Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee

HB 1694

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Allowing tenants to pay certain sums in installments.

Sponsors: Representatives Morgan, Macri, Riccelli, Goodman, Jinkins, Cody, Stonier, Robinson, Appleton, Pollet, Gregerson and Frame.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Requires landlords to permit tenants to pay deposits, nonrefundable fees, and last month's rent in installments, subject to one exception and some general parameters regarding the number and timing of the installments.

Hearing Date: 2/5/19

Staff: Cece Clynch (786-7195).


The Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA) regulates the relationship between residential landlords and tenants, and includes provisions regarding the duties of tenants and landlords, remedies for violations of those duties, and definitions. Subject to a few exceptions spelled out in statute, the rental of a dwelling unit for living purposes is generally covered under the RLTA. "Dwelling unit" is a structure or that part of a structure which is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place.

Landlords often collect deposits and fees and other amounts prior to, or at the outset of, a tenancy:


A tenancy may be for a specified time, such as one year. Alternatively, premises may be rented for an indefinite time, from period to period or month to month.

Summary of Bill:

Upon written request from a tenant, a landlord must generally permit the tenant to pay any deposits, nonrefundable fees, and last month's rent in installments, as follows:

A landlord may not impose any fee, charge any interest, or otherwise impose a cost on a tenant because the tenant elects to pay in installments. Installment payments are due at the same time as rent is due. All installment schedules must be in writing and signed by the landlord and the tenant.

A landlord is not required to permit a tenant to pay in installments if the total amount of the deposits and nonrefundable fees do not exceed 25 percent of the first full month's rent and payment of the last month's rent is not required at the inception of the tenancy.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.