A lease is a legally binding contract. Everybody knows that, RIGHT?  But do you know what that means?

  • Even though the landlord owns the property, it is the tenant’s home.  Once a tenant moves in, even if the owner raised their children in the house, it is now an investment property and, as such, the owner doesn’t get to do whatever they want, even though they may think they can.
  • In Washington State tenancy cannot be ended, even at the end of the lease or month-to-month term without cause (a reason) and proper notice.
  • The owner cannot terminate a lease mid-term because the landlord’s job overseas didn’t work out and they want to move back in, or because the owner wants to sell, not even if the owner has terminal cancer and wants to settle their affairs.
  • The landlord cannot increase rent via text or tell the tenant to vacate via email. 
  • The owner can’t change the locks, remove windows or doors or stop utility services because the tenant hasn’t paid rent without a court order.
  • Unannounced “visits” are not allowed; except in the case of a bona fide emergency, the tenant has the right of prior notice and has the reasonable right to say no to a proposed date and time.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

About Coldwell Banker Bain Property Management

As residential property managers for Coldwell Banker Bain Property Management Division, we manage single family residences, individual condominium units and small apartment complexes in the greater Puget Sound region. We serve Seattle, Tacoma, Anacortes, Marysville, Bainbridge Island, Lynnwood, Everett, Redmond, Bellevue and many other cities in Washington State. We also offer full service commercial property management services.
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