Cheney, WA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Washington

Q: When are you required to renew your lease in Washington state?

Hello, we live in Washington state. We are currently leasing a home and our lease ends July 31 of this year. Our landlord is requesting that we renew or lease in two days otherwise he will begin looking for other tenants. We are trying to determine if purchasing a home would be a better option but we can’t buy a home in the timeframe that he is giving us. Is this legal? Our current lease doesn’t specify when we are required to renew

Our landlord said that he’ll begin looking for new tenants if we did not renew in two days implying, that he may not renew our lease. The issue is this is too much of a time restraint where we’re not able properly look for a home, put in an offer, and go through an inspection, given his current restrictions.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Lynnwood, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: Unless your rental is in a jurisdiction with its own set of rental protections, RCW 59.18.650 is the statute that likely answers your question. The answer is going to depend on the type of lease you have and the language used in the lease.

If your initial lease is what expires on July 31, 2023 and the term was between 6 and 12 months, the landlord can potentially terminate the lease with at least 60 days written notice under RCW 59.18.650(1)(b). If the original term was for 12 months or more, or there have been a series of agreements for six months or more, the landlord may likewise be able to terminate the lease with at least 60 days written notice under RCW 59.18.650(1)(c). They have to serve written notice consistent with RCW 59.12.040.

Otherwise, a landlord can only terminate a lease for the reasons specified in RCW 59.18.650(2)(a)-(p).

The rules are somewhat complicated, and there are often additional rules and limitations imposed by local jurisdictions, so it is a good idea to speak to a knowledgeable lawyer in your area who can take a look at your lease and see how RCW 59.12.040 applies.

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