Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Washington

Is it legal to accept 6 months rent in advance?

When I was renting a house to an gentleman, he told me that his credit was not good and the score would be very low on the credit report. He offered to give me 6 months rent in advance and skip the credit check. Is it legal to accept more than first and last month rent when renting the house in King county? Also there was a gentleman thought that it was illegal to ask for the last month rent if I ordered the credit check on him.I think it is legal to do that. Can some one confirm that for me. Your professional legal advice would be much appreciated,

Thanks

Sunny

Asked on 8/27/06, 9:18 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lee Brettin Brettin Law Office
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Re: Is it legal to accept 6 months rent in advance?

Moneys paid as an advance rental deposit or security for performance by a tenant are governed by RCW 59.18.260 through RCW 59.18.285. It is permissible to accept 6 months (or more) advance rent so long as the lease or rental agreement is in writing and contains terms and conditions under which the deposit or any portion thereof may be applied as rent or withheld by the landlord. The landlord shall provide the tenant with a written receipt for the deposit and shall provide written notice of the name and address and location of the depository and any subsequent changes thereof. Screening of tenants is governed by RCW 59.18.257. The statute contains the terms and conditions under which tenant screening may occur, responsibility for costs, notices and sharing of information. It is permissible to require an advance payment of last month's rent or other security regardless of whether or not the landlord has conducted a tenant screening or obtained a credit check on a prospective tenant so long as the deposit is treated in accordance with RCW 59.18.260 through RCW 59.18.285.

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8/27/06, 5:50 pm

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