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WA state landlord tenant act, RCW 59.18.060, landlord's duties

Seattle, WA |

I had a question regarding RCW 59.18.060 of the Washington State Landlord duties law. Section 11 states that a landlord must at the time of move in must provide the tenant with a written notice or checklist of 1-7.

If a landlord does not provide these items at move in, nor months afterward, will this invalidate a lease?

If a landlord does not comply with Section 12 either, would that invalidate a lease?
Thank you

Attorney Answers 2


See below for some of your remedies. Courts are very reluctant to forfeit a lease unless the defaulting party materially defaults. Failure to perform the duties above is not a material default in my opinion. Based upon your post, I get the feeling that you are looking for an out under your lease. I highly doubt that a court would allow you to use these defaults as your out.

RCW 59.18.070
Landlord – Failure to perform duties – Notice from tenant – Contents – Time limits for landlord's remedial action.

If at any time during the tenancy the landlord fails to carry out the duties required by RCW 59.18.060 or by the rental agreement, the tenant may, in addition to pursuit of remedies otherwise provided him by law, deliver written notice to the person designated in *RCW 59.18.060(11), or to the person who collects the rent, which notice shall specify the premises involved, the name of the owner, if known, and the nature of the defective condition. The landlord shall commence remedial action after receipt of such notice by the tenant as soon as possible but not later than the following time periods, except where circumstances are beyond the landlord's control:

(1) Not more than twenty-four hours, where the defective condition deprives the tenant of hot or cold water, heat, or electricity, or is imminently hazardous to life;

(2) Not more than seventy-two hours, where the defective condition deprives the tenant of the use of a refrigerator, range and oven, or a major plumbing fixture supplied by the landlord; and

(3) Not more than ten days in all other cases.

In each instance the burden shall be on the landlord to see that remedial work under this section is completed promptly. If completion is delayed due to circumstances beyond the landlord's control, including the unavailability of financing, the landlord shall remedy the defective condition as soon as possible.

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Go read RCW 59 18 260, 270 and 280. Those are the statutes on deposits.

Your landlord is precluded from taking a deposit from you if they don't create a walk through checklist at the beginning of the tenancy. It doesn't destroy the lease, although it could make it very difficult to prove that you did damage to the place.

If you gave him a deposit, but there is no walk through checklist, you might want to bring this to your landlord's attention. You can certainly write your own walk through checklist. I would also strongly advise taking photos.

You can ask him to return your deposit if he will not cooperate with your efforts to fix this situation.

Hope this helps. Elizabeth Powell

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