Before you sign your tenant lease, it is important to make sure that you read all of the provisions for obtaining your security deposit. This is a good practice for any contract that you sign, but it is essential when dealing with landlord-tenant law in Washington. Whether you are looking for help to understand your lease or your tenant rights, our tenant lawyers in Bellevue can help.

While every situation is different and each lease may have unique provisions relating to your deposit, you should almost always receive your full security deposit back if you follow these behavior guides:

Perform Tenant Obligations: This can be a broad list of obligations but essentially it comes down to:

  • Paying your agreed rent on time and in full every month
  • Paying any fees, utilities, etc. detailed in your lease
  • Complying with the federal and Washington state law
  • Complying with lease provisions including: smoking, pets, number of residents, etc.
  • Complying with noise restrictions
  • Being a good neighbor

Leaving The Property: Probably the largest factor in making sure you get your deposit back is making sure that you leave the property in good condition. Your landlord should always expect normal wear and tear but large scratches, dents, holes, and damage may all come out of your security deposit.

Provide New Address To Landlord: One of the most common mistakes tenants make is forgetting to provide their landlord with a new address where they can send their deposit. If you fail to do this, your landlord is not responsible for tracking you down.

Other Conditions: These may include returning all of your keys to your landlord, removing any fixtures, and repairing any damage that those fixtures may have left.

Essentially, by following the provisions in your lease and being a good, reliable tenant, you are responsible for making sure that your landlord has no cause to withhold your security deposit. If the landlord has no cause, then he is required to refund your entire security deposit within 30 days of the terminated lease. If he does not do so, he must provide, in its place, a detailed and itemized list or statement as to why the deposit was withheld within this same timeframe.

If you feel that your deposit was wrongfully withheld, you never received this itemized statement, or you never received your security deposit refund, then you may be entitled to much more than your security deposit. In fact, wrongfully withholding a deposit from a tenant, either in full or in part, is against the law, and could get you, as the tenant, up to three times the amount of the wrongfully withheld deposit.

At the Law Office of Daniel Pizarro, we are passionate about our clients’ rights, and will fight tirelessly to uphold those rights. Contact our Bellevue tenant lawyers today to find out if you may have a case against your landlord, need help looking over a lease contract, or want to better understand your rights as a tenant.

Call now to get representation on your side that you can trust.