My landlord enters my rental unit without my permission

Find out what you can do if your landlord comes in and out of the rental unit, without written notice or asking permission. #6325EN

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, you should read this if you rent the place where you live (you are a tenant) in Washington state whose landlord comes in and out of your rental unit, without written notice or asking permission.

  • When a landlord can enter your rental unit without permission
  • What notice your landlord is supposed to give you before entering
  • What to do if your landlord enters your rental unit without first giving you proper notice

Washington state law at RCW 59.18.150 states when a landlord can legally enter your rental unit and what kind of written notice the landlord must give you. It also states that your landlord can enter your rental unit without your permission in an emergency, such as if a major plumbing leak might flood the whole building.

If it's not an emergency, the landlord should give you a proper written notice. The notice can be handed to you or posted on your door.  

Usually, the landlord must give you written notice at least 2 days in advance. But if the landlord wants to enter to show the rental unit to someone who wants to rent or buy the place in the future, the landlord must give you at least 1 day in advance. 

It must give the dates and times the landlord wants to enter. It must also give a phone number where you can call the landlord if you need to negotiate for a different day or time.

It depends on your reason for doing so. The state law says that you cannot "unreasonably withhold consent."  You cannot make it impossible for the landlord to enter.

You should write the landlord a letter stating the specific times when the landlord entered without proper notice. You can use our sample letter below.

If your landlord improperly enters your rental unit after getting your written notice, that may violate the state law. You can sue your landlord later (usually in Small Claims Court) and ask for $100.00 for each violation.  

Get Legal Help

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

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Download Sample Letter to Landlord re: Invasion of Privacy

Last Review and Update: May 25, 2023
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