As a landlord, it's important to know when to notarize leases. In Washington state, it's generally not required, but there are some exceptions to this rule. This blog post will provide you with all the information you need to know about notarizing leases in Washington, so you can make informed decisions when drafting rental contracts.
First and foremost, it's important to understand that having a written lease is highly recommended in Washington state. Although oral leases are valid, they can only be enforced as leases from month to month. Any lease for longer than month to month must be in writing. This is outlined in RCW § 59.04.010.
If you're considering a fixed-term lease, which is a rental agreement for a specific period of time, it's important to note that they must be in writing. This is true for any lease longer than one year, which must be acknowledged or notarized in order to be considered valid. This requirement is established under RCW 59.18.210.
It's important to understand that a notarized lease offers an additional layer of legal protection for both landlords and tenants. Notarization confirms that the parties involved in the lease agreement are who they claim to be and that they entered into the agreement willingly and knowingly. It can also help prevent disputes down the line by providing a clear and enforceable written agreement.
Leases for over two years may also need to be recorded in the office of the county recorder for the county where the property is located, as per Washington State Law under RCW 65.08.060. This helps ensure that the lease agreement is publicly recorded and legally binding.
It's worth noting that while notarization may not be required in many instances, it's always a good idea to consult with an attorney before drafting any rental agreements. An attorney can provide valuable advice and guidance to help ensure your lease agreement is legally sound and enforceable.
In summary, when it comes to notarizing leases in Washington state, it's important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding rental agreements. While notarization is not required in many instances, it can provide an additional layer of legal protection and help prevent disputes down the line. Always consult with an attorney before drafting any rental agreement to ensure that you're following all applicable laws and regulations.