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How do I know if my lease has been notarized?

Seattle, WA |

We have signed a lease for 2 years, but understand it is not enforceable after 12mths if it has not been notarized. Our lease was witnessed by the agent when we signed it- does this mean it was notarized?

We have been forwarded the agents' copy which has a notary stamp and signature on it, however the notary was not present when we signed the lease. 1.Should the notary have witnessed our signatures? 2.As they didn't can we argue that it was not properly notarised? 3. If so is it true that a 2 yr lease in Washington State is not enforceable after 12mths if not properly notarised? As some answers seemed conflicting I hoped to clarify my question (have also since been shown a notary stamp on my agents' copy).Thankyou in advance.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

No. A notary watches you sign the lease and then adds a jurat and signs the document attesting you were signing in front of the notary. A witness is not good enough. The jurat - the formal recitation - is to show the intent of the parties to not violate the statute of frauds concerning transactions in real property that cannot be performed in one year or less.

You had a lease for a year, and a month-to-month after that. This is washington law. Hope this helps. Elizabeth Powell


The signing by the landlord should have been in front of a notary. However if after the first year all parties act as if the lease was in effect you will have trouble proving it went month to month after the 12 month.
Good Luck


A notary public is someone appointed by the state to act as a notary. The notary public would have applied a seal to the document. The seal has the name of the notary public, the expiration date of the notary's commission as a notary, and some other information.

If your document has been notarized, the markings on the document should indicate that.

Persons who are not appointed as notaries public and who pretend to be can be criminally charged.

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