A Brief Introduction to Many of the Forms Offered by RHA
The determination of whether a form is appropriate to a particular legal situation is legal advice which can only be given by an attorney familiar with the facts of any particular situation. However, once you have selected a form, the following comments should assist you in using it correctly. The forms are divided into categories for different phases of a tenancy. Please find a brief introduction to many of the forms offered by RHA below.
RHA forms are intended for RHA Member use only. Any unauthorized use, publication or distribution is strictly prohibited.
Forms for Phases of a Tenancy
- Tenant Screening
Adverse Action Notice
Application for Tenancy
Criteria for Tenant Selection Guidelines
Fair Housing Poster
Interpreting WA Driver’s License Information
Tenant Screening Best Practices
- Lease Signing
Agreement to Enter Into Lease & Receipt
Information for Tenants – Seattle Landlord-Tenant Laws
Lead Based Paint Disclosure Addendum (Required for property built before 1978)
Lead Based Paint Pamphlet (Required for property built before 1978)
Mold Handout (Required)
Notary Signature Form (Lease greater than 1 year)
Property Condition Checklist (Required)
WA State Lease/Rental Agreement & Security Deposit Receipt (Multi-Family)
WA State Lease/Rental Agreement & Security Deposit Receipt (Single Family)
- Lease Signing Addenda
Bed Bug Addendum
Community & Home Owner Association Addendum
Crime Free Lease Addendum
Detection Devices Addendum (Required / Single Family) Included in RHA Lease
Fire Safety & Protection Devices Addendum (Required / Multi-Family) Included in RHA Lease
Military Clause Addendum
Resident's Designee Notice
Satellite Dish Addendum
Smoke Free Addendum
Water Heater Thermostat Setting Addendum
Residential Electric Service Application (Seattle)
Resident Utility Billing Notice
Utility Billing Copy Request
Utility Billing Invoice
Utility Billing Invoice (Seattle / Multi-Family)
- During Tenancy
3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate
3 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy
10 Day Notice to Comply with Agreement or Vacate
Entry to Premises Notice
How a Notice Becomes an Eviction
Rent/Fees Increase Notice
Resident Information Update
Time Estimate for Repair Notice
Transfer in Ownership/Management Notice
- End of Tenancy
Deposit Refund Statement
Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Notice (Property Management Company)
Storage if Resident's Property Notice
Transfer in Ownership/Management Notice
Termination of Tenancy – 20 Days
Termination of Tenancy – Seattle Only
- For Tenants
Intent to Vacate Notice
Maintenance Request Notice
Permission to Enter
Resident Complaint Notice
- Operating Your Rental
Mold Pamphlet (English & Spanish Versions Available)
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Adverse Action Notice
This notice must be sent to any applicant that you are denying tenancy or requiring an increased rent, deposit, additional last month’s rent or requiring a co-signer based on information received from a consumer report (which may include credit report and any source that relies on information from a tenant’s rental history or credit report.
- Application for Tenancy
An application should be collected from all adult residents 18 and over that would like to apply for tenancy. This form provides the information a landlord / owner needs in order to make an informed decision on whether or not tenant qualifies for the premise. RHA’s application also authorizes the landlord / owner to perform a credit background check. Landlords / owners must have authorization before running a credit report. You should check the ID of all applicants to verify identity, and accurate date of birth.
- Criteria for Tenant Selection Guidelines
Effective June 7, 2012, applicants must be shown your criteria for tenancy. Use this form as a guide to help create your own.
- Fair Housing Poster
According to Seattle City Chapter 14.08 a landlord must display or post the Fair Housing Poster when showing or leasing a unit.
- Interpreting WA State Driver's License Information
Being able to properly interpret the information on an applicant’s ID is one way to help you verify that the personal information provided on the application for tenancy does actually belong to the person who submitted it. Use this form to help decipher whether or not a WA State ID or Driver’s License number is accurate.
- Tenant Screening Best Practices
Follow these guidelines when screening an applicant to ensure you are following the law. Be sure to treat every applicant the same.
- Agreement to Enter Into Lease & Receipt
This form is used to hold a rental unit for an applicant before they qualify for the premise. This is also a great form to use to hold the unit for a period of time between approval and completing all of the remaining documents. It allows for the held money to be treated as liquidated damages if the prospective tenant changes their mind prior to moving in.
- Information for Tenants – Seattle Landlord-Tenant Laws
City of Seattle only. According to SMC 7.24.070 a copy of a summary of the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act prepared by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Washington shall be attached to each written rental agreement and be provided to any tenant or prospective tenant by the landlord when a rental agreement is offered or modified, whether or not such agreement is for a new or renewal rental agreement.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure Addendum (Required for property built before 1978)
Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, also known as Title X, to protect families from exposure to lead from paint, dust, and soil. Section 1018 of this law directed HUD and EPA to require the disclosure of known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the rental of housing built before 1978. Required for pre-1978 rentals.
- Lead Based Paint Pamphlet (Required for property built before 1978)
According to the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, before ratification of a contract for lease landlords must: Give an EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards ("Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home”) for housing built before 1978. Required for pre-1978 rentals.
- Mold Handout (Required)
According to RCW 59.18.060 (12), the Landlord must provide tenants with information approved by the department of health about the health hazards associated with exposure to indoor mold. Information may be provided in written format individually to each tenant, or may be posted in a visible, public location at the dwelling unit property. The information must detail how tenants can control mold growth in their dwelling units to minimize the health risks associated with indoor mold. The information must be provided by the landlord to tenants at the time the lease or rental agreement is signed.
- Notary Signature Form (Lease greater than 1 year)
Use this form if a lease agreement is longer than a 12 month period or for any other form you need a notary signature on.
- Property Condition Checklist (Required)
This checklist is used prior to move-in as a means of detailing the condition of the property. According RCW 59.18.260, no deposit may be collected by a landlord unless a written checklist or statement specifically describing the condition and cleanliness of or existing damages to the premises and furnishings, including, but not limited to walls, floors, countertops, carpets, drapes, furniture and appliances. The checklist shall be signed and dated by the landlord and the tenant and the tenant shall be provided with a copy of the signed checklist.
- Washington State Lease / Rental Agreement and Security Deposit Receipt (Multi-Family)
This form has been developed for Apartment use only. A different form should be used for single family homes. Because this is a “generic” form, property managers are encouraged to create their own supplementary rules and regulations for each property.
- Washington State Lease / Rental Agreement and Security Deposit Receipt (Single Family)
This form has been developed for properties which satisfy the definition of single family homes contained in RCW 59.18.030(7). A different form should be used for property not legally defined as a single family home (note: duplexes can be either single family or apartments, depending on how the building is configured). Because this is a “generic” form, property managers are encouraged to create their own supplementary rules and regulations for each property.
Lease Signing Addenda
- Bed Bug Addendum
Landlords looking for additional protection in case of bed bug infestation are advised to use the Bed Bug Addendum. In addition to clearly spelling out the tenant’s obligations should a bed bug infestation be suspected, this addendum also serves as certifying the unit with a clean bill of health prior to tenant move-in. A landlord is only as protected as the paperwork they’re supplied with and this form can go a long way towards ensuring you aren’t stuck with a huge pest control bill due to a problem created after move-in.
- Community & Home Owner Association Addendum
Landlords renting out their condominium or units in a Home Owners Association should implement use of this form in order to bind the tenant to the rules of the community in addition to those specified in the lease agreement.
- Crime Free Lease Addendum
This form is used to inform tenants that criminal activity on the premises will not be allowed and will be cause for eviction.
- Fire Safety and Protection Devices Notice (Required / Multi-Family)
Already included in RHA Lease/Rental Agreement. This form discloses to the tenant information regarding fire safety protections featured at the property. Owners and managers of multi-family properties are required by State law to make certain disclosures regarding fire safety at the time a lease is signed. If you use RHA’s multi-family lease this addendum has already been incorporated in to the lease and you are covered. However, if you use a non-RHA lease you will want to provide this form at the time of lease signing.
- Detection Devices Addendum (Required / Single Family)
Already included in RHA Lease / Rental Agreement. This form is used primarily for the purpose of emphasizing the tenant’s obligations toward maintaining the smoke detection device per State law. This provision is already written in to the lease and is to be initialed by the tenant, however, owners may choose to use the additional addendum to ensure the tenant is aware of their obligations or in cases where RHA’s lease is not being used.
- Guarantor Addendum
In cases where an applicant’s credit, rental or employment history is not sufficient to pass the screening process, the co-signer addendum can be used as a safety net for the landlord should they choose to rent to the applicant. The addendum essentially provides a financial guarantor for the lease should the tenant default on the payment of rent. Always be sure to screen the co-signer to ensure they will be able to cover any amounts owed.
- Military Clause Addendum
The Military Clause addendum should only be used in cases where a tenant is a member of the US military. This form is not mandatory, but can be useful in serving as a reminder to both parties as to what the requirement / expectations are of the tenant in cases where they wish to terminate tenancy due to re-assignment or deployment.
- Pet Addendum
This form contains sample rules to use for pets. You may have different rules you wish to add. It is especially important to identify all pets by breed, name and weight. RHA’s leases do not allow pets, so use this addendum if you are allowing pets at your rental. Note: service animals are not pets as defined in law, however, using this form without deposits or fees can be a good reminder to the tenant of the rules regarding noise and waste removal.
- Resident's Designee Notice
For years landlords have found themselves in a strange situation when tenants pass away without any clear guidance to who is responsible for the deceased tenant’s property. Thanks to passage of SSB 5338 in 2015, we now have clear guidance under State law as to how to handle such a situation. By using the Resident's Designee Notice, tenants are now able to designate an individual who has the authority to deal with the deceased tenant’s property. In the event that a tenant passes away, landlords now have a duty to notify the designated individual along with any known personal representatives designated through the state’s probate laws. Landlords may now also release property to third parties who are reasonably believed to be successors without fear of liability.
- Satellite Dish Addendum
Since you must permit the installation of satellite dishes on your properties the Satellite Addendum is an absolute must have form. The addendum allows you to specify where and how the dish may be installed ensuring damages from installation are minimized or eliminated (the RHA leases prohibit the installation of satellite dishes without this form).
- Smoke Free Addendum
For those wishing to establish a good no smoking policy at their property the use of RHA’s Smoke Free addendum will do just that. Use of this form allows the landlord to ban smoking in units and common areas at a minimum, and also allows the option to ban smoking on the property’s grounds as a whole. Steps to remedy non-compliance by a tenant are also detailed on this form.
- Water Heater Thermostat Setting Addendum
As mandated by State law, water heater settings are not to exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of move-in by the tenant. The Water Heater addendum relieves the landlord from liability should the tenant choose to alter the temperature settings after move-in. In cases where it is not possible for the tenant to view the settings of the Water Heater use of this addendum should be avoided.
- Residential Electric Service Application (Seattle)
For use in the City of Seattle on electric-only accounts serviced by Seattle City Light, this form allows landlords to send a written request that they be copied on any late bill owed by a tenant to Seattle City Light (RCW 35.21.217 (2)). Should you request to be copied on a late utility bill, and the utility company fails to notify you of a late bill owed by the tenant, the utility company can no longer put a lien against your property for the bill owed.
- Resident Utility Billing Notice (Seattle)
Use of this form is mandatory in the city of Seattle when an owner wishes to pro-rate tenant utility bills. The form allows the owner to specify the methodology used for prorating bills and other general information. Included with the notice is a copy of SMC 7.25, the municipal code which requires the rental housing owner to provide this notice, as well as specifies the allowable manner in which bills may be pro-rated.
- Utility Billing Copy Request (Non-Seattle)
This form allows landlords to send a written request that they be copied on any late bill owed by a tenant to a municipally operated utility company (RCW 35.21.217 (2)). Should you request to be copied on a late utility bill, and the utility company fails to notify you of a late bill owed by the tenant, the utility company can no longer put a lien against your property for the bill owed.
- Utility Billing Invoice
To be used in instances where the tenant pays utility bill charges directly to the owner / agent. This form serves as a billing invoice to the tenant listing all utility charges owed, along with other service fees, and includes a due date for payment to be received by owner / agent. The bottom half of the form includes a detachable payment remittance for mailing to the owner / agent.
- Utility Billing Invoice (Seattle / Multi-Family)
To be used in instances where the tenant pays utility bill charges directly to the owner / agent for a property in the City of Seattle. This form serves as a billing invoice to the tenant listing all utility charges owed, along with other service fees, and includes a due date for payment to be received by owner/agent. Seattle law (SMC 7.25) prescribes limits on certain service charges, late fee amounts, and interest on past due bills. This invoice lists those limits for your reference. The bottom half of the form includes a detachable payment remittance for mailing to the owner / agent.
- 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate
This notice is to be used in cases when a tenant defaults in the payment of rent. Remember not to include on the form any monies due which are outside the definition of rent (damage charges, unpaid security deposits, late fees, etc.).
- 3 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy
This form is used when the tenant is illegally using the property (example: drug sales) or is causing very serious damage to the building, or is otherwise violating the law. Usually, this form is used only in the most serious cases of tenant misconduct. Judges tend to closely scrutinize these notices because, unlike the other forms, the tenant does NOT have an opportunity to cure the violation.
- 10 Day Notice to Comply with Agreement or Vacate
This form is used when the tenant breaches the lease in ways other than failing to pay rent. Examples include unauthorized residents, unauthorized pets, loud music/parties in violation of quiet hours, failure to pay security deposits, late fees, etc.
- Enter Premises Notice
Use this form for giving proper notice to a tenant before entering a tenant’s unit to perform maintenance, inspect the unit, show the property, etc. Owners and managers are encouraged to review RCW 59.18.150 and SMC 22.202.010 (for properties in the city of Seattle) before entering a tenant’s home.
- How a Notice Becomes an Eviction
This sheet is a simplified diagram of a typical unlawful detainer (eviction) case. In order to ensure that notices to tenants are properly served, pay close attention to the instructions contained on the second page of this form. This form is attached to all 3-Day and 10-Day notices.
- Lease Extension Addendum
A lease extension means the landlord and tenant agree to extend the terms of the original lease for up to one additional year. If any other changes are made to the original lease, they must be specified on this form.
- Rent Increase Notice
If you are increasing the rent of a month-to-month tenant, this notice must be received by the tenant at least 30 days prior to the first date of the rental period the increase is to take effect for. Note, that for properties in the city of Seattle, increases which exceed 10% cumulatively within a 12 month period of the first increase require 60 days’ notice.
- Resident Information Update
Use this form when you want to retrieve current contact information from your residents. It provides a place for information on updated employment, vehicle and phone numbers.
- Roommate Addendum
Instances where there is a change of roommates, or an additional roommate is added, require the use of the Roommate Addendum (use the Release of Interest form when one roommate is voluntarily leaving and reassigning any prepaid money to the remaining roommate(s)). The signing of this addendum does not change the terms of the original lease unless otherwise specified. All parties to the lease are required to sign this addendum.
- Time Estimate for Repair Notice
A good way to keep your tenant in the loop when making repairs, the Time Estimate for Repair should be considered a courtesy form. Keep your tenant happy by letting them know an approximate date a repair will be completed on and you can avoid having a tenant who retaliates in some manner against you resulting from a perceived slight of lack of caring by the landlord.
- Transfer in Ownership / Management Notice
This form should be utilized when the owner or management of a property changes. The law requires that a tenant be provided with a contact for the owner or manager of the property.
- Abandonment Notice
If the tenant has defaulted in payment of rent and it reasonably appears to you that the tenant has abandoned the premises (i.e. does not intend to return), this form is mailed by first class mail to the tenant’s last known address. To protect yourself, you may wish to obtain proof of mailing of this important document, as well as post the notice on the door.
- Early Termination Agreement
This form is used when both parties agree to end a lease prior to the expiration of the terms of the signed rental agreement.
- Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Notice
This form is used when a property management company issues a three day notice to pay rent or vacate or a ten day notice collecting fees or fines, or whenever the property management company is going above and beyond collecting monies from a tenant. You will find this form already attached to RHA’s 3 day/10 day notices for your convenience.
- Deposit Refund Statement
According to RCW 59.18.270, if you have accepted a refundable security deposit you are required to mail (first class U.S. mail) a statement of the deposit together with any refund due to the tenant’s last known address within 14 days of the tenant vacating the unit. If the tenant did not leave a forwarding address, the statement is mailed to the most recent address you have for them. To protect yourself, you may wish to obtain proof of mailing of this important document. Many people use estimates if they are unsure of the amount of any repair, however there is no legal approval of this process and you should try to get the matter resolved as soon as possible and send a final revised statement of deposit.
- Move-Out Reminder
Use this form to inform your tenant how you would like the premises cleaned before they move out.
- Storage of Resident's Personal Property Notice
Use this form when the tenant has left behind personal items that need to be stored.
- Termination of Tenancy – 20 Days
This form may be issued for a month-to-month tenant at least twenty days prior to the end of any given monthly rental term or for term leases which are reverting to month-to-month tenancies. This form should not be used for properties within the city of Seattle (see Termination of Tenancy – Seattle Only).
- Termination of Tenancy – Seattle Only
For properties located within the Seattle city limits, this form may be issued for a month-to-month tenant at least twenty days prior to the end of any given monthly rental term or for term leases which are reverting to month-to-month tenancies. Under Seattle’s Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, notices to terminate tenancy must specify one of the reasons set forth in SMC 22.206.160(c), which is reproduced elsewhere in this book. The six most common “just cause” reasons are pre-printed on the form. Line 7 provides space for you to fill in one of the other reasons if applicable to your termination of tenancy.
- Disability Verification
This form is used in cases where the property owner wishes to receive doctor verification of a tenant’s disability. The accommodation required for the disability may be specified, but asking for disclosure of the specific nature of disability is not legal. This form is most commonly used for the acceptance of a service or accommodation animal.
- Intent to Vacate Notice
Submitted by the tenant to the landlord, use of this form allows the tenant to terminate tenancy at the end of the lease term or rental period when renting month-to-month. RHA recommends all owners give this form to their tenants upon move-in so that they can receive a good written notice for their own records.
- Maintenance Request Notice
This form offers your tenant a clear and concise format for submitting all maintenance requests to the owner / agent. Consider providing several copies of this form to your tenant at the time of lease/rental agreement signing to ensure that they are aware of an easy way to contact the owner/agent when an issue arises at the property.
- Neighborhood Information
This optional information-only form introduces your new tenant to the proper contacts for important services in the area of the property, including police, fire, emergency services, and schools information. Consider using this form as a friendly way to assist your tenant in familiarizing themselves with their new community.
- Permission to Enter
It can often be difficult to find a time for inspecting, repairing or showing a unit that is amenable to your tenant. While not required, in certain cases offering the tenant the ability to set a date/time that they are agreeable to can ease the process of accomplishing whatever reason it is that you need to enter the unit. Landlords might consider providing a copy of this form to the tenant upon move-in.
- Resident Complaint Notice
Arguments or problems arising between tenants are a common problem. When such issues arise it’s helpful to have a paper record of such occurrences should future action need to be taken by the landlord to solve the problem. This form allows the tenant to submit to you in writing details of the incident.
Operating Your Rental
- Mold Pamphlet (EPA - English & Spanish versions)
These information-only pamphlets are an optional add-on to the State required Mold Handout. This guide provides information for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth.
- Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
An informational handout provided by the State Department of Health, this optional handout provides your tenants with information regarding carbon monoxide, it's causes, symptoms of CO2 poisoning, and how to safeguard against CO2 intrusion in to the home.
- Record Retention
Use this document to help you track how long you should keep all of your records and documentation.
Disclaimer: The material on the Rental Housing Association's website does not constitute legal advice, but rather information for your general guidance and help. Laws and regulations change and may change faster than our web pages are updated. There may be other facts which would result in a different interpretation and different results. If you need legal advice, consult your attorney.