There has been no problems, except now with new owners they apparently don't want my 2 dogs, I think. They haven't said. I am trying to find a place, but everywhere I apply, I am turned down because of something my landlord is telling them. My question is: Can I legally be given more time to vacate because I have a child?
In WA, having a child does not give a tenant any more right than a tenant without a child. In fact, the law states that a landlord may not discriminate based on family status.
If you are in a month-to-month rental, either you or the landlord can end the tenancy by giving the other party a written notice at least 20 days before the end of the rental period. For most persons, the rental period is the calendar month.
Unless the dogs are there to help someone in your family with a disability problem, you have no inherent right to have a dog in the rental if the landlord does not allow dogs.
"everywhere I apply, I am turned down because of something my landlord is telling them". It could be that the landlord is giving you a bad reference. However, as that landlord wants you to move, it would not make sense for the landlord to damage your ability to move.
More likely, if many prospective landlords know that you have two dogs coming along with you, they do not want the dogs. There are landlords that would not mind the dogs.
The tricky part of a 20-day notice is that you have to receive it at least 20 days before the end of the rental period. For example, you pay rent July 1, get the notice July 10, you are out July 31. What they cannot do is give you the notice and demand you leave 20 days later on some random mid-month date.
I agree that there are landlords who are pet-friendly. You can also write to your landlord and say that you want a neutral reference. A neutral reference is "Yes we know her, she is our tenant, she has been here for XXX months". That is totally neutral.
The legislature recently passed a law that requires landlords who check references and then turn a tenant down based on what they learned to disclose to the turned-down tenant what information it was that made the landlord decide not to rent to that tenant. If they say "No", you can ask and learn why.
If you learn that your new owners are bad-mouthing you, there is a cause of action called "false light". It is a kind of defamation. It means that even if everything they are saying is the God's truth, if you did not consent to their decision to share the information with third parties, you can sue them. As you are a private person (not a celebrity), your damages are per se. In other words, you don't have to prove what you lost. What you lost if you are correct is the ability to move to a new place, which is highly ironic coming from the persons who asked you to leave.
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