Can i be evicted if there is an open homeowners insurance claim against my landlord

Asked about 1 year ago - Vancouver, WA

My landlord has on two recent occasions (since a claim was filed on the homeowners insurance) tried to evict me. He hired a management company and claimed I didn't pay rent but I was able to prove payment of rent. Now he's placed a 30 day notice due to remodeling. Do I have any recourse? Can I claim retaliatory eviction?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Robert M Lorey

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It sounds like you need to find a new place to live, since the landlord appears to be focused on getting you out of the premises. Technically speaking, it does not sound like the landlord has tried to evict you -- a formal process securing an Order of the Court for you to vacate the premises or be forcibly removed by law enforcement. However, it is clear that he or she wants you gone.

    The required advance notice to vacate is determined by the longer of, 1) your lease with the landlord, or 2) the statutory minimums established by the Washington Residential Landlord Tenant Act ("WRLTA"). For a month-to-month tenancy, the notice period is twenty (20) days. RCW 59.18.200

    As to a remodeling, if you have a month-to-month arrangement it is probably legal, even if not exactly legitimate. If you have a lease, and the lease is silent on this point, the landlord is probably in violation of the lease agreement in trying to remove you from the premises before the lease time has run. You can claim retaliation, but it is a hard case to make. Under the facts you outline, it is not at all clear that the landlord's actions fall under the ambit of retaliation under the WRLTA. See RCW ยง 59.18.240. Making a claim on the landlord's insurance is not specifically covered within the ambit of predicates to retaliation, so it is not clear that such an allegation would be well founded.

    You should consider at least an initial consultation with a local attorney well-versed in residential landlord-tenant law. Many attorneys will offer a free or low-cost initial consultation and this consult might give you sufficient information to decide on how to proceed.

    Good luck!

  2. Shawn B Alexander


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with the previous answer and it is time to start packing and find a better place. This landlord may be wrong but he doesn't seem to be noticing and will make normal life difficult.
    Good Luck

    If this answer was helpful, please mark as helpful below. Please be sure to indicate the best answer Only If and... more
  3. Peter J Weinman


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No legal advice here, but I wonder what the two recent insurance claims are all about. Were you responsible for something that happened to the landlord's home? Has his insurance gone up as a result?

    My answer is for general purposes only and is not not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, nor... more
  4. Cheryl Rivera Smith

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A retaliatory eviction would be difficult to prove. You may just want to move.

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