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Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Elizabeth Powell’s Answers

8,696 total


  • Is it reasonable to ask the landlord to reimburse me?

    i just moved into a newly remodeled apartment. I went to set up Internet and apparently during the remodel process they took the phone jack out. I'm going to have to have century link come install one... $99. Is it reasonable to ask for a reimburs...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    It may seem reasonable but that is a fast way to get yourself evicted. Don't EVER short the rent without carefully following RCW 59.18.150's exact rules. Does your contract state that internet is available? Does your contract require you to pay for internet? Have you written to your landlord and advised that you seem to be missing your phone jack? Please have this discussion with your manager/owner BEFORE you find yourself in hot water.

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  • Do have any recourse as to getting my deposit back? Or at the very least the last month of rent?

    I just moved out of a house that I had leased. Upon moving in, I informed the landlord that I was looking to buy and had the possibility of moving out before the term of the lease. He assured me that there would be no additional cost if I was to b...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Typically a court in WA will award a landlord one additional month's rent as compensation for the tenant's early termination, but not more, because the landlord has a duty to mitigate their damages by getting a new tenant. The lease is not the final word on what you owe and what happens to your deposit. Read RCW 59.18.280 and Gooddiel v Madison real estate, which is a recent and comprehensive decision on deposit disposition. No lease can contradict the RLTA - ever. See RCW 59.18.230, even if you signed it. There is no reason to write to your landlord regarding your deposit - just wait and see if he complies with the statute.
    Here is the risk: *IF* a court decides you owe him anything, then you could be additionally on the hook for his reasonable attorney fees, which could be substantial.
    Elizabeth Powell

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  • CPS refused a call on Monday gave it to Kent and took it can CPS sneak around me to my kids. I have a Kent Police case no.

    A Kent Police Sgt paid a visit to my house on Monday morning because a relative that lives in Boston called CPS on me. CPS refused the case and handed it down to the Local Law enforcement. So the office suggested that he take my kids to my sisters...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Please stop taking legal advice from CPS! And from the police. They will not give you legal advice. Anytime your children are removed from your home you are entitled to a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, go find the Public Defender's office. Call them. Email them. Tell them what is happening and ask them for help. Literally now.

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  • Can my ex landlord give my new address to people or a company or is that privileged information?

    I moved out of a month to month leased apartment. Landlord is mad at me. When I moved I rented a TV from Aaron's rental company and they picked up the TV on Saturday, I moved on Friday. My old landlady gave out my forwarding address to these ppl.

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    In Washington you are not required to give your landlord your forwarding address. That is a California rule, but not here. But I agree that what she did is not actionable.

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  • Is there a way I can have my Landlord's friend removed from the space I rented without my Landlord's cooperation?

    I rented a basement, this includes a living room, two bedrooms and a bathroom (there is a written contract.) Two years ago my roommate and property owner brought her friend to live in the spare room that was not being used by me. Eventually her fr...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    You could move out. Your landlord and her friend are interfering with your quiet enjoyment of the space you are renting. You can give notice to your landlord that you are no longer willing to put up with this interference; be prepared for your landlord to give you a 20-day notice terminating your tenancy.
    I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but . . . . Elizabeth Powell

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  • Do I have any rights in this situation. I have been told that he should have to pay for our move.

    I live in WA state and recently moved into a rental home. We just found out that the landlord is planning on selling the property. He is putting townhomes in and the first paperwork was submitted three years ago with the city. Our lease is up at t...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    If your lease ends, then either party can end the rental agreement by giving the other notice in writing at least twenty days before the end of the month. If your lease has not ended, then he has to allow you to stay provided you pay the rent and don't otherwise violate the lease. If he sells the property, the new owner has to adhere to your lease. It isn't entirely clear where you are in this process. Elizabeth Powell

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  • How expensive will that be?

    I'm thinking of suing my former landlord for retaliation after reporting violations to the proper authorities.

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Read RCW 59.18.240 and .250. The only damages you are allowed to recover if you prove retaliation are the reasonable attorney fees you actually expended. If you reported to code enforcement and they told your landlord to fix the place, that is an entirely different suit. Look at RCW 59.18.085(3).
    Elizabeth Powell

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  • Can a tenant in WA state bring an emotional support animal into a no pets property? Is it legal to charge a monthly fee?

    My friend lives in Longview WA. She is trying to find a rental unit that will accommodate her service animal (emotional support not physical disability). She is having problems with landlords having a no pet policy, which I thought would not be ap...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    A service animal is not a pet and a landlord cannot take a pet deposit or refuse to have a service animal in rental property. It is analogous to telling a person with a wheelchair they can't bring/use their wheelchair.
    Companion animals are not the same as service animals. There are protections for companion animals in King County (Seattle) but not, as far as I am aware, in other counties in Washington.

    If your friend's doctor will write an explanation that the animal provides some kind of support, that *might* do it. Please go visit the Pet Partners website, they have a lot of information. Elizabeth Powell

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  • What are my tenant rights when my landlord lets someone stay in my apartment without my knowledge when I am gone?

    My roommate and I decided to leave our apartment on 3/9/16. Our lease is from 9/1/15-8/31/16. Our landlord said it was fine to have someone take over our lease, however, she would be raising the rent from $1850 to $2100. We have had only 3 inquiri...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Seattle has the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance that addresses landlord-tenant issues in the City. You can contact Ryan Weatherstone and get his take on what is going on. Sounds to me as though you have been evicted by self-help and that is NEVER okay.

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  • I have given my Tenant a 48 hr notice to enter the Apt. She refuses to let me in, Can she refuse to let me in ?

    I gave my Tenant 48 hr notice. I have asked nicely to be able to put in New carpet and inspect the residence! Can she refuse me entrance to my Rental. I am Evicting her for 3 Months Non payment.

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Read RCW 59.18.150. The tenant can't refuse a properly delivered notice to enter. But this might not be the smartest time to install a new carpet. If you do the eviction properly you will have the place back in short order, and its easier to install the carpet without the tenant and their property there anyway. Elizabeth Powell

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