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Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Elizabeth Powell’s Answers

8,658 total


  • I have rats around and possibly in my Washington state house.

    I rent a room in a house along with others. The house is separated into two as in there is a basement with separate room rentals and there is the main floor that is inaccessible from the basement that gets rented out too. We share the same addre...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Sounds like multi family to me, and that means the landlord is responsible for pest control. You have to give notice in writing. Then contact the City's Landlord Tenant Office - they can help you. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Apartment flooding - estimated to be mod-severe. Own renter's insurance but.....

    June 16th, 989 Elements Building was severely flooded. My apartment was estimated mod-severe damaged. My roommate and I were evacuted. My name is on the insurance policy (ERentersPlan) but his is not. Plus, my fiance's clothing were used...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Please review my Legal Guide on tenant relocation. You may be eligible. This will require that you stop taking legal advice from your landlord. Elizabeth Powell

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  • What's next step?

    we have been renting at house we are living at for two years. This last two month our landlord hasn't came by to collect rent and the bank has come by and asked if renters or tenants live here and took pictures of the place. We told bank guy we ...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Pay the rent to the current owner - your landlord. You are supposed to have an address where you send rent. The owners mailing address is public record - look on the County Assessor's website. Send the rent there. As soon as you can. After the house is actually auctioned you have sixty (60) days during which to pay rent to the new owner (possibly the bank) and preserve your tenancy, but if you want to leave you can.

    Elizabeth Powell

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  • The back door in my rental unit is not secure and has no deadbolt. Is this legal in Washington State? I also have no key to it.

    The landlord pointed it out to me before I moved in and said he would be replacing it soon. I have lived here almost 4 full months and it has yet to be done. I have written requests 3 separate times asking to get the problem resolved and each time...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    One of the basic maintenance obligations of a landlord is to provide you with doors and windows that have reasonably secure locks. If you have notified your landlord in writing and kept a copy of that letter, take it to Code Enforcement for the City and ask them to follow up with your landlord. You don't need "legal grounds" to break your lease, your LANDLORD has broken the lease. Read RCW 59 19 090. Elizabeth Powell

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  • If it is not stated in my lease, am I required to pay the full months rent on the month I am moving out?

    We were approved for military housing and we have to move in by a specific day. I put in my 20 day notice to move out by the 13th but the property manager is claiming thay since I did not give it to them by the 10th, I have to pay for all of July....

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    No matter what your lease says, if you are active-duty and you are PCS'ing or getting deployed, you give copies of your orders to your landlord and you LEAVE. You do not owe a lease break penalty, and they cannot make you give 20 days notice either. See http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=59.18.200
    Elizabeth Powell

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  • What does it take to put out a restraining order in pierce county Washington, state

    so this woman accused my husband of getting her pregnant and followed us for months showing up at his work and texting, she used to be a friend but became infatuated with him, she was never pregnant nor had they ever slept together she later admit...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    You can go to the DV office at the courthouse, and request the forms for an anti-harassment order. This isn't strictly speaking DV, because she is not a resident within your household. But it is harassment/stalking. Bring proof you told her to leave you alone. The court is quite likely to issue you an order. If she violates the order, call law enforcement and she can be arrested. You can find the form for the petition at washingtonlawhelp.org
    Elizabeth Powell

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  • I have had a horrendous experience in apt complex and am breaking lease, management not negotiating on penalty. Help??

    I placed deposit from out of state, apt was untenable on my arrival, I transferred into a different apt which had many issues, then police came with a warrant for previous tenant, which was last straw. Maintenance issues mostly addressed but plac...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    To put it another way, you aren't breaking your lease, your landlord has broken your lease and now your obligation is to mitigate your damages. Code Compliance officer Georgia Sabol is very helpful. Elizabeth Powell

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  • What time of attorney do I need?

    I was living in a house that had mold in the walls of my master bedroom and master bath. I noticed the wall was painted different in the ceiling. The landlord woukd just soray with kilts. After 5 year we (the tenant) hired a contractor and found o...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    You need a personal injury attorney who handles premises liability matters. The Statute of Limitations on a claim like this is three years if you had no written contract, six years if you had a written agreement. I am so sorry to hear of your loss of your child. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Single family house which functions as a 3 unit 10 bedroom rental property in Seattle

    Hello, What are the legal options we have if we own a single family property that functions like a 3 unit (10 bedroom) rental property but is not licensed as such, in case the city finds out about it. Does anybody have experience with being abl...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I can't say whether or not you could be charged with a crime, but the sooner you get this property into compliance with Seattle's codes and ordinances, the better. The biggest risk you are running is that a tenant could get hurt or die if the electrical system malfunctions, or if you are renting out unconditioned space as a bedroom. Elizabeth Powell

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  • My rental home caught on fire due to an electrical issue. The house is unlivable and I do not have renters insurance.

    I now have to move and move all of my belongings as well as the smoke damage and cleaning. I was asleep in the home when the fire started. The smoke detectors did not go off. And when I tried to use the fire extinguisher to start to put out the fi...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    PLease contact Ryan Weatherstone at the City of Seattle's Code Enforcement office and ask him to send an inspector. It isn't clear what caused this fire. *IF* the fire was caused because you were negligent, you may be SOL. If the fire was caused because your landlord was negligent, then you may be eligible for relocation ($2K City of Seattle + three month's rent, all your deposits and your moving costs in cash in seven days) and that is totally worth finding out. But you have to tell the City. If the Fire Department said you have to leave, the relocation clock has all ready started ticking. Read RCW 59 18 085(3). Elizabeth Powell

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