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Landlords can't legally charge you a non-refundable fee just to hold an apartment or rental unit for you while you're going through the application process or waiting to move in.

This kind of fee is known as a "hold fee," and here's what you need to understand:

What's a Hold Fee?: 

It's money a landlord might ask for to keep a rental unit off the market for you, essentially reserving it in your name before you officially move in.

Your Rights: 

You have the right to get this fee back. If a landlord decides to keep this fee without refunding it once the application process is over, they're breaking local laws, specifically a part of the Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC) referred to as 1.100.040 subsection 1.

How to take action

  1. Send your landlord a letter/email informing them of the violation (see templates) 

  2. Document all interactions and communications with your landlord.

  3. If your landlord refuses to comply with the law, you can file a Civil Complaint (see template) for the violation. 

  4. Contact an attorney for legal advice and/or representation 

  5. Go to all of your hearings!

Template Downloads

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