SENATE BILL 5600
State of Washington
2019 Regular Session
BySenators Kuderer, Das, Nguyen, Frockt, Cleveland, Darneille, Saldaña, Hasegawa, Wilson, C., Conway, Randall, Wellman, Keiser, Hunt, Pedersen, and Liias
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
and 1998 c 276 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:
A tenant of real property for a term less than life is guilty of unlawful detainer either:
(1) When he or she holds over or continues in possession, in person or by subtenant, of the property or any part thereof after the expiration of the term for which it is let to him or her. When real property is leased for a specified term or period by express or implied contract, whether written or oral, the tenancy shall be terminated without notice at the expiration of the specified term or period;
(2) When he or she, having leased property for an indefinite time with monthly or other periodic rent reserved, continues in possession thereof, in person or by subtenant, after the end of any such month or period, when the landlord, more than twenty days prior to the end of such month or period, has served notice (in manner in RCW 59.12.040
provided) requiring him or her to quit the premises at the expiration of such month or period;
(3) When he or she continues in possession in person or by subtenant after a default in the payment of rent, and after notice in writing requiring in the alternative the payment of the rent or the surrender of the detained premises, served (in manner in RCW 59.12.040
provided) in behalf of the person entitled to the rent upon the person owing it, has remained uncomplied with for the period of three days after service thereof, or for the period of fourteen days after service for tenancies under chapter 59.18 RCW
. The notice may be served at any time after the rent becomes due and for tenancies under chapter 59.18 RCW, must be in writing using plain language and include information listing civil legal aid resources available, if any, to the tenant
(4) When he or she continues in possession in person or by subtenant after a neglect or failure to keep or perform any other condition or covenant of the lease or agreement under which the property is held, including any covenant not to assign or sublet, than one for the payment of rent, and after notice in writing requiring in the alternative the performance of such condition or covenant or the surrender of the property, served (in manner in RCW 59.12.040
provided) upon him or her, and if there is a subtenant in actual possession of the premises, also upon such subtenant, shall remain uncomplied with for ten days after service thereof. Within ten days after the service of such notice the tenant, or any subtenant in actual occupation of the premises, or any mortgagee of the term, or other person interested in its continuance, may perform such condition or covenant and thereby save the lease from such forfeiture;
(5) When he or she commits or permits waste upon the demised premises, or when he or she sets up or carries on thereon any unlawful business, or when he or she erects, suffers, permits, or maintains on or about the premises any nuisance, and remains in possession after the service (in manner in RCW 59.12.040
provided) upon him or her of three days' notice to quit;
(6) A person who, without the permission of the owner and without having color of title thereto, enters upon land of another and who fails or refuses to remove therefrom after three days' notice, in writing and served upon him or her in the manner provided in RCW 59.12.040
. Such person may also be subject to the criminal provisions of chapter 9A.52
(7) When he or she commits or permits any gang-related activity at the premises as prohibited by RCW 59.18.130
and 2016 c 66 s 1 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Certificate of inspection" means an unsworn statement, declaration, verification, or certificate made in accordance with the requirements of RCW 9A.72.085
by a qualified inspector that states that the landlord has not failed to fulfill any substantial obligation imposed under RCW 59.18.060
that endangers or impairs the health or safety of a tenant, including (a) structural members that are of insufficient size or strength to carry imposed loads with safety, (b) exposure of the occupants to the weather, (c) plumbing and sanitation defects that directly expose the occupants to the risk of illness or injury, (d) not providing facilities adequate to supply heat and water and hot water as reasonably required by the tenant, (e) providing heating or ventilation systems that are not functional or are hazardous, (f) defective, hazardous, or missing electrical wiring or electrical service, (g) defective or hazardous exits that increase the risk of injury to occupants, and (h) conditions that increase the risk of fire.
(2) "Commercially reasonable manner," with respect to a sale of a deceased tenant's personal property, means a sale where every aspect of the sale, including the method, manner, time, place, and other terms, must be commercially reasonable. If commercially reasonable, a landlord may sell the tenant's property by public or private proceedings, by one or more contracts, as a unit or in parcels, and at any time and place and on any terms.
(3) "Comprehensive reusable tenant screening report" means a tenant screening report prepared by a consumer reporting agency at the direction of and paid for by the prospective tenant and made available directly to a prospective landlord at no charge, which contains all of the following: (a) A consumer credit report prepared by a consumer reporting agency within the past thirty days; (b) the prospective tenant's criminal history; (c) the prospective tenant's eviction history; (d) an employment verification; and (e) the prospective tenant's address and rental history.
(4) "Criminal history" means a report containing or summarizing (a) the prospective tenant's criminal convictions and pending cases, the final disposition of which antedates the report by no more than seven years, and (b) the results of a sex offender registry and United States department of the treasury's office of foreign assets control search, all based on at least seven years of address history and alias information provided by the prospective tenant or available in the consumer credit report.
(5) "Designated person" means a person designated by the tenant under RCW 59.18.590
(6) "Distressed home" has the same meaning as in RCW 61.34.020
(7) "Distressed home conveyance" has the same meaning as in RCW 61.34.020
(8) "Distressed home purchaser" has the same meaning as in RCW 61.34.020
(9) "Dwelling unit" is a structure or that part of a structure which is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person or by two or more persons maintaining a common household, including but not limited to single-family residences and units of multiplexes, apartment buildings, and mobile homes.
(10) "Eviction history" means a report containing or summarizing the contents of any records of unlawful detainer actions concerning the prospective tenant that are reportable in accordance with state law, are lawful for landlords to consider, and are obtained after a search based on at least seven years of address history and alias information provided by the prospective tenant or available in the consumer credit report.
(11) "Gang" means a group that: (a) Consists of three or more persons; (b) has identifiable leadership or an identifiable name, sign, or symbol; and (c) on an ongoing basis, regularly conspires and acts in concert mainly for criminal purposes.
(12) "Gang-related activity" means any activity that occurs within the gang or advances a gang purpose.
(13) "In danger of foreclosure" means any of the following:
(a) The homeowner has defaulted on the mortgage and, under the terms of the mortgage, the mortgagee has the right to accelerate full payment of the mortgage and repossess, sell, or cause to be sold the property;
(b) The homeowner is at least thirty days delinquent on any loan that is secured by the property; or
(c) The homeowner has a good faith belief that he or she is likely to default on the mortgage within the upcoming four months due to a lack of funds, and the homeowner has reported this belief to:
(i) The mortgagee;
(ii) A person licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 19.134
(iii) A person licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 19.146
(iv) A person licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 18.85
(v) An attorney-at-law;
(vi) A mortgage counselor or other credit counselor licensed or certified by any federal, state, or local agency; or
(vii) Any other party to a distressed property conveyance.
(14) "Landlord" means the owner, lessor, or sublessor of the dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part, and in addition means any person designated as representative of the owner, lessor, or sublessor including, but not limited to, an agent, a resident manager, or a designated property manager.
(15) "Mortgage" is used in the general sense and includes all instruments, including deeds of trust, that are used to secure an obligation by an interest in real property.
(16) "Owner" means one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested:
(a) All or any part of the legal title to property; or
(b) All or part of the beneficial ownership, and a right to present use and enjoyment of the property.
(17) "Person" means an individual, group of individuals, corporation, government, or governmental agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, or association, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.
(18) "Premises" means a dwelling unit, appurtenances thereto, grounds, and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally and any other area or facility which is held out for use by the tenant.
(19) "Property" or "rental property" means all dwelling units on a contiguous quantity of land managed by the same landlord as a single, rental complex.
(20) "Prospective landlord" means a landlord or a person who advertises, solicits, offers, or otherwise holds a dwelling unit out as available for rent.
(21) "Prospective tenant" means a tenant or a person who has applied for residential housing that is governed under this chapter.
(22) "Qualified inspector" means a United States department of housing and urban development certified inspector; a Washington state licensed home inspector; an American society of home inspectors certified inspector; a private inspector certified by the national association of housing and redevelopment officials, the American association of code enforcement, or other comparable professional association as approved by the local municipality; a municipal code enforcement officer; a Washington licensed structural engineer; or a Washington licensed architect.
(23) "Reasonable attorneys' fees," where authorized in this chapter, means an amount to be determined including the following factors: The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly, the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services, the amount involved and the results obtained, and the experience, reputation and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services.
(24) "Reasonable manner," with respect to disposing of a deceased tenant's personal property, means to dispose of the property by donation to a not-for-profit charitable organization, by removal of the property by a trash hauler or recycler, or by any other method that is reasonable under the circumstances.
(25) "Rent" or "rental amount" means consideration for use and occupancy of the premises. These terms do not include charges for costs incurred due to late payment, damages, utilities, deposits, legal costs, or other fees, including attorneys' fees.
(26) "Rental agreement" means all agreements which establish or modify the terms, conditions, rules, regulations, or any other provisions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit.
(((26)))(27) A "single-family residence" is a structure maintained and used as a single dwelling unit. Notwithstanding that a dwelling unit shares one or more walls with another dwelling unit, it shall be deemed a single-family residence if it has direct access to a street and shares neither heating facilities nor hot water equipment, nor any other essential facility or service, with any other dwelling unit.
(((27)))(28) A "tenant" is any person who is entitled to occupy a dwelling unit primarily for living or dwelling purposes under a rental agreement.
(((28)))(29) "Tenant representative" means:
(a) A personal representative of a deceased tenant's estate if known to the landlord;
(b) If the landlord has no knowledge that a personal representative has been appointed for the deceased tenant's estate, a person claiming to be a successor of the deceased tenant who has provided the landlord with proof of death and an affidavit made by the person that meets the requirements of RCW 11.62.010
(c) In the absence of a personal representative under (a) of this subsection or a person claiming to be a successor under (b) of this subsection, a designated person; or
(d) In the absence of a personal representative under (a) of this subsection, a person claiming to be a successor under (b) of this subsection, or a designated person under (c) of this subsection, any person who provides the landlord with reasonable evidence that he or she is a successor of the deceased tenant as defined in RCW 11.62.005
. The landlord has no obligation to identify all of the deceased tenant's successors.
(((29)))(30) "Tenant screening" means using a consumer report or other information about a prospective tenant in deciding whether to make or accept an offer for residential rental property to or from a prospective tenant.
"Tenant screening report" means a consumer report as defined in RCW 19.182.010
and any other information collected by a tenant screening service.
and 1989 c 342 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
The following living arrangements are not intended to be governed by the provisions of this chapter, unless established primarily to avoid its application, in which event the provisions of this chapter shall control:
(1) Residence at an institution, whether public or private, where residence is merely incidental to detention or the provision of medical, religious, educational, recreational, or similar services, including but not limited to correctional facilities, licensed nursing homes, monasteries and convents, and hospitals;
(2) Occupancy under a bona fide earnest money agreement to purchase or contract of sale of the dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part, where the tenant is, or stands in the place of, the purchaser;
(3) Residence in a hotel, motel, or other transient lodging whose operation is defined in RCW 19.48.010
(4) Rental agreements entered into pursuant to the provisions of chapter 47.12
RCW where occupancy is by an owner-condemnee and where such agreement does not violate the public policy of this state of ensuring decent, safe, and sanitary housing and is so certified by the consumer protection division of the attorney general's office;
(5) Rental agreements for the use of any single-family residence which are incidental to leases or rentals entered into in connection with a lease of land to be used primarily for agricultural purposes;
(6) Rental agreements providing housing for seasonal agricultural employees while provided in conjunction with such employment;
(7) Rental agreements with the state of Washington, department of natural resources, on public lands governed by Title 79
(8) Occupancy by an employee of a landlord whose right to occupy is conditioned upon employment in or about the premises)).
and 2003 c 7 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) In all cases where premises are rented for a specified time, by express or implied contract, ((the tenancy shall be deemed terminated at the end of such specified time))upon expiration and absent an agreement to renew the lease or rental agreement, the tenancy shall be construed to be a tenancy from month to month with rent payable on the same terms and conditions in existence at the time of expiration and subject to the protections of this chapter.
(2) Any tenant who is a member of the armed forces, including the national guard and armed forces reserves, or that tenant's spouse or dependent, may terminate a tenancy for a specified time if the tenant receives reassignment or deployment orders. The tenant shall provide notice of the reassignment or deployment order to the landlord no later than seven days after receipt.
and 2010 c 8 s 19022 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The tenant shall conform to all reasonable obligations or restrictions, whether denominated by the landlord as rules, rental agreement, rent, or otherwise, concerning the use, occupation, and maintenance of his or her dwelling unit, appurtenances thereto, and the property of which the dwelling unit is a part if such obligations and restrictions are not in violation of any of the terms of this chapter and are not otherwise contrary to law, and if such obligations and restrictions are brought to the attention of the tenant at the time of his or her initial occupancy of the dwelling unit and thus become part of the rental agreement.
(2) Except for termination of tenancy and a change in the amount of rent, after thirty days written notice to each affected tenant, a new rule of tenancy ((including a change in the amount of rent)) may become effective upon completion of the term of the rental agreement or sooner upon mutual consent.
(3) A landlord is required to provide a minimum of sixty days' prior written notice of a change in the amount of rent to each affected tenant.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6.
A new section is added to chapter 59.18
RCW to read as follows:
Under this chapter:
(1) A landlord must first apply any payment made by a tenant toward rent, as that term is defined in RCW 59.18.030
, before applying any payment toward late payments, damages, legal costs, or other fees, including attorneys' fees.
(2) Continued tenancy or relief from forfeiture may not be conditioned on a tenant's payment or satisfaction of any monetary amount other than rent. However, this does not foreclose a landlord from pursuing other lawful remedies to collect late payments, damages, legal costs, or other fees, including attorneys' fees.
and 2011 c 132 s 18 are each amended to read as follows:
At the time and place fixed for the hearing of plaintiff's motion for a writ of restitution, the defendant, or any person in possession or claiming possession of the property, may answer, orally or in writing, and assert any legal or equitable defense or set-off arising out of the tenancy. If the answer is oral the substance thereof shall be endorsed on the complaint by the court. The court shall examine the parties and witnesses orally to ascertain the merits of the complaint and answer, and if it shall appear that the plaintiff has the right to be restored to possession of the property, the court shall enter an order directing the issuance of a writ of restitution, returnable ten days after its date, restoring to the plaintiff possession of the property and if it shall appear to the court that there is no substantial issue of material fact of the right of the plaintiff to be granted other relief as prayed for in the complaint and provided for in this chapter, the court may enter an order and judgment granting so much of such relief as may be sustained by the proof, and the court may grant such other relief as may be prayed for in the plaintiff's complaint and provided for in this chapter, then the court shall enter an order denying any relief sought by the plaintiff for which the court has determined that the plaintiff has no right as a matter of law: PROVIDED, That within three days after the service of the writ of restitution issued prior to final judgment, the defendant, or person in possession of the property, may, in any action for the recovery of possession of the property for failure to pay rent, stay the execution of the writ pending final judgment by paying into court or to the plaintiff, as the court directs, all rent found to be due, and in addition by paying, on a monthly basis pending final judgment, an amount equal to the monthly rent called for by the lease or rental agreement at the time the complaint was filed: PROVIDED FURTHER, That before any writ shall issue prior to final judgment the plaintiff shall execute to the defendant and file in the court a bond in such sum as the court may order, with sufficient surety to be approved by the clerk, conditioned that the plaintiff will prosecute his or her action without delay, and will pay all costs that may be adjudged to the defendant, and all damages which he or she may sustain by reason of the writ of restitution having been issued, should the same be wrongfully sued out. The court shall also enter an order directing the parties to proceed to trial on the complaint and answer in the usual manner.
If it appears to the court that the plaintiff should not be restored to possession of the property, the court shall deny plaintiff's motion for a writ of restitution and enter an order directing the parties to proceed to trial within thirty days on the complaint and answer. If it appears to the court that there is a substantial issue of material fact as to whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to other relief as is prayed for in plaintiff's complaint and provided for in this chapter, or that there is a genuine issue of a material fact pertaining to a legal or equitable defense or set-off raised in the defendant's answer, the court shall grant or deny so much of plaintiff's other relief sought and so much of defendant's defenses or set-off claimed, as may be proper. If it appears to the court that relief from forfeiture is appropriate in the interest of justice, the court shall have discretion to grant such relief.
and 2011 c 132 s 20 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) If upon the trial the verdict of the jury or, if the case be tried without a jury, the finding of the court be in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant, judgment shall be entered for the restitution of the premises; and if the proceeding be for unlawful detainer after neglect or failure to perform any condition or covenant of a lease or agreement under which the property is held, or after default in the payment of rent, the judgment shall also declare the forfeiture of the lease, agreement, or tenancy. The jury, or the court, if the proceedings be tried without a jury, shall also assess the damages arising out of the tenancy occasioned to the plaintiff by any forcible entry, or by any forcible or unlawful detainer, alleged in the complaint and proved on the trial, and, if the alleged unlawful detainer be after default in the payment of rent, find the amount of any rent due, and the judgment shall be rendered against the defendant guilty of the forcible entry, forcible detainer, or unlawful detainer for the amount of damages thus assessed and for the rent, if any, found due, and the court may award statutory costs and reasonable ((attorney's))attorneys' fees.
(2) When the proceeding is for an unlawful detainer after default in the payment of rent, ((and the lease or agreement under which the rent is payable has not by its terms expired,)) execution upon the judgment shall not be issued until the expiration of five court days after the entry of the judgment, within which time the tenant or any subtenant, or any mortgagee of the term, or other party interested in the continuance of the tenancy, may pay into court for the landlord the amount of the principal judgment ((and costs,))for rent and ((thereupon))upon satisfaction of the principal judgment ((shall be satisfied and)), the tenant shall be restored to his or her tenancy((; but)). Restoration of the tenancy shall not foreclose the plaintiff's remedies to collect the remainder of the judgment for costs and fees. If payment((, as herein provided, be))of the principal judgment for rent is not made within five court days the judgment may be enforced for its full amount and for the possession of the premises.
(3) When the proceeding is for an unlawful detainer for breach of a condition capable of cure, the court shall stay the writ of restitution to afford a reasonable time for the tenant to properly cure and redeem the tenancy. If the condition is not cured within a reasonable time, the judgment may be enforced for its full amount and for the possession of the premises.
(4) In all cases and in addition to any other remedies provided, the court may vacate or stay a writ of restitution upon good cause and on such terms as the court deems fair and just.
(5) In all other cases the judgment may be enforced immediately. If writ of restitution shall have been executed prior to judgment no further writ or execution for the premises shall be required.
This section also applies if the writ of restitution is issued pursuant to a final judgment entered after a show cause hearing conducted in accordance with RCW 59.18.380
and 2010 c 8 s 19028 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) It ((shall be))is unlawful for the landlord to remove or exclude from the premises the tenant thereof except under a court order so authorizing. Any tenant so removed or excluded in violation of this section may recover possession of the property or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, may recover the actual damages sustained. The prevailing party may recover the costs of suit or arbitration and reasonable ((attorney's))attorneys' fees.
(2) It ((shall be))is unlawful for the tenant to hold over in the premises or exclude the landlord therefrom after the termination of the rental agreement except under a valid court order so authorizing. Any landlord so deprived of possession of premises in violation of this section may recover possession of the property and damages sustained by him or her, and the prevailing party may recover his or her costs of suit or arbitration and reasonable ((attorney's))attorneys' fees.
(3) Any award of costs and fees besides rent is not a condition of relief from forfeiture.
and 2011 c 132 s 19 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The sheriff shall, upon receiving the writ of restitution, forthwith serve a copy thereof upon the defendant, his or her agent, or attorney, or a person in possession of the premises, and shall not execute the same for three days thereafter, and the defendant, or person in possession of the premises within three days after the service of the writ of restitution may execute to the plaintiff a bond to be filed with and approved by the clerk of the court in such sum as may be fixed by the judge, with sufficient surety to be approved by the clerk of the court, conditioned that they will pay to the plaintiff such sum as the plaintiff may recover for the use and occupation of the premises, or any rent found due((, together with all damages the plaintiff may sustain by reason of the defendant occupying or keeping possession of the premises, together with all damages which the court theretofore has awarded to the plaintiff as provided in this chapter, and also all the costs of the action
)). If the writ of restitution was issued after alternative service provided for in RCW 59.18.055
, the court shall determine the amount of the bond after considering the rent claimed ((and any other factors the court deems relevant
)). The plaintiff, his or her agent or attorneys, shall have notice of the time and place where the court or judge thereof shall fix the amount of the defendant's bond, and shall have notice and a reasonable opportunity to examine into the qualification and sufficiency of the sureties upon the bond before the bond shall be approved by the clerk. After the issuance of a writ of restitution, acceptance of a payment by the landlord or plaintiff that only partially satisfies the ((judgment
will not invalidate the writ unless pursuant to a written agreement executed by both parties. The eviction will not be postponed or stopped unless a copy of that written agreement is provided to the sheriff. It is the responsibility of the tenant or defendant to ensure a copy of the agreement is provided to the sheriff. Upon receipt of the agreement the sheriff will cease action unless ordered to do otherwise by the court. The writ of restitution and the notice that accompanies the writ of restitution required under RCW 59.18.312
shall conspicuously state in bold face type, all capitals, not less than twelve points information about partial payments as set forth in subsection (2) of this section. If the writ of restitution has been based upon a finding by the court that the tenant, subtenant, sublessee, or a person residing at the rental premises has engaged in drug-related activity or has allowed any other person to engage in drug-related activity at those premises with his or her knowledge or approval, neither the tenant, the defendant, nor a person in possession of the premises shall be entitled to post a bond in order to retain possession of the premises. The writ may be served by the sheriff, in the event he or she shall be unable to find the defendant, an agent or attorney, or a person in possession of the premises, by affixing a copy of the writ in a conspicuous place upon the premises: PROVIDED, That the sheriff shall not require any bond for the service or execution of the writ. The sheriff shall be immune from all civil liability for serving and enforcing writs of restitution unless the sheriff is grossly negligent in carrying out his or her duty.
(2) The notice accompanying a writ of restitution required under RCW 59.18.312
shall be substantially similar to the following:
IMPORTANT NOTICE - PARTIAL PAYMENTS
YOUR LANDLORD'S ACCEPTANCE OF A PARTIAL PAYMENT FROM YOU AFTER SERVICE OF THIS WRIT OF RESTITUTION WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY POSTPONE OR STOP YOUR EVICTION. IF YOU HAVE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT WITH YOUR LANDLORD THAT THE EVICTION WILL BE POSTPONED OR STOPPED, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE A COPY OF THE AGREEMENT TO THE SHERIFF. THE SHERIFF WILL NOT CEASE ACTION UNLESS YOU PROVIDE A COPY OF THE AGREEMENT. AT THE DIRECTION OF THE COURT THE SHERIFF MAY TAKE FURTHER ACTION.
and 2011 c 132 s 11 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Any provision of a lease or other agreement, whether oral or written, whereby any section or subsection of this chapter is waived except as provided in RCW 59.18.360
and shall be deemed against public policy and shall be unenforceable. Such unenforceability shall not affect other provisions of the agreement which can be given effect without them.
(2) No rental agreement may provide that the tenant:
(a) Agrees to waive or to forgo rights or remedies under this chapter; or
(b) Authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement; or
(c) Agrees to pay the landlord's attorneys' fees, except as authorized in this chapter; or
(d) Agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the landlord arising under law or to indemnify the landlord for that liability or the costs connected therewith; or
(e) And landlord have agreed to a particular arbitrator at the time the rental agreement is entered into.
(3) A provision prohibited by subsection (2) of this section included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord deliberately uses a rental agreement containing provisions known by him or her to be prohibited, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained by him or her, statutory damages not to exceed ((five hundred dollars))one month's rent or treble actual damages, whichever is greater, costs of suit, and reasonable attorneys' fees.
(4) The common law right of the landlord of distress for rent is hereby abolished for property covered by this chapter. Any provision in a rental agreement creating a lien upon the personal property of the tenant or authorizing a distress for rent is null and void and of no force and effect. Any landlord who takes or detains the personal property of a tenant without the specific written consent of the tenant to such incident of taking or detention, and who, after written demand by the tenant for the return of his or her personal property, refuses to return the same promptly shall be liable to the tenant for the value of the property retained, actual damages, and if the refusal is intentional, may also be liable for damages of up to five hundred dollars per day but not to exceed five thousand dollars, for each day or part of a day that the tenant is deprived of his or her property. The prevailing party may recover his or her costs of suit and a reasonable attorneys' fee.
In any action, including actions pursuant to chapters 7.64
RCW, brought by a tenant or other person to recover possession of his or her personal property taken or detained by a landlord in violation of this section, the court, upon motion and after notice to the opposing parties, may waive or reduce any bond requirements where it appears to be to the satisfaction of the court that the moving party is proceeding in good faith and has, prima facie, a meritorious claim for immediate delivery or redelivery of said property.
and 2016 c 66 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Within twenty-one days after the termination of the rental agreement and vacation of the premises or, if the tenant abandons the premises as defined in RCW 59.18.310
, within twenty-one days after the landlord learns of the abandonment, the landlord shall give a full and specific statement of the basis for retaining any of the deposit together with the payment of any refund due the tenant under the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. The landlord shall include copies of estimates received or invoices paid to substantiate damage charges. Any damages not substantiated by third-party documentation may not be charged to the tenant.
(a) No portion of any deposit shall be withheld on account of wear resulting from ordinary use of the premises.
(b) The landlord complies with this section if the required statement or payment, or both, are delivered to the tenant personally or deposited in the United States mail properly addressed to the tenant's last known address with first-class postage prepaid within the twenty-one days.
(2) If the landlord fails to give such statement and documentation
together with any refund due the tenant within the time limits specified above he or she shall be liable to the tenant for the full amount of the deposit. The landlord is also barred in any action brought by the tenant to recover the deposit from asserting any claim or raising any defense for retaining any of the deposit unless the landlord shows that circumstances beyond the landlord's control prevented the landlord from providing the statement within the twenty-one days or that the tenant abandoned the premises as defined in RCW 59.18.310
. The court ((may in its discretion
award up to two times the amount of the deposit for the intentional refusal of the landlord to give the statement, documentation,
or refund due. In any action brought by the tenant to recover the deposit, the prevailing party shall additionally be entitled to the cost of suit or arbitration including a reasonable attorneys' fee.
(3) Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the landlord from proceeding against, and the landlord shall have the right to proceed against a tenant to recover sums exceeding the amount of the tenant's damage or security deposit for damage to the property for which the tenant is responsible together with reasonable attorneys' fees.
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