As a landlord, you have a right to require your tenants to:
- Comply with all requirements of city, county and state regulations.
- If they are CWU student renters, to understand that they are responsible for their off-campus conduct just as they are for conduct on-campus, through the Student Conduct Code. If you link here, you can access a downloadable letter from the university to CWU students that you can share with your tenants. "Off-campus Letter"
- Keep the dwelling clean and sanitary, and dispose of garbage properly.
- Not intentionally or carelessly damage the dwelling.
- Not engage in or allow others to engage in illegal drug activity, physical assaults or assaults with deadly weapons at the premise. Your tenant should know that being arrested for these types of offenses may constitute a nuisance that could result in eviction. (See RCW 59.18.180)
- Abide by the conditions of your lease. You can build in restrictions (for ideas, see below). If the tenant violates the terms of the lease, that is grounds for giving a 3-day notice of eviction. According to the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Department, usually the courts will grant the eviction.
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to:
- Ensure that your tenants are complying with local ordinances and state law. The Ellensburg City noise ordinance (5.60.060) fixes responsibility on compliance not just with tenants/occupants but on property owners as well! (That means that not only could your tenants receive a noise citation, but you could get a citation as well for ignoring the problem.)
- Maintain the dwelling so it does not violate state and local codes in ways that endanger the tenant's health and safety; maintain the dwelling in reasonably weather-tight condition, and keep the unit in the same condition as when the tenant moved in (except for normal wear and tear).
- Evict tenants who are not complying with laws, ordinances or conditions of your lease.
Things you can incorporate into the lease agreement to help ensure safety and compliance with laws:
- Tenants may not allow the misuse of alcoholic beverages in violation of city ordinances or state law on the property; may not possess, use, sell, or manufacture illegal drugs at the property; and may not personally engage in or allow anyone else to engage in any drug-related activity at the property.
- Tenants may not engage in any activity at the property that is hazardous to the physical safety of other persons on the property or in the neighborhood.
- Tenants may not have a party with more than 10 (or number appropriate to property and neighborhood) guests who are not residents of the property without prior permission from landlord and notification of adjoining neighbors.
- Tenant may not allow a person other than tenant(s) named on the lease to use property as a residence for more than 4 consecutive nights without explicit permission from the landlord.
- Tenants may not occupy the premises in such a way as to constitute a public nuisance under the law, or permit guests to constitute a public nuisance (which includes fighting and behavior that “offends public decency.”