As a real estate attorney, who works for both landlords and tenants, I tend to only see the horror stories or renting property. Whether its a landlord dealing with a problem tenant (i.e. not paying rent, damaging property); or a tenant dealing with a problem landlord (i.e not returning security deposits without justification, constantly showing up unannounced); these situations often lead to unnecessary time in court.
Surely, a landlord should not put up with a tenant who is damaging their home and their investment, or a tenant who does not pay rent; and on the other side of the coin, a tenant should not have to put up with a constantly harassing landlord who shows up whenever they feel like it or to the contrary doesn't show up to fix items they are required to. However, a lot of simple misunderstandings can be resolved by simple communication. Note, though, communication should not simply be phone calls to one another. Communication should be in writing. Verbal communications, for example, to accept rent a few days late from a tenant or perhaps a phone call to the landlord that the plumbing is not working correctly, often ends up lost or forgotten when situations get worse. This is why it is import to simply write a quick follow up letter or an email to one another, regardless of how small the situation might be.
It is also important to familiarize yourself with the Residential Landlord Tenant Act of Washington (RCW 59.18). Yes, this is an overwhelming long statute for those not inclined to spend their days reading legal statutes. However, there are a couple quick sections you should be aware of, either as a landlord or tenant. For instance, there is one particular section entitled Landlord Duties - check it out here. And, yes, there is also one covering the Duties of the Tenant - check it out here. Beyond state regulations, you may also want to familiarize yourself with local or city regulations. Many cities have their own independent rules regarding landlord tenant laws - which often require business licensing for landlords, "just cause" evictions, and other regulations. Before renting your home or considering renting a space from a landlord, do some initial research. Get to know your rights and responsibilities.