Many landlords require tenants to sign a written lease. Remember that the lease is a contract, which, once signed, legally binds both parties to the terms of the lease. Before signing the lease, read it and make sure that you understand everything. Leases are often written in confusing language. Have your landlord or an appropriate advisory agent explain everything that you do not understand. Many law offices will provide a lease or rental agreement review for a nominal fee of $25-$50. If you feel uncomfortable with your first meeting with the landlord but love the property and location, a service like this before signing might make you feel more at ease or steer you away from a potentially troubling contract. Make sure that your lease protects your interests, not just the landlord's. Try to delete or modify clauses that are a disadvantage to you. Since many landlords now require student's parents to co-sign the lease, you should encourage your parents to thoroughly review the lease as well.
State Attorney General - Landlord/Tenant Law: http://www.atg.wa.gov/Landlord-Tenant.aspx
For a brochure that covers your rights under this law click here.