Washington Security Deposit Law

Washington Security Deposit Law

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 12.14.2023

Understanding Washington Security Deposit Law: A Guide for Renters and Landlords

Navigating the intricacies of Washington’s Security Deposit Law proves crucial for both renters and landlords. This article delves into the essential aspects of the law, including maximum deposit limits, refund timelines, and required disclosures. 

Additionally, we highlight significant changes effective in 2023 that reshape the landscape of landlord-tenant relationships in Washington State.

Maximum Security Deposit Amount

Washington State does not allow landlords to charge more than one month’s rent as a security deposit.

Refund Timeline

Upon a tenant’s move-out, landlords have a strict timeline to either refund the security deposit or provide a detailed statement of deductions. This period is limited to 30 days, ensuring a prompt closure of financial obligations on both sides.

Disclosure Requirements

Landlords must inform tenants about the location where they hold the security deposit. This transparency builds trust and ensures tenants understand how their deposits are handled.

Interest on Security Deposits

In Washington, landlords are not legally required to pay interest on held security deposit amounts.

Move-In and Move-Out Documentation

At the time of move-in, landlords are obliged to provide tenants with a comprehensive property condition report. This documentation is a baseline for any potential deductions at the end of the tenancy. Similarly, landlords must give detailed receipts or invoices at move-out if they intend to make deductions from the security deposit.

New Laws Taking Effect in 2023

Washington State has introduced pivotal changes to its landlord-tenant laws, effective in 2023. These modifications increase transparency and fairness in dealings between landlords and tenants.

  • Mandatory Written Documentation: Landlords must provide written documentation for any deductions from the security deposit. This includes receipts or invoices, ensuring tenants have clear evidence of the reasons behind any deductions.
  • 30-day Return or Statement Period: After a tenant vacates the premises, landlords have 30 days to either return the full security deposit or issue a written statement detailing the reasons for any portion retained.
  • Prohibition on Ordinary Wear and Tear Charges: Landlords can no longer use the security deposit to cover expenses related to the ordinary use of the premises. This includes normal wear and tear on rental units, carpets, walls, and appliances.
  • Restrictions on Reporting Undocumented Damages: Landlords cannot report costs associated with ordinary use or unproven damages to collection agencies, tenant screening services, or other landlords.

The Importance of Understanding Washington Security Deposit Law

Both renters and landlords in Washington State must stay informed about these laws to ensure fair and legal handling of security deposits. The 2023 amendments further safeguard tenants from unjust deductions, promoting a more balanced and transparent rental market.

Remember, staying informed and proactive is critical to navigating the complexities of Washington’s Security Deposit Law.


Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is informational and should be different from legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.


Kasee Godwin

Position: Director of Marketing
Social Networks

Kasee is the Director of Marketing for Qira. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing industry, including 10 years on the client side. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, exploring new wineries, and fostering Golden Retrievers.

Other news


Centralization in Multifamily Property Management

As each day becomes more tech-enabled, property management firms naturally evolve to seek efficiencies and capitalize on economies of scale. The movement towards centralizing leasing, operations, and maintenance functions is strategic. 

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 05.15.2024

Exploring the Nuances of Ancillary Income

Ancillary income, a fundamental principle in the multifamily sector, encompasses the various revenue streams that property owners and managers can tap into beyond the primary rent collection.

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 04.10.2024

Security Deposit Alternatives: A Win-Win for Property Managers

The advent of security deposit alternatives is reshaping this landscape, offering a win-win solution for property managers and renters.

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 02.22.2024

The Rental Economy: Understanding the Shift in 2024

Evolving financial trends are defining this shift, challenging traditional investment strategies and demanding a more nuanced approach from industry professionals. The rise of Generation Z renters and a general change in renter demographics are reshaping rental market dynamics. 

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 01.25.2024

The Rise of Gen Z Renters

As Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012 and aged 12-27) increasingly enters the rental market, their preferences and behaviors are beginning to reshape the multifamily industry.

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 01.18.2024

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Multifamily Real Estate 

Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in the multifamily real estate sector is transforming the industry's landscape. These advanced technologies are reshaping the dynamics for property managers, investors, and renters. 

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 01.16.2024

The Future of Multifamily Housing: Trends to Watch in 2024

As we move into 2024, the multifamily housing sector continues to evolve, shaped by emerging trends that reflect broader social, economic, and technological shifts. 

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 01.09.2024
Wyoming Security Deposit Law

Wyoming Security Deposit Law

The state of Wyoming does not limit application fees or security deposit amounts that property owners can collect, and even enables property owners in the state to collect an additional security deposit for utility fees.

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 12.15.2023

We are a financial services platform for property management

We are a financial services platform for property managers and residents. We help property managers and owners improve cash flow, reduce vacancies and avoid bad debt.