Governor Inslee has just signed SB 5600 which results in major changes to the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18) regarding the eviction process of residential tenants. The changes do not apply to non-residential tenancies which are still governed by RCW 59.12. The new law includes additional protections for tenants and limits the ability of landlords to evict tenants or recover costs for legal proceedings. It also grants judges substantial discretion in eviction hearings whereas judges were previously bound by the express terms of the statute.
The major changes to the law are listed below:
- A landlord must provide a tenant 14 days’ notice instead of three days’ notice in order to cure default in the payment of overdue rent. The Attorney General’s Office will create a uniform 14-day notice to pay and vacate default form.
- Landlords must first apply any payment by a tenant to the rent amount before applying it towards other charges, including fees or other costs.