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Evan Lee Loeffler
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Evan Loeffler’s Answers

26 total

  • My landlord has asked me to clean our storage room completely out and straightened it out.

    Can I charge her and have it taken out of my rent

    Evan’s Answer

    No. You have an obligation under the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of Washington to keep the premises clean and sanitary. The landlord's request that you clean your space is reasonable and may be in lieu of a formal notice of lease defaults. You may not charge the landlord for performing your duties under the rent. In nearly all cases, you may not withhold or offset your rent without the permission of the landlord.

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  • Are landlords able to double the deposit listed simply because a couple isn't married?

    A landlord said that to rent an apartment the deposit would be needed from each person since they are not married. The total amount asked for was double the amount listed as the deposit. So essentially each person needs to pay the full 1000 deposit.

    Evan’s Answer

    Absolutely not. To treat applicants differently because of their marital status is an obvious example of discrimination against a protected class. It is a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act to treat a renter or potential rent differently because of age, religion, race, disability, marital status, sex, use of service animal, being a member of the armed services, and a number of other factors. This is a partial list. The list of protected classes gets longer in the State of Washington, longer in certain Washington Counties, and some cities have additional protected classes.

    If your landlord required multiple or higher deposits because you're not married you have been discriminated against. You may have a claim against the landlord. Or you may bring this fact to the attention of the landlord and request they change the policy.

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  • I moved out of my previous place back in August. I have still not received my deposit for the previous landlord.

    I moved out of my previous place back in August. I have still not received my deposit for the previous landlord. I know there is a 14 day grace period I believe in which they are supposed to get that to you? Our main issue is we moved and we don't...

    Evan’s Answer

    Under Washington law you may require the landlord to produce a copy of the lease. RCW 59.18.065. Usually, the lease contains mention of the deposit, including the amount paid. If the landlord declines to produce the lease and waited longer than 14 days after you vacated before accounting for the deposit, you should pursue your remedy in small claims court where you may be entitled to double the amount of the deposit. RCW 59.18.280.

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  • By

    How do I get a copy of my rental agreement. My roommate has one but neither she or my landlady will give me one. Thanks

    Evan’s Answer

    The Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of Washington expressly requires landlords to provide a copy of the lease if requested. You may request one replacement copy for free during the tenancy. RCW 59.18.065. If your landlord is refusing to give you copy, send the landlord a certified copy of the law with your WRITTEN request for the lease.

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  • How can I legally sell abandoned vehicles after the 45 day period has passed?

    My former renter left two motorcycles and several other items behind when he moved (13 days after he was supposed to have been gone). I have been storing them in my garage and have notified him that he has 45 days to make arrangements to pick up ...

    Evan’s Answer

    You cannot sell motor vehicles that do not belong to you. If there are abandoned vehicles on the property, call a tow company and have them take them away. Tow companies in Washington have statutory authority and a license to sell the vehicles. You do not.

    The good news is you do not need to give any additional notice. Call the tow company today. Further, if the car is of value, the tow company might remove it at no cost to you.

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  • I've lived here 6 yr and my blinds are pretty bad do they have to replace them

    In an apartment for 6 yr is management obligated to replace my blinds

    Evan’s Answer

    Unfortunately, no. Management is obligated to keep the place weathertight, structurally sound and in compliance with building and safety codes. Window treatments are not considered an item that would endanger you or your family if they are not replaced.

    Management may wish to upgrade or replace the blinds if you show them photos and point out that the building would look better if the old and broken blinds were replaced. However, management may be constrained by the budget and desires of the property owner, in which case you may have to live with the broken blinds.

    If you're thinking of replacing the blinds yourself, get written permission from the landlord first. Most leases do not permit you to make unauthorized alterations or repairs without your landlord's prior written permission.

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  • Landlord intentionally left off expiration date on lease agreement, saying it is month-to-month, but represented it as 12-month.

    Landlord used the same form for 6-month lease and 12 month lease, all don't have expiration dates intentionally. She represented my 2011, 2012 and 2013 leases as 12 month, but decided to serve a Notice to Terminate Tenancy on me after I asserted ...

    Evan’s Answer

    Check the terms of the lease carefully. If the last lease you signed states it is a 12-month lease commencing on a certain date the fact it may be missing the end date does not change the tenancy to month-to-month. Anyone who owns a calendar can determine the termination date of a 12-month lease if they have the beginning date.

    Whether this was a 12-month lease or a month-to-month lease, if the landlord gave you a notice of termination of tenancy within 90 days of you making a good faith complaint or request for repairs, that notice is presumptively improperly retaliatory under RCW 59.18.240 and .250.

    I recommend that you contact an attorney and let him or her review the lease, the deposit checklist, the requests you made for repairs and the notice of termination of tenancy. The lawyer may be able to advise on how to proceed in small claims or contact your former landlord on your behalf.

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  • "No Nails or Tacks" Rule in Rental Agreement reasonable when walls not repainted for 12 years and splotchy when I moved in

    Landlord kept my deposit and said I caused damage to the walls, but I Spackle and used the original paint color on the places I put nail holes, but paint on walls was old faded paint and 12 years old. So she gets to refresh her paint in rental an...

    Evan’s Answer

    It is not unreasonable to have a "no nails or tacks" rule on a lease. It is, after all, the landlord's property and you agreed to this rule when you moved in.

    However, your point that the property had not been painted in over 12 years is a good one. The landlord can only without the damage deposit for repairs that are not considered "reasonable wear and tear." It is unreasonable to expect to not have to paint rental property after 12 years. At worst, you should only have to pay the pro-rated amount the landlord reasonably expected to get out of the paint job. There is not a bright line rule on this, but about 10 years is probably the maximum. The landlord got 12 years on a 10 year paint job. The landlord would have had to repaint anyway. Therefore, the landlord cannot withhold for the paint job. The landlord CAN withhold to repair any holes in the wall if you didn't do a good job spackling.

    Finally, about the inspection checklist: the landlord is required to give you a replacement copy of the checklist at no expense if you request it. RCW 59.18.260. Ask for it. If no one can produce a copy of the checklist the landlord may have to return the deposit in any event, although if there are damages you may still owe the landlord.

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  • How I can get out of this lease . A friend of ours bought and paid cash for the house . we now rent from her .

    After the purchase , we all walked through the house , the owner and I talked about a lot of stuff that had to be done . She reassured us that this stuff would be taken care of . The windows leak air like u wouldn't believe , There are 2 of t...

    Evan’s Answer

    There is a list of landlord's responsibilities under RCW 59.18.060 of the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act. If you believe your landlord is not meeting these responsibilities, you send the landlord written notice and request that it be fixed. RCW 59.18.070 states how long the landlord has to start the repairs depending on the nature of the defect. If the landlord does not make the necessary repairs on time, you have a number of remedies available. One of the remedies is to break the lease and move. RCW 59.18.090.

    Do not withhold rent. If you do you may be evicted.

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  • How much can a landlord add in late fees each month?

    He adds late fees more than once a month and various amounts from 50 to 200 a month.

    Evan’s Answer

    The lease states the terms for adding late fees. If there is no lease, the landlord may not charge late fees. If the lease states, for example, that there is a $50.00 late fee on the 5th of the month and an additional $100.00 late fee if rent is still not paid by the 10th of the month, that is probably enforceable.

    The late fees have to be reasonable. There currently no law that defines what is reasonable. The courts have stated the late fees must not be "shocking to the conscious." Generally speaking, if the late fees are over 10% of the monthly rent, they are more likely to be shocking.

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