As a tenant, you may want to break your lease for various reasons, which may or may not be legally justified. In any case, if you’re a tenant in Washington, here’s what you need to know about breaking a lease in Washington state.
Renter’s Rights and Responsibilities When Signing a WA State Rental Agreement
A rental agreement is legally binding; that is, you and your landlord must strictly adhere to the agreement’s terms. As a tenant, you have the following rights.
- You cannot be forced to move out before the lease expires unless you commit a serious violation such as engaging in criminal activities within the premises.
- You are not obligated to agree with any changes to the lease agreement after you’ve already signed the same unless the landlord follows the necessary legal procedures before altering the agreement.
- If the landlord has valid reasons to evict you, you must be given due notice. For example, if you consistently fail to pay rent on time, the landlord must serve you a 3-day notice to settle your dues or move out.
Generally, you’re legally bound to pay rent for the full lease term (usually one year) on your rental property, whether you’re living on the property or not. However, there are exceptions to the rule, as follows.