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RE: Contractor may request that the retainage be reduced to the value of the work remaining uncompleted on the project. Retainage withheld from subcontractors cannot exceed 5%. If the contract is less than or equal to $35,000, the public entity and contractor can agree to withhold 50% of the contract price instead of requiring a bond.

5 months ago

Can you please guide me to where this law or statue.. is? So I can reference it when I show it to my boss? We have had many jobs >$35,000 where they have required 10% retention.

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

That’s a good question. It appears that the portion of the Levelset site (specifically, Washington’s retainage requirements for public projects) quoted in your question was based on prior Washington retainage laws that have since become outdated.

The portion that was quoted in your question above has been updated to read as follows (under Does Washington limit the amount of retainage that can be withheld from a contractor?): “Contractor may request that the retainage be reduced to the value of the work remaining uncompleted on the project. Retainage withheld from subcontractors cannot exceed 5%. If the contract is less than or equal to $150,000, the public entity and contractor can agree to withhold 10% of the contract price instead of requiring a bond.”

This section is pursuant to RCW §60.28.011 and RCW 39.08.010 which place limitations on what amounts of retainage can be withheld on Washington public projects.

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