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Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Elizabeth Powell’s Answers

8,670 total


  • 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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  • Landlord disappeared then reappeared. What do I do?

    ok we started renting this place from a property manager. A year later the owners came and said she was illegal and took over our lease. 6 months into lease with owners the bank came by asking if renters or owner was here. Found out its in for c...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    You have rights as a bona fide tenant AFTER the foreclosure has happened. If you are unclear who owns the place, look at your rental agreement. Who owns it? If you cannot tell then look up your address on the County Assessor's website. The owner's mailing address is public record. *IF* you pay rent to the owner until the foreclosure happens, THEN you can stay for an additional sixty days post-auction and cannot be evicted for non-payment during that 60 days. But you cannot request repairs verbally - to be effective, do it in writing. Pen, paper, stamp. Keep a copy. Otherwise the owner gets to ignore you. If ANYONE walks in without correct predicate notice, call the police. Elizabeth Powell

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  • I am a condo owner, renter under lease until 12-2015. I lost my job and moving back to Lynnwood. I feel bad that I have to do

    this, and she has been with me since 12-2013. I hope that there is something I can do. Thank you, Kellie

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    If your tenant has a lease there is no way to make her move out, unless she violates the terms of the lease. "I lost my job" is not a lease violation. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Is this legal. .... Copying another persons parenting plan word for word and then filing it add your own?

    I have 2 kids, my eldest son is ten, 3yrs ago his dad filed a PPP, did all the paperwork, ect but never took me to court. Its online for all to see thru WCDC. My ex of my youngest is doing this also just to cause me stress. I was reading his PPP &...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    There is no copyright on a parenting plan, if that is what you mean. There is a form parenting plan, and you have to address all the elements, and add conditions if necessary. The case won't be dismissed on your motion for default because he has appeared and responded. It is what is in the declaration that matters, not whether the author gets first or third-person. You and your ex are going to have roughly equal time with your child, barring some really good reason why one or the other of you should not have time with your child. If both of you are reasonably okay parents (no heroin addictions, no child molestation convictions, not in jail), then you would do better for your child to figure out how to get along with your ex well enough to parent your child. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Can we break our lease without penalty because of ongoing repair work?

    We have six weeks left on 1-year lease and just want out NOW because repairs are taking up space for two weeks already. Can we just tell the landlord we're out and not lose last two months' rent and deposit?

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Are you eligible for relocation? If the landlord is doing major repairs while you are paying rent something is wrong. You would not be breaking your lease, your landlord is interfering with your quiet enjoyment. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Can I still take my former landlord to court

    After finishing my contract with the apartment complex (1 yr lease) I didn't not hear from them about any remaining cost owed and I left the place spotless so I did not think anything of it. A year later a collection agency said I owed $1200 righ...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Yes. Please see my legal guides about taking your landlord to small claims. Elizabeth Powell

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  • How should I handle a landlord situation?

    My apt has a shattered subfloor. It has since we moved in (it is on the move in paperwork). The city inspected 8 months ago and NO work has been done. The manager was to move myself temporarily into 2 different units on 2 different occasions, but ...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Contact the City to find out if the unit is permitted for occupancy. If there is a structural problem tell the landlord (IN WRITING)! to fix it. If it's not fixed in 24 hours, make the City come inspect it. See RCW 59.18.115(2). If your landlord is trying to rent out a unit without fixing the structure you are highly likely to get relocation.

    Done properly that's three months rent, all your deposit and your moving costs in cash or certified funds in seven days.

    Elizabeth Powell

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  • Is a 20 day notice to vacate/not an eviction notice,Legal if they have no grounds for it.

    If a landlord/owner is signed up through the state to accept low income housing/section 8 & they have a tenant who has been living there over a year and isnt late paying rent or hasn't done anything that would cause her to have to move .Can the O...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Please ask your Section 8 caseworker. If the lease is over, the landlord does not need a reason to end the tenancy. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Is it retaliation after expressing rights to refuse unnecessary renovations and right to quiet enjoyment of rental? month to mo

    "More than 20 states’ laws state that the landlord is presumed to be retaliating if a tenancy is ended (or services decreased) within a certain amount of time after a tenant exercises a legal right." With this said, I exercised my right to refuse ...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Lead abatement is a necessary repair. Your landlord should not rent out a place with lead paint. Please contact ChiQuata Elder at the City of Tacoma and report this because you may be eligible for relocation. Retaliation gets you not much, but check out RCW 59.18.085(3), which is a good cure for this. Elizabeth Powell

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