WHO’s RIGHT – WHO’s WRONG???

The majority of landlord-tenant disputes are arguments over the landlord withholding part or all of the tenant’s damage/security deposit.  Typically, disagreements arise when landlords and tenants disagree about whether the tenant is responsible for repairs or cleaning and/or whether tenants believe the charges are unreasonable.

Unresolved disputes may result in a trip to small claims court.  Judges will want to see a lease with clauses that support the charges against the tenant’s deposit.  A complete move in/move out inspection report showing both the condition when the tenant took possession and at move out will be critical.  Copies of invoices documenting charges will be needed.  Judges will also check to see that the landlord complied with all aspects of the Residential Landlord Tenant Act, including mailing a “full and specific” deposit accounting within 21 days of the tenant vacating the property.  Judges tend to put the burden of proof on landlords so document everything!

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

 There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. 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 obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

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TERMINATE A LEASE?

rental contract signingA lease or rental agreement may be terminated by the landlord before the end of the agreement only for specified reasons, including the tenant not paying rent, seriously damaging the property (waste), seriously interfering with the rights of other tenants (nuisance), conducting an illegal business on the property, or violating an important rule or regulation. In all instances, proper notice must be given so the tenant can rectify the situation or contest the allegation.

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

 There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. 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 obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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NON-RESIDENT ALIEN INVESTORS

FIRPTA typically requires that taxes be withheld monthly on gross rental income for non-resident aliens. Passive rental income for foreign investors is subject to a flat 30% withholding tax. The withholding requirement is on gross rather than net income and the responsibility to collect this may apply to the leasing broker or property manager.  Foreign investor clients should be referred to an attorney or CPA prior to purchasing an investment property.

According to the IRS:

Before agreeing to manage U.S. real property for a foreign taxpayer, a real estate professional or rental agent should discuss with the foreign client whether the rental income will be taxed as investment income through withholding, or on a net income basis as, “effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business,” without withholding (although the owner may have to file estimated tax returns).

Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. 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 obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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KIDS!! YEA or NAY?

the kidsYou cannot deny tenancy to applicants just because they have children, even if you think the rental property is unsafe for children. Families are a protected class, so even if the property is such that owner thinks s/he could be assuming potential liability by renting to a family with children, the owner cannot deny tenancy on that basis. For instance, if an owner doesn’t want children in a houseboat because of concern that a child might fall off and drown, that decision is not the owners to make and denying tenancy on that basis would be considered discrimination.

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

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. 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 obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.

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CONTRACTOR REFERRALS

 

Referring a contractor who is not licensed, bonded and insured increases your liability and puts your clients at risk.  The person hiring someone who is not licensed, bonded and insured becomes potentially responsible for damage caused by unlicensedworkman sized workers as well as medical bills and loss of wages for workers hurt on the job. Furthermore, the standard homeowner’s policy won’t provide coverage when knowingly using an unlicensed contractor. The Washington Realtor Hotline attorney says: In Washington State, there is a cause of action (a lawsuit claim) based on “negligent referral”. If broker refers a contractor to a party and the contractor damages the party, the party has a potential claim against broker for “negligent referral.” We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. 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 obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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Assignment & Subletting – Commercial Leasing

Most commercial leases prohibit a tenant from assigning or subleasing the leased premises to another party without first obtaining the landlord’s consent.  Often, a commercial tenant will execute a lease failing to insert language that a landlord will act reasonably when a tenant requests the landlord’s consent to an assignment or sublease.  A tenant, at the very least should negotiate that a landlord’s consent to an assignment or sublease should “not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed.”  A tenant needs to be concerned with this clause because most tenants do not realize that they could be in default under a lease simply because of (i) the death of a shareholder; (ii) the sale of the company and/or (iii) the reorganization of their company.  I have known landlords to hold up the sale/merger of a company because the landlord wants to renegotiate the lease as a condition to granting an assignment.  A tenant should attempt to have the lease permit certain assignments or subleases without obtaining the landlord’s consent, such as assignments to an affiliate company.

We are here to help you and your clients. For more information:

Contact: Sue Young, Director of Commercial Real Estate Leasing & Property Management: sueyoung@cbbain.com (email) or 425-636-4272 (direct)

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. 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 obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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2016 Coldwell Banker Award Winners

CBBAIN 2016 Top Real Estate Professionals ARES BRANCH

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Confidential Documents

Not only is it common sense to shred confidential documents, it’s also Federal Law.  The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) requires that all information taken from consumer reports must be shredded before disposal.  Consumer reports include credit reports and scores, residential or tenant records, check writing histories (tenant ledgers) and insurance claims.  The law covers all media – paper, discs, hard drives and CDs all must be destroyed.

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

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. 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 obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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UTILITIES

There are limitations on a landlord’s responsibility for utility bills not paid by a tenant.  If a municipality (for example, Seattle City Light or Tacoma PUD) fails to notify the owner that a tenant has not paid a utility bill, the municipality cannot place a lien on the property nor may it collect delinquent charges for electric light or power services from the owner, if the owner provided a request for the notification.  The owner is required to notify the municipality within 14 days of a change in tenancy, either a change in tenants or a vacancy.

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

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There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. 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 obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.

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