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HousingSearchNW.org - A free service to list and find housing across the state of Washington

Leasing an Apartment - Helpful Resources for Landlords and Tenants in 14 Languages

Leasing an apartment can be a difficult and confusing process in any language. For people whose first language is not English, it can be doubly challenging.

The documents provided here offer information that can be used by both landlords and tenants to make the process work more smoothly. Each language link below provides access to these same documents in that language. Here is what you will find:

  • Model Lease - This is a sample of an agreement that landlords usually require when they rent an apartment.
  • Move-In / Move-Out Housing Inspection Checklist - This checklist can help the renter and the landlord identify any problems in the house or apartment before the tenant moves in. This helps to avoid disagreements about security deposits later.
  • Security Deposit Timeline - Most landlords require a security deposit. This document provides suggestions about when you should expect various parts of this process to happen.
  • Guide to Damages and Normal Wear and Tear - When a lease ends and a tenant vacates a house or apartment, the landlord is entitled to keep part of the security deposit if the tenant has damaged the apartment. This document provides helpful information about what is considered normal wear and tear and what is considered damages.
  • Tenant Request for Repairs - Tenants can use this form to request that their landlord make specific repairs that are needed in their rental home.
  • Basics of Landlord-Tenant Laws for Seattleites - In the City of Seattle, there are specific laws that apply to landlords and tenants. This document describes what these laws cover.

Translated Documents can be accessed in the following additional languages by clicking on the name of the language.

These documents were developed in 2011 and do not reflect any changes to State or local Landlord-Tenant laws enacted since then. They are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. If you have questions about how to obtain legal advice, contact 211.

Where did these documents come from?

The documents provided here were produced by a committee of landlord and tenant representatives convened by the City of Seattle. They are intended to guide landlords and tenants on fair and reasonable approaches, and help them avoid some of the most common misunderstandings and disputes.

The documents were drafted by a volunteer team of attorneys, with input from both the Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound and the Tenants Union of Washington State. Translation of the documents was paid for using funds from the settlement of a lawsuit between Margola Associates, et al. and the City of Seattle.

More about the Margola Settlement

Proceeds from the Margola Settlement are being made available to projects that will have a lasting benefit to the community and help improve the condition of rental housing. As required by the Settlement, a committee was formed to recommend how the funds would be used. It was made up of two members selected by the Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound (representing rental property owners), two members selected by the Tenants Union of Washington State (representing tenants), and one landlord and one tenant representative selected by the City of Seattle. The committee's recommended projects were approved by the court. The housing locator service HousingSearchNW.org and the documents provided here are some of the projects the committee recommended for funding.

More about these documents

No one profits from these documents and they come with no representations or warranties. Even so, the drafters hope these documents will be helpful to tenants and landlords alike. The intent is that they will bring more understanding in times of disagreement between landlord and tenant. Better yet, they may help landlords and tenants avoid disputes altogether.

If you have comments or questions

If you would like more information about landlord-tenant laws, contact:

If you are looking to rent housing or would like to list your rental property, contact HousingSearchNW.org.

If you are having technical problems accessing these documents, contact 1-877-428-8844.

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