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To read the specific laws in the WA State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, click on the RCW (Revised Code of Washington) links throughout the Tenant Services website.

Tenants Union Tenant Counselors are not attorneys, and this information should not be considered legal advice. Please read our full Tenant Union Disclaimer.

Know Your Rights » Moving Out

Credit & Collections

Credit & Collections Resourcespermalink

Collection Agenciespermalink

Landlords sometimes use collection agencies in an attempt to recover debts owed (or claimed to be owed) them. There is little regulation for the action of individual landlords in using collections, but there are some federal regulations. It’s very important to know your legal rights when dealing with collection agencies. The information below will provide you with a general overview of the process, as well as some tips and best practices for protecting yourself against unlawful collection actions or unlawful behavior from collections agents.

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Credit Reportspermalink

Credit is one of the primary issues that landlords consider when screening tenants. If you know that you have credit problems, or if you find yourself paying numerous costly credit check fees to apartment buildings, you can take a copy of your credit report to the landlord when you look at the apartment and show them any blemishes that appear. Landlords do not have to accept your copy of the credit report, but you can explain what happened to your credit and what you are doing to clear up the problem. It’s a good idea to have a complete rental résumé, including employment information, references from previous landlords, supervisors, social workers and other community members, such as pastors. This can be especially important if you have credit issues or blemishes in your rental history. If you have bad credit you may be able to offer an additional deposit or a shorter lease to move in. For a complete discussion of tenant screening issues, see Tenant Screening.

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