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3 Things To Know About Security Deposits in Spokane, WA

Home River Group - Spokane - Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Property Management Blog

Whether you're starting a new lease or about to end one, it's essential that you know your rights as a tenant and know the laws as a landlord. This is especially true when it has to do with your money and ensuring that you're receiving the correct security deposits back.

A security deposit is a one-time payment used to fix or repair damages in a rental unit if needed. The landlord should return whatever is not used in repairs to the tenant.

But what happens if that's not the case? Here are three things tenants should know about security deposits.

1. How Much Can a Security Deposit Be?

In Washington State, there is no limit to the amount a security deposit can be. However, some counties or cities may have ordinances that add limits to security deposit amounts. Be sure to check your locality to check the maximum.

Landlords and property managers must allow tenants to use installments to pay security deposits. But this is not the case if the deposit is less than 25% of the monthly rent.

If the landlord or property manager does not ask for the last month's rent, then the tenant does not need to pay the security deposit in installments.

2. When Must a Security Deposit Be Returned?

A landlord must return a security deposit—or what's left of it—must to the tenant within twenty-one days after a lease termination or after the tenant has vacated the property.

If the tenant has abandoned the unit, the landlord must return the security deposit within twenty-one days of finding out the tenant has abandoned the unit.

Landlords should list any deductions from the security deposit must in a written, itemized notice and delivered to the tenant with the remaining amount. Landlords should deliver items in person or via United States first-class mail to the tenant's last know address.

3. What Is Deducted From a Security Deposit?

Landlords can't deduct just any fees from a security deposit. What can be deducted is important for both tenants and landlords to know. Tenants, so they can protect themselves and landlords, so they're on the right side of the law.

A security deposit can cover any unpaid rent or unpaid utilities. Damage that exceeds normal wear and tear can be repaired using the security deposit.

Security deposits can also cover damages from pets. Any other lease agreement breaches can be deducted from the security deposit.

Know Your Rights Around Security Deposits

You work hard for your money, and you deserve it back when possible. When it comes to security deposits, all tenants in Washington State should know their rights.

It's also important for landlords to know the laws surrounding security deposits to avoid legal issues with current or future tenants. For landlords, you should be transparent with tenants when it comes to returning security deposits.

If you are looking for help renting out a property, our property management services are here to assist you. Inquire about our services for marketing, leasing, and maintaining your home.