Under the Landlord-Tenant Act, Title 59 RCW (Revised Code of Washington), the term “deposit” can only be applied to money which can be refunded to the tenant. If a refundable deposit is being charged, the law requires the following:
The rental agreement must be in writing.
It must say what each deposit is for and what the tenant must do in order to get the money back.
The tenant must be given a written receipt for the deposit.
A checklist or statement describing the condition of the rental unit must be filled out. Landlord and tenant must sign it, and the tenant must be given a signed copy.
The deposits must be placed in a trust account in a bank or escrow company. The tenant must be informed in writing where the deposits are being kept.