State law details tenants’ rights to privacy and notice requirements for landlords to enter rental units. Except in the case of emergency or if it is impracticable to do so, landlords must give forty-eight hours written notice to enter your unit, or twenty-four hours’ notice if they are showing the unit to a new prospective tenant or purchaser. The written notice must specify exact dates and time for entry, or specify a time period, listing the earliest and latest possible times for entry on designated dates. The notice must contain a telephone number for the tenant to reach the landlord in order to object or reschedule the entry. They can only enter at reasonable times and they cannot abuse their right of access or use it to harass you. The law does not specifically define reasonable times. If the landlord’s proposed notice times don’t work for you, you may decide to offer alternate times that the property is available for inspection. If your unit is up for sale, there may be a lockbox placed on the unit to allow access, but all privacy laws apply to potential purchasers and real estate agents entering the unit.
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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.