Understanding the Tenant-Landlord Laws in Vancouver, Washington

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Understanding the Tenant-Landlord Laws in Vancouver, Washington

Understanding the Tenant-Landlord Laws in Vancouver

Landlords need to understand the laws in Washington State that pertain to their rental properties. There have been a lot of recent changes to state and local laws, and it’s important to keep up with those new requirements. There are also federal laws that need your attention, including the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Strong Lease Agreements are Required

One of the best ways to keep yourself in legal compliance is by ensuring you have a strong and legally enforceable lease agreement. While there have been a lot of legal changes that need to be included in your lease, you’re just looking for trouble if you’re using a generic lease. Don’t run out to the nearest office supply store to get a lease document that you can fill out and ask your tenants to sign. Don’t download a template from the internet if it isn’t specific to Washington State.

Instead, talk to a landlord and tenant attorney in Vancouver who understands the requirements of a lease agreement. Or, contact a professional property manager who can ensure you are including all of the necessary requirements in your lease document.

Your lease now has to include some important information that wasn’t required previously. New laws require you to reference in your lease:

  • Whether or not the tenant has a social security number
  • Whether or not you are going to allow installment payments for security deposits
  • Termination of tenancy requirement, which depends on the city you are in

Professional Vancouver Property Management

homes for rent vancouver waOften, it seems like leasing and managing your own property is simple enough. But, the landlord-tenant laws have become increasingly more difficult to navigate for the do-it-yourself landlord in Vancouver and surrounding communities. If you are going to manage the property yourself and not engage in a partnership with a Vancouver property management company, you need to be up on the landlord-tenant laws.

We recommend that you get a copy of the Landlord-Tenant Act for Washington State, which you can find on our website. Following the law and keeping your property and your practices compliant with the law is more complex than ever. You need to stay up on all the changes and you need to know how these laws apply specifically to your property.

Fair Housing Laws and Support Animals

One of the biggest and most expensive mistakes we are seeing landlords make recently is in the area of fair housing. It’s easy to discriminate unintentionally, and if you’re not careful with your advertising, marketing, screening, and leasing practices, you could find yourself facing a fair housing claim. There are also service animals, companion animals, and emotional support animals to deal with when tenants have disabilities. It’s very easy to confuse these animals with pets, and if you try to deny a tenant with a support animal or you attempt to collect a pet fee on a service animal, you could find yourself in a lot of expensive legal trouble. You must be very careful.

We can help you stay compliant and up to date. When you need help with anything pertaining to Vancouver property management, please contact us at SunWorld Group.