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Old 06-26-2013, 06:28 PM
1 posts, read 1,480 times
Reputation: 10


I am a current student at EWU. My lease ends June 30th. My wonderful landlord agreed to extend the lease until August 31st, since we decided to move into a different apartment whose lease would start in September.
About a month or so ago we went into a realty office and placed a deposit on a manufactured home and also paid a "non refundable" application fee. Now we were told as a safety fall back we would need to choose a second option (just in case). I felt glad to be stressed free from apartment hunting with a deposit down, thinking I was guaranteed a place. Weeks later, I get a call from the realty stating that both of our options had renewed their lease. Can they do that after I payed a deposit also? I thought deposits legally held the place for you?

I talked to my current landlord which he told us we could not renew our lease now that he had accepted new tenants who have also payed deposit. (I do not have an issue with this) since we did tell him we would be moving, after all we did have a deposit down on another place.

also my sister recently informed us she would be moving in with me and my husband. Now, this realty charges extra for a third person in a two bedroom apartment. The problem is, I don't understand why they would charge extra if I'm married? I don't think it is fair, we are not three separate roommates, we're a couple who share rooms, it would not be fair to move into a three bedroom to avoid the third person fee, when we only need two bedrooms. What do they want us to do? sleep in different rooms?!

It's a lot to take in, very stressful situation! I have a headache! I need help in what actions I can take under rights of being a tenant
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:13 PM
1,071 posts, read 1,840,986 times
Reputation: 729
Not that the information contained in the link address your issues but I've posted this on the forum before and it's a good resource:

Your Rights as a Tenant in Washington State

It's just a good primer and reference.

I'm not an expert nor do I really understand what you've described but I'll just throw out my thought and you can do with them what you want. If I'm not understanding what you've written, then, of course, disregard.

I'm thinking that a non-refundable application fee is NOT a deposit to hold an apartment. That may be where you're getting confused as it appears that there is a difference between a "screening and background fee" and a deposit to hold an apartment.

The law (click here for the RCW), says "A fee or deposit to hold a dwelling unit or secure that the prospective tenant will move into a dwelling unit under this subsection does not include any cost charged by a landlord to use a tenant screening service or obtain background information on a prospective tenant." which infers that if in fact it was strictly a "screening and background check fee," then it can't be included in a deposit to hold a rental unit.

Or that's what I'm interpreting the situation as being.

As to having three people in the apartment, I'm thinking that they don't care one bit about your sleeping arrangements or any relationship between the three people, they are determining it on the basis that three people are occupying the premises which causes more wear-and-tear on the property and if one or more of the utilities are included, that third person will obviously be using more of the utilities than if only two people were occupying the property.

Again, I may not be totally understanding or interpreting what you wrote so take what I say with a grain of salt.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:52 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
18,816 posts, read 28,752,872 times
Reputation: 38283
Do you have a lease with the manufactured home place?

And if you do, does it have a clause that says the lease is invalid if they can't offer the unit to you because it is still occupied?

A deposit, on it's own without a written agreement doesn't guarantee you anything, unfortunately. They do have to refund it, but not the non-refundable application fee (though you might want to check WA law and see if they charged you a legal amount).

And 2 + 1 = 3.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:58 AM
Location: North Idaho
28,367 posts, read 38,935,438 times
Reputation: 62581
You aren't getting the nonrefundable application fee back. That paid for your credit report and screening. Whether or not you get your deposit on the rental back will depend upon what your receipt says.

I would think, yes, refund, since you didn't get the unit, but again, what did you sign?

You obviously were not promised a unit since you were informed that you needed to pick a "back-up" option. That clearly means that the first choice unit was not guaranteed.

3 people means more wear and tear, more water used, more trash to haul away, more noise, more possibility of complaints. Maybe you should "inform" your sister that she is not welcome. It's not really her choice whether or not she can live with you.

As for suggestions: better get busy and find a new place to rent because you must be moving soon.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:16 AM
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,490 posts, read 4,462,625 times
Reputation: 3239
Originally Posted by Maypez View Post

also my sister recently informed us she would be moving in with me and my husband.
Ummm, what?! Lemme think about this...NO...not no HELL NO.

Who the heck does that?! Just up and says "I don't give two shnits about your life and your stresses, I am moving in!" And just after your sister inform you that she would be moving in, did you inform her that "NO, she wasn't"?

Honestly, from just that one little sentence, I got the vision that your sister is a self-centered person. Do you really want to live with someone like that? (I could be way off here - of course, I do not really know what kind of person your sister is). If she is going to cause more stress for you by moving herself in...don't let her. You sound like you are dealing with enough right now without taking on another person to support.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:49 PM
16,377 posts, read 20,732,994 times
Reputation: 14331
Tell your sister to help find a rental then. You can share the stress. Let her know if no rental, then you're living in a hotel. Not all places will charge extra for an additional person. You can go with other rental agencies also, since each agency usually only has a limited amt of rental. using additional agencies increases the number of rentals for you to choose from. Don't forget private owners ...where you rent directly from the landlord.
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