Should I read this?
Washington has changed its landlord-tenant law. Starting June 11, 2020, if you are a tenant renting the place where you live, you can ask the landlord to change the date your rent is due. This will also limit the landlord’s ability to charge you late fees. We discuss these changes to the law here.
Who can make a request to change the date their rent is due?
Any tenant can ask.
Does the landlord have to change the rent due date if I ask?
Under the law, the landlord must agree to your request if your main source of income is government assistance. (This includes TANF, SSD, SSI, ABD, and so on.)
If your income mainly comes from other sources, the landlord can but does not have to change the due date.
My rent is due on the 1st of the month. I get charged late fees if I do not pay on time. How soon do I have to pay rent without having to pay a late fee?
Under the law, the landlord cannot charge you a late fee until your rent goes unpaid for more than 5 days after the due date.
Example 1: Your rent is due on the 1st of the month. You pay the rent by the 6th of the month. The landlord cannot charge you late fees.
Example 2: Your rent is due on the 1st of the month. You do not pay the rent by the 6th. The landlord can charge you late fees starting from the date the rent was due.
I can’t pay rent by the due date. Can I ask the landlord to change the date my rent is due?
Yes. Under the law, the landlord must agree to change the day the rent is due by up to 5 days if both of these are true:
Example: Your rent is currently due the 1st of the month. You can ask the landlord to change the due date to the 6th of the month if you do not get your regular monthly assistance by the 1st of the month. The landlord could not charge you late fees if you pay your rent on or before the 11th of the month.
I need more time than 5 days because of when I get my monthly assistance.
Not all government assistance is received at the beginning of the month. For example, many Social Security recipients do not receive their monthly payments until the second or the third Wednesday of each month.
If you have a disability, and you need more than a change of 5 days for when your rent is due, you can ask for a reasonable accommodation. If you need to request a reasonable accommodation, you can use the sample letter below.
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