TENANT BREAKS LEASE – NOW WHAT?

If a tenant breaks a lease the landlord is required to make a good faith effort to re-rent the property.  The courts typically interpret this as listing the property with the same terms offered, including the same rent, for the balance of the lease term.  If the landlord decides to sell the property instead of renting it again, s/he has not complied with this requirement and probably cannot charge the tenant for lost rent. 

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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2019 TOP PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY – SEATTLE

We are proud to have been included as one of the top residential property management companies in the greater Seattle, Washington region! In the end, it is all about the experience we bring and the passion we have for the job we do, when it comes to the professional management of your rental property. Want to know more?

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NOTICE TO ENTER RENTAL PROPERTY – Washington State

A landlord must give a 48-hour notice prior to entering the property for a repair or inspection.  This notice applies to the yard, if it is included in the lease.  According to the Landlord Tenant Act (RCW 59.18.150), a landlord has the right to enter a rental, provided that the landlord doesn’t, “abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant.” The notice to enter should contain the exact time and date of entry, or “specify a period of time in which the entry will occur, in which case the notice must specify the earliest and latest possible times of entry.” The tenant may say no to a proposed date and time, if doing so is reasonable.  The landlord may enter without notice in case of an emergency or abandonment. 

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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WHO’S WHO?? Tenant, Guest or Occupant?

There is a difference between a tenant, an occupant and a guest in a rental.  A tenant, also called a lessee, signs a binding contract containing obligations under the lease. The lease agreement is between the landlord and tenant only.  Occupants are authorized to reside in the property with the landlord’s permission, but they do not have financial responsibility for the lease, nor are they entitled to tenant’s rights that might be afforded under the law.  Any violation of the lease, whether by the tenant, an occupant or a guest, must be addressed with the tenant.  A guest is a temporary occupant of the rental and has another residential address.  If the landlord allows the guest to pay rent or submit repair requests, the case could be made that the guest has status as a tenant legally.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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TENANT RESPONSIBILITIES

Tenants are jointly and severally responsible for the terms of the lease.  This means that any one tenant can be held liable for all the responsibilities associated with the lease, including the entire rental payment plus payment for any damages.

This also means that when the landlord completes the deposit accounting, any refund should made in one check, payable to all.  The landlord doesn’t want to be involved in determining who is responsible for what, they are all responsible, regardless of who did the damage or didn’t pay his or her share of the rent.  Even if one tenant vacated early, unless there are written instructions signed by all tenants to do otherwise, the refund should be payable to all.  Then the tenants get to fight over who gets how much and the landlord is not involved.

Finally, this means that tenants need to be very careful who they share a rental with!

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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SERVICE ANIMALS REVISITED

Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has updated definitions of service animals, this does not affect housing. The ADA deals with accommodation in public places and has a very specific definition of a service animal.  According to the ADA a service animal is one that has been “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” 

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) on the other hand deals specifically with housing and has a much looser definition of service animals.  In housing, under the FHA, a service animal can be called many things including service animals, companion animals, therapy animals, or emotional support animals.  If the animal exists to serve the individual’s disability, it is not legally a pet and may not be treated as such. That means no pet fees, pet deposits, or pet rent.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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WASHINGTON STATE PAY RENT OR VACATE NOTICE

One of the recent changes to the Residential Landlord Tenant Act changes the 3-day pay or vacate notice to a 14-day notice.  Senate Bill B 5600 also defines rent as, “recurring and recurring and periodic charges identified in the rental agreement.”  Charges for late fees, damages or legal costs cannot be included in a pay rent or vacate notice. If a landlord was to include charges not defined as rent, doing so could invalidate the 14 day notice.

Judges will be able to consider “equitable factors” such as hardship or illness, when asked to grant an eviction order.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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SELLING AN ADU OR IS IT A DUPLEX?

An owner-occupied property with an accessory dwelling unit will be considered a duplex if sold to an investor who rents both units. Typically, is it easier to get zoning permission for an owner-occupied property with an ADU than for a duplex.  If a rental property is found to be in violation of local codes, a landlord could be required to pay relocation costs for the displaced tenant.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of rental laws. Please contact us for further assistance! Visit www.cbbainrentals.com for details.

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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NOTICE TIME-FRAMES CHANGED – Washington State

Changes were made to the Residential Landlord Tenant Act effective today, 7/29/19. These apply state-wide, for all residential properties – whether the landlord owns one or a thousand, whether single-family, ADU or multifamily, whether professionally managed or owner managed.

A 60-day notice to increase rent will be required unless the rent amount is based on income.  Previously a 30-day notice has been required by state law.

A 14-day notice will be required to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent.  Previously, a landlord could issue a 3-day notice to vacate for non-payment of rent. Judges will be able to consider “equitable factors” such as hardship or illness, when asked to grant an eviction order.

Additional notice time will be required if a landlord gives a notice to vacate due to demolition or other change in use of the rental property.  Landlords are also required to apply payments towards rent first and other charges, such as late fees, legal fees, or utility payments after rent is paid.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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RENT – HOW MUCH – UP or DOWN

HUD calculates average rents each year.  This is done in order to determine payment standards for federal housing assistance programs. In a recent report, HUD reports that Washington has the 16th highest rent in the country out of 56 states and territories. For fiscal year 2019, in the Seattle-Bellevue, metro area (King County) average rent for a studio or efficiency is $1,416 per month and $3,228 per month for a house or an apartment with 4 bedrooms. 

Oregon has the 20th highest rent in the country out of 56 states and territories. Average rents for the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area (Yamhill County) are $1,040 for a studio or efficiency and $2,327 per month for a house or an apartment with 4 bedrooms. 

Data by city is available here: https://www.rentdata.org/states/washington/2019

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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