August 2013 Bar Bulletin
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August 2013 Bar Bulletin

"Rent"- Landlord/Tenant Resources

By Kim Ositis,
Assistant Law Librarian for Reference Services


I've selected the Broadway show "Rent" as my introduction to online and print resources for landlord/tenant research in Washington.

A great place to start any research project is with the research guides that are available on the Law Library's website: In particular, we have two guides on this topic: the "Landlord Tenant Guide" (, which highlights tenant resources, and the "Eviction Process Guide," which is written from the landlord's perspective (

The website is an excellent resource for landlord/tenant resources: The "Eviction and Your Defense" packet includes a sample form for an Answer to a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer. This form is especially useful as it is not included in the pattern forms on the Washington Courts website.

Landlords and renters in Seattle also need to be aware of the "just cause eviction" ordinance (SMC 22.220 et seq.):

Another unique resource that is available from the Law Library is a Sample Residential Rental Agreement that was given to us by a practicing King County attorney as a "good example" of a lease agreement:

Columbia Legal Services also has several model landlord/tenant documents on its website, including a model lease:

For landlords doing eviction research, the Washington Lawyers Practice Manual, vol. 5, at chapter sections 14.4 and 14.5, contains a step-by-step outline of the eviction process. Sample forms can be found at the end of the chapter.

We also sell a packet of forms and instructions for residential evictions in King County called " Washington Eviction Kit: King County Forms and Instructions." The cost is $35 (no returns, no refunds). The eviction kit is available for purchase in person at both of our library locations with cash, check or credit card (Visa and MasterCard only).

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