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Old 07-18-2012, 02:31 AM
1 posts, read 1,993 times
Reputation: 10


My husband and I rented a home from a private party. The landlord (LL) made numerous verbal promises to fix things as we did a walk thru of the home. Which he NEVER did follow thru with. Extremely wishy washy in his actions and statements.
We found, after several attempts at civil communications, that it would be best to live with the things that he originally said he would fix (such as putting a bathroom door on and refinishing the jetted tub that he used as one of the selling points for the home, large paint chips would come off in the tub if you ran water, never did get fixed) We decided to pay our monthly rent and at the end of the term we would leave. Communications with him were always so difficult, he was a very bitter "on edge" kind of guy. Didnt see that side of him initially.

My Complaint is he gave a very vague statement as to why he's keeping the deposit. When asked to explain or submit receipts for the yard work or proof of late rent...he wont respond.

The terms in the one year lease in regards to "Vacating Premises" is written as such

12. Surrender of Premises: In the event of default in payment of any installment of rent, or upon notice of any other default under this agreement, the Tenant will quit and surrender said premises to Landlord, subject only to any provisions for cure contained in the notice of default or applicable law. At the expiration of said term of this agreement, tenant will quit and surrender said premises to Landlord without any further notice required.

Nothing else is written in regards to the lease ending or vacating the premises. He seems to think we needed to give him 30 days notice that our one year lease was ending on the June 15th.

The LL stated we forfeited the deposit due to improper notice to vacate.

Did I misinterpret RCW 59.18.220 of the Washington state Landlord Tenant act in regards to set term lease agreements? I thought no notice was needed unless the language in the lease agreement states its going to a month to month at end of said term (then it would be 20 days notice). I pointed this out to the LL but he ignores any and all communications. He also added an extra $500 in "late rent" fees. Claiming rent was late for 10 of the 12 months. We paid 2.5 months in advance and I have bank records showing 4 checks that were cashed before the 5th (the day they are subject to $50 late fee) I have no way to prove the others, my rent was always sent out on time, takes one day to get there, but when he decides to take them to the bank is not something I can prove. I pointed this out to him also, he still ignored.

He also claimed he had to put $450 in to the yardwork. There was never a walkthough checklist done prior to tenancy or pictures to even compare to but I put ALOT of time in to making sure the landscaping was in better shape then when we moved in.
Also, although I specifically asked he would never tell us what bank the $1500.00 deposit was being held. Truthfully, I know he fell on some hard times with the economy and I dont think he even has the money to give. Regardless, we are still entitled to our deposit.

Can I sue for double the amount of deposit because of his intentional withholding, false fee's and lack of communication? Very frustrating that someone can take advantage of people like this.

geez and believe or not, this is the short version of the headaches we have dealt with with him.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:58 AM
3,045 posts, read 2,989,472 times
Reputation: 1306
He's supposed to keep that money in trust. Google King County landlord tenant law and read up on it. Landlords can not easily keep any deposit. If they do, there are boards in place where you can take them and force them to give it back. Do some reading there.

On the bright side, it makes me smile to hear that the bad economy is hurting some people such as your landlord.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:49 PM
1,621 posts, read 3,684,538 times
Reputation: 2313
Just file with the court to get the deposit back before your time limit is up. Keep ALL documentation and from now on ALL communication with him has to be in writing. If he calls politely ask him to send you an e-mail or letter or speak with your attorney.
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