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Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Elizabeth Powell’s Answers

8,697 total


  • 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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  • I am going to sue a former tenant in small claims. do I need to have receipts for all the damage repairs in court?

    they did 5000.00 in damage by the estimates I got. but I don't have the money to do all the repairs at once. it might take a year to be able to afford the repairs. all I have is the estimates. will that be enough?

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    You are going to need testimony from a contractor regarding the reasonable value of the repairs that need to be done. You'll want to find and hire one who can handle themselves in court and develop estimates for you. Also, check your insurance policy, you might have coverage.
    Elizabeth Powell

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  • My tenant and I signed a two year lease in March 2015 to start Aug 2015 thru Aug 2017. How soon can I get them out.

    Lease not notarized. Because lease not valid is he allowed to stay 1 year or is it month to month from date lease was signed or from when lease starts?

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    That is a really good question and the answer is it depends on what briefing the Court receives on this subject. I have seen courts go either way - finding it is enforceable for the first year, finding it creates nothing more than a month-to-month from the beginning. Remember that contracts are always construed against the drafter, and if that is you, then you need to be prepared to explain why this was not done properly before the Court will grant you relief. This is not self-help law. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Rental Property Single Family Can Tenant Make Repairs?

    In a single family house with no stipulation in an agreement, can a tenant make a repair or replace an appliance such as a water heater without contacting, or possibly without success, the landlord or agent and if so, can that cost then be request...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Tenants are paying for a bundle of goods and services when they rent property. All appliances and furnishings are the landlord's obligation to maintain at all times. See RCW 59 18 060. If the landlord fails to keep the place up to standards, then the tenant can - if they carefully read and follow the statute - make repairs themselves. However, this is likely to lead to an eviction. After 15 years, I have seen one tenant do this correctly once.

    The RLTA requires landlords to maintain their properties. RCW 59 18 060. The RLTA says that any agreement whereby the RLTA is waived "shall be void against public policy and shall be unenforceable". RCW 59 18 230. The tenant has to give notice in writing, and wait the appropriate time, and then determine how they want to handle the situation. When the landlord breaches the contract, the tenant can leave, or get relocation. RCW 59 18 085. Elizabeth Powell

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  • What can I do when my landlord is ignoring my repair requests for several months?

    My father and I have been renting this house for 5 years rent is always on time or early we have only asked for a few minor problems to be repaired before. The land lord has ignored 3 letters written to him and 1 was certified mail he refused to a...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Take a copy of those letters and contact the City's Landlord-Tenant coordinator and have her get someone out to inspect the place. If the Code Enforcement people agree with you that this is out of control, your landlord *may* be ordered to pay you relocation. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Is physical punishment at work legal?

    My brother recently quit his job at a franchised grocery store, the reason being that his boss was being too hostile with him. He was told and forced to move boxes for his boss to move into his new house while on the clock at work for two full da...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    You are describing assault. That is a crime. Contact law enforcement. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Locks not changed from previous tenant resulting in theft

    We moved into our new place, in the lease it states we must get landlord permission prior to any outside locks being changed/replaced. I keeps calling them and get told they'd get back to me yet never do. just yesterday noticed that several items ...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Landlord is always required to provide reasonably secure locks for the doors/windows. If you do not have these, WRITE to your landlord and tell him to deal with it right now. Noticing that you are missing property does not mean you can prove someone came in without more evidence, such as a webcam showing entry. You can make a police report, and/or a report to your insurance, but on these facts, you lack something tying the unlocked doors to the property being missing. Stop calling, it is meaningless, WRITE. And keep a copy. Elizabeth Powell

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  • Federal Way, Washington-My friend received a "Notice of Termination of Tenancy".

    He is renting the house from his mother's exemption trust. There is no formal lease agreement and the rent is month to month. The trustee is my friend's brother and the mother is under his (my friend's brother) guardianship. The brothers have h...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    In Washington, many people have an unwritten rental agreement which is enforceable. In order to end the tenancy, one party gives a notice of termination of tenancy to the other party. The notice has to get to the other party at least 20 days before the end of the month, to be effective at the end of the month. This is a unilateral notice and a no-fault notice. It just means the tenancy is over. Your friend will ruin his rental history if he does not comply with the notice, unfortunately. It would be better for your friend to find a new place to live and then argue with his brother about his mother's care, rather than stay and be a defendant in an eviction lawsuit. Elizabeth Powell

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  • I have sent eviction notice to tenant, she did not get out , and invited a family of 5 to move in. they will not give me names.

    How do I start? squatters , help

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    An eviction notice is a predicate to a summons and complaint for unlawful detainer. If the tenant does not leave, you have to get a court involved. You can style the suit "(name of tenant) and all others occupying" - the judge and the sheriff can help you then. But I am in complete agreement with my colleagues - this is not self-help law.Elizabeth Powell

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  • I was in a domestic violence situation and was told I could break my lease now I have an eviction

    2 years ago I went to my manager and asked if I can be moved to a different apartment and she had told me the only option was to break my lease. I told them ok . I was also told that they cant legally evict me for doing so because of the situation...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Please contact the Washington State Human Rights Commission and file a complaint - you have been discriminated against unlawfully on these facts, and you should not have been evicted. You have to assert your rights, your landlord clearly won't look after you or bother to look up the law. See RCW 59 18 570.
    Elizabeth Powell

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