Elizabeth Rankin Powell’s Answers

Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Tacoma Landlord / Tenant Lawyer.

Contributor Level 20
  1. My landlord entered without notice 24 hours before i stated in notice to vacate and is now charging me for items I planned to do

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Jacques Tushinsky-Fox
    2 lawyer answers

    It is not legal. I have two legal guides about taking your landlord to small claims. If you and your landlord agreed that you would be out on Sept 2 at 6, he had no right of entry before then and no right to exclude you. NONE. Return the doors. And be prepared to show that 1) no checklist and 2) no compliance with the other deposit rules. Your instincts are correct. But rather than writing demand letters, just let the Judge explain it to your landlord. I have two legal guides about taking your...

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  2. Verbal Abuse

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Derek Michael Smith
    3. Margaret H. Brost
    3 lawyer answers

    In Washington, audio recording of a conversation without the knowledge and consent of the other party is a crime. Voicemail, on the other hand, is fair game, because our courts have held that a voicemail has no expectation of privacy. You can always recount for a court what someone said to you. I advise my clients not to use really vulgar language, no matter how accurate it is, but instead to say, "and then he used really vulgar language about me and my mother" or something like that....

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  3. Improper service of summons in the state of Washington. Summons was served on my 17-year-old daughter while I was out of town.

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Tim L Eblen
    3. Thuong-Tri Nguyen
    4. Edgar I Hall
    4 lawyer answers

    Whether or not service is proper is a legal conclusion. Service on a 17 year old who resides with you at the residence where she was handed the papers is likely good service. Service on a 12 year old has been found to be OK. But you cannot be sued for a debt that is ten years old, the SOL ran after six years. Please consider counterclaiming for FFDPA damages of $1,000 and CPA treble damages, for a total claim of $3,000.00 Also, you should let the attorney general's office know about this....

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  4. Sister who lives with elderly parents is mishandling their financial affairs.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Chandra Melissa Lewnau
    3. Kelly Scott Davis
    4. James Marston Brown
    4 lawyer answers

    You might want to consider contacting Adult Protective Services to let them know what you have discovered. Financial abuse of vulnerable persons is never OK. Not paying the taxes is putting their home at risk, it is amazing that it has been five years. You might want to check for yourself to be sure the property is not being sold to pay the back taxes. Also, WA has an action a non-lawyer can file on behalf of a vulnerable person. This is similar to Domestic Violence, but you can allege...

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  5. My mom passed away without a will but left a property. How do I transfer the deed to my name?

    Answered about 2 months ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Eric Christopher Nelsen
    3. Ray C Brooks
    3 lawyer answers

    First, please accept my condolences on your recent loss. I'm also sorry to hear that she did not leave a will, but that is not an insurmountable problem. Sounds like the taxes need to be paid, and soon. What you need to do is to ask the Court to open an intestate probate - that means one where there is no will. The Court will do that, although the Court may well ask you to post a bond because there is no will. You will need to give notice to the State's Office of Financial Recovery, in case the...

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  6. My mother past away, divorced and no will. she has three sons. Could the three sons sell her personal property before probate?

    Answered 5 months ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Harold Kent Prukop Jr
    3. James Thomas Saulsbury
    4. Maureen Ann Wickert
    4 lawyer answers

    First, please accept my condolences on your recent loss. It would be better to get your mother's estate formally probated if you want to get the benefit of the real property. Real property has to be probated, there is no way around that. If her bank account had a payable on death provision, then her bank account is not part of her probate estate. When a person dies without a will, the plan that is imposed is the heirs share equally in the estate. This is called an "intestacy". What you...

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  7. How can neighbors ask/require a Landlord to terminate lease on his new tenant, for two known dog attacks on other dogs?

    Answered 5 months ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Dave Hawkins
    3. Gary Ralph Ilmanen
    3 lawyer answers

    You could bring this up with animal control. The RLTA has a mechanism whereby a neighbor can ask a landlord to terminate a tenancy, but it talks about "gang-related activity" and I am not sure that being a neglectful dog owner correlates with gang activity. The person who was attacked can sue the tenant. You as neighbors can alert law enforcement that these dogs are not being properly contained/supervised. WA does not allow a dog "one free bite" as some states do. The person with the best...

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  8. Does having a beneficiary on my bank account override my will?

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Ryan Lynn Jensen
    3. Patrick J Galloway
    4. Tony Anthony
    5. Seth Gabriel Kagan
    5 lawyer answers

    Yes, because a bank account designating a survivor will take (a "payable on death account") passes outside of probate. The money in the account is not part of your probate estate. If this is not your intention, you need to make your intention that this savings account go to your children in equal shares known to the bank. The best way to do that would be to name each of your children as survivors on this account. The situation you are describing happens frequently. When the POD...

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  9. How long does his family have to clear his belongings out of my rental?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    1 lawyer answer

    First, please accept my condolences on your recent loss. It is my opinion that a person does not "abandon" a tenancy when they pass away, especially if their family is working to gather up his personal property. In the absence of a will, the personal property belongs to his adult children based on WA's intestacy statute. If he did not own real property, it is possible that there is no need for a formal probate. WA has a "small estate probate" that can be used when the decedent's estate is <$...

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  10. How can our dad gift his house to his kids before Jan 1/13? Would it be enough for him to sign a statement with his lawyer?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Thuong-Tri Nguyen
    3. Eric Jerome Gold
    3 lawyer answers

    This is an issue for your dad and his lawyer. If there is any hint that this transaction is your idea rather than his, it will not stand scrutiny, especially if he is older and possibly has capacity issues. Real property cannot be conveyed by "statement", only by deed or will. The encumbrances on the property are irrelevant and so is the length of his residency. Elizabeth Powell

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