Information for Renters

New laws in Burien are in place to help you navigate the relationship with your landlord. Here’s what these new laws mean for you.

Just cause eviction

In Burien, landlords must have at least one "just cause reason" if they want to end your rental agreement. Your landlord must give you a written notice commonly called a "Notice to Terminate Tenancy" and state the specific just cause. In general, the notice period is 20 days before the end of a rental period unless otherwise stated in Burien's Rental Housing Policy (BMC 5.63.070). The Rental Housing Policy details the requirements and circumstances in which you may terminate a lease or rental agreement early.

You can always contact the City of Burien at renting@burienwa.gov for help to make sure a termination notice is valid and correct. 

Fees and payments

  • You have a right to pay your move-in costs and your last month's rent in installments. Just get it in writing and make sure you both date and sign it!
  • Your landlord must place your security deposit in a trust account and provide a written receipt noting the name, address, and location of the depository.
  • You can be asked pay the cost of a tenant screening report.
  • No security deposit may be collected by a landlord unless the rental agreement is in writing and includes a written checklist or statement specifically describing the condition and cleanliness of or existing damages to the premises and furnishings. The checklist or statement must be signed and dated by you and the landlord you shall be provided with a copy of the signed checklist or statement.

Get it in writing!

  • All payment installment schedules must be in writing and signed by both landlord and tenant.
  • No security deposit can be collected unless the rental agreement is in writing and a written checklist or statement specifically describing the condition and cleanliness of or existing damages to the premises is provided by the landlord to the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy. The landlord must provide the tenant a copy of the checklist or statement, signed and dated by both parties.
  • The landlord must provide an information packet prepared by the City of Burien for both new and renewed rental agreements. The landlord is required to get your signature confirming you received the packet. These informational packets will be available in 2020.