DISABILITY UPGRADES – RENTALS

Fair housing laws require that landlords permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of the rental property if necessary for the tenant’s full enjoyment of the premises. The landlord can require that the tenant restore the property to its original condition when the tenant vacates IF the modification will interfere with the next tenant’s use and enjoyment of the rental.  The addition of a wheelchair ramp, adding grab bars in the bathroom or modifying plumbing to accommodate dialysis equipment could all be considered reasonable modifications.

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.
Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment

FAIR HOUSING AND THE ADA

fair housingThe Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) define service animals differently.  The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in public areas, such as employment, transportation, public accommodations and access to state and local government programs and services. The FHA protects a person with a disability in housing.

While the ADA has a very specific definition of a service animal, the FHA does not.  Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as an animal, almost always a dog, that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA.

On the other hand, both service animals and emotional support animals are allowed in housing.  These animals do not need to be trained and the person with a disability need only provide a letter from a health care provider stating that the person has a disability and that the animal provides assistance and/or necessary services related to the disability.

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.
Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment

10 DAY NOTICE – Washington State

If a tenant is not complying with a term of the lease, the tenant can be served with a Ten-Day Notice to Comply.  This notice is given to a tenant who is violating a term of the lease, for example, to a tenant who has an unauthorized pet on the property. A specific clause of the lease must be referenced in the notice.  However, it is often difficult to prove a Ten-Day violation.  Whether or not rent has been received is (typically) easily documented; whether or not the tenant is maintaining the yard is a matter of opinion.

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.
Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment

REAL ESTATE MARKET REALITY

One of the more difficult scenarios for property managers occurs after the property has been leased for a few years and the owner decides to sell the property.  Somehow, over the time the tenant was in place, the owner’s recollection of the condition of the property at move in becomes rosier and more perfect.  It is not unusual for owners to think that tenants should pay for work that a professional property manager considers a condition caused by normal wear and tear.  However, this perception is often magnified when the owner decides to list the investment property for sale.

The landlord needs to remember that even if the rent didn’t cover the owner’s mortgage, the rent did offset expenses.  There was someone in the home, using the appliances and systems, which is better for the home.  The tenant may have paid utility bills and been responsible for part of landscaping responsibilities.  Also, many insurance companies won’t insure a home if it is vacant or if they do so, the price may be much higher.

In the current market, most owners have gained significant appreciation in the last several years.  Having a tenant in place made it much easier financially to hang onto the property until the market improved.  The downside is that someone lived in the home and wear and tear occurred.  It is normal for an owner to have expenses associated with preparing a property for sale, whether owner occupied or tenant occupied prior to listing it.

Prior to putting a property in the rental pool, a prospective landlord needs to understand that there will be costs associated with owning an investment property, including at the end of the lease when the home is going to be listed for sale.

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.

 

Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment

TENANT DEPOSITS

pm word jumble

The Washington State Residential Landlord Tenant Act requires a written move in inspection report, signed by both parties, if a deposit is collected.  If there’s no written inspection report, the landlord can’t withhold any portion of the deposit, even if the tenant significantly damages the property or owes rent. Without a written report, documenting the condition of the property at move in, it is impossible to prove that any damage didn’t pre-date the tenant’s occupancy.  The law specifies a written report; photos alone won’t suffice.

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.
Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment

Landscaping. Who takes care of it?

A common issue in rentals is who is going to maintain the yard.  Because maintaining the yard helps maintain the value of the property, it often makes financial sense to include some level of yard service in the lease.  Landlords need to consider not only the appearance of the yard during the current tenant’s lease but also what the condition will be when the landlord is marketing for a new tenant.  For large yards and those with a lot of money invested in the yard, it may be a good idea to include full yard service in the lease.  For other properties, doing a spring and fall clean up may be sufficient.watering can cutout

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.

 

Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment

WASHINGTON STATE – #7 AND GROWING

Top 10 States in Employment Growth[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment

PROPERTY ABANDONED – WA STATE

If a tenant abandons the rental property the landlord can take possession.  HOWEVER, the tenant must have indicated by word or deeds AND have unpaid rent before the landlord can declare the property abandoned.  If the tenant abandons any personal property that has either emotional or financial value it must be stored for 45 days and there is a process for notifying the tenant.

A judge can award a tenant up to $500 per day for every day a tenant is without his/her personal property if a landlord illegally removes a tenant’s property.  If a landlord disposes of the tenant’s property without due process, the landlord could also owe the tenant the stated value of the belongings.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment

SEATTLE LAW OVERTURNED!

scale of justiceA King County Superior Court judge overturned Seattle’s “First Come, First Served” Ordinance.  The ordinance went into effect last year and required landlords to accept the first applicant who met screening criteria.  The judge ruled that while the goal of the law, preventing discrimination, was laudable, that it was too far reaching and violated landlord’s property rights.  She also found that the rules in the law regarding rental advertising violated property owner’s free speech rights. The city has not yet revealed whether they will appeal the decision.

It has been the policy of Coldwell Banker Bain Property Management to accept the first qualified applicant with four caveats.  If multiple applications are received, we will choose between them based only on the following:

  • Proposed move in date
  • Length of lease requested
  • Amount of rent offered
  • Whether the applicants have pets

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.

Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment

WASHINGTON STATE – FREE ADVICE

Washington State has a free advice and referral service for low-income people for civil matters, including Landlord-Tenant issues.  “CLEAR” has limited resources, but may:

  • Give verbal or written advice that may help solve the problem;
  • Send written legal information and/or forms to help solve the problem;
  • Try to resolve the problem through negotiation;
  • Referral to another provider of legal aid.

Contact information:

  • Outside King County: Call 1-888-201-1014 weekdays 9:15 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.
  • King County: Call 211, 206-461-3200 or 1-877-211-WASH for information and referral to an appropriate legal services provider weekdays 8:00 am – 6:00 pm. Information on legal service providers in King County may also be accessed through 211’s website at www.resourcehouse.org.
  • Persons 60 and Over: Persons 60 or over may call CLEAR*Sr at 1-888-387-7111, regardless of income.
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.
Posted in Did you know... | Leave a comment