is provided by the landlord to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy. The checklist or statement shall be signed and dated by the landlord and the tenant, and the tenant shall be provided with a copy of the signed checklist or statement.
No such deposit shall be withheld on account of normal wear and tear resulting from ordinary use of the premises.

The landlord is required to keep deposits in a trust account, and must also provide the tenant with a receipt and the name and address of the depository. 

LIMITS:

State laws place no limit on the amount landlords can charge for security deposits. When you give the landlord a deposit, be sure to get AND keep the receipt EVEN if you give the landlord a check or money order. The amount you give should also be on the lease. Verify the correct is on the lease.

INTEREST ON SECURITY DEPOSIT
Any interest earned on a Washington Security Deposit belong to the landlord. 

However, some cities may have enacted their own laws with respect to this.

RETURN OF THE SECURITY DEPOSIT

The landlord has 14 days after a tenant moves out to return a deposit, or give a written explanation of why it (or any part of it) was not refunded. 
GIVE YOUR OLD LANDLORD YOUR NEW MAILING ADDRESS OR YOU MAY LOSE SOME RIGHTS.

FAILURE TO RETURN THE SECURITY DEPOSIT
Notify the landlord, in writing, of their failure to return the deposit.

The notice shall be delivered to the tenant personally or by mail to his last known address. If the landlord fails to give such statement together with any refund due the tenant within the time limits specified above he shall be liable to the tenant for the full amount of the deposit. The landlord is also barred in any action brought by the tenant to recover the deposit from asserting any claim or raising any defense for retaining any of the deposit unless the landlord shows that circumstances beyond the landlord's control prevented the landlord from providing the statement within the fourteen days

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