How to interact with your landlord to avoid legal trouble

Read this in: Spanish / Español
Authored By: Northwest Justice Project

If you are a renter having problems with your landlord, learn some tips, where to get additional legal information, and where to go if you need legal help. #6336EN

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* Read this only if you live in the state of Washington.

*Eviction law continues to change. Read about the latest changes to eviction laws.


Should I read this?


Yes, if you rent the place where you live in Washington State. These tips work for a manufactured or mobile home park, apartment complex, and so on.

*Although these tips are designed for tenants in Washington state, they should be useful in any state.


How can I avoid problems with my landlord?

  • Keep copies of all documents, such as the rental agreement, park rules, any notices or letters from the landlord, and anything you send the landlord.

  • Make written or typed notes of important conversations with the landlord. Note dates, what you talked about, who was there, and what exactly you each said.

  • Follow up on important conversations. Send the landlord a letter repeating what you each said and/or any agreements you made. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.

  • Send your landlord any documents or notices by both regular and certified mail, return receipt requested. Then you will have proof of mailing.

  • Never pay rent or other payments in cash, unless you hand it directly to the landlord and immediately get a written receipt.

  • Ask for and keep receipts of all payments to the landlord.

  • Keep all these documents in a safe place.



What if I need legal help?

Visit Northwest Justice Project to find out how to get legal help. 

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Last Review and Update: Jul 14, 2021
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