Landlord needs to learn RCW’s for WA state-read up on what she can/cannot do

By eviltwistedbitch

this is a copy of the letter that i emailed to the owner.  two days prior to nov 15, she called and asked if i could pay the utility bill.  no problem.  funny thing is however, after she got my letter she had the power turned off(which is illegal in my state).  when she illegally entered my home and accosted my son(oct 31st), she told me i had two weeks to move or she was coming back with the cops & she also mentioned that the house was going into foreclosure.  her story as of today is that she wants me out by thanksgiving so she can move in.  this afternoon i received a court summons from her for an eviction.  wow.  am not understanding how she can evict me when i begged her weeekly to bring a rental agreement(which as of right now i have yet to see one). when we first moved in we worked out a deal with her to clean up the previous tenants garbage- how about 40 trips to the dump and that barely put a dent in it?(i have all the receipts for dump charges and gas t0/from). then octobers rent she wanted us to repair the leaking roof and that would satisfy rent for that month. as it stands right now since i didnt cower down to her threats, she gave me a 3 day pay or vacate for november rent ON OCTOBER 31ST-rent isnt even due yet.  additionally, due to the failed drain field/septic, i have developed more serious health issues, and ive had pneumonia for the past month and now my power is shut off-its been snowing here and its only going to get to 18 degrees tomorrow.  i guess anyone can be a slumlord- hindsights 20/20

November 15, 2010


Attn:  Louann Christianson


To Whom It May Concern;


This letter is In response to the notice that was addressed to Scott Fabens and Rhonda Wyatt. 


When we moved into the home located at 15436 Se 307th St, Kent, WA 98032 we were told that the initial move in amount would be $700.00, we discussed the remainder of the rent would be dealt with if we were willing to get rid of the large piles of garbage left on the your property by the previous tenants.  This included, but was not limited to, numerous dump fees, gas to and from the dump and anything that we have had to purchase to fix any issues.  I have dump, gas, and other receipts (including for two toilets that we purchased due to a FAILED drain field and a septic system that has already been pumped one time), that total $ 489.36.  So if you figure the math out correctly we only owe approximately $11.00 for September 2010’s rent.  Both you, Scott and I had numerous conversations regarding that if the rent for September was handled in that manner than it would be considered paid in full.  I realize that this is a verbal agreement only but we also have no written lease as to rent amount, deposit, lease terms and property rules and regulations.


First, there were a few conversations regarding  October 2010’s rent – we discussed our fixing the leaking roof(which has obviously been going on for a very long time and that you were fully aware of) in lieu of paying October 2010 rent to you.  I have called around for several quotes and have been unable to find someone to repair the roof for $1200 or less.  I am happy to provide copies of said quotes if needed.  You were made aware that we were having trouble finding a low cost roof repair company but our understanding was that the above verbal agreement was still in affect so we continued our search with no request for rent from you.  We encourage you to help us find a company that can do the work at this price. 


Second, you cannot give a 3 day pay or vacate notice on rent when the rent has not even come due yet and not until it has become past due.  As mentioned above there is no written and signed lease to be provided by the landlord at time of move in.  You have not provided such a lease for our review since our move in date despite numerous requests. We have also never refused to sign one as we have, again, never been provided one. Period. If you have in fact attempted to provide a lease and we have in fact refused to sign it then why were steps not taken sooner to evict us?? 


 As per any and all WASHINGTON STATE LANDLORD/TENANT LAWS that I have looked up and attached, there are quite a few things THAT YOU CANNOT DO:

Pertaining to the failed septic/drain field (which we have notified you about and your last comment to me was "I don’t have to fix a god dam thing and I’m not fixing the septic system) please refer to the following-


RCW 59.18.060

Landlord — Duties.

"The landlord will at all times during the tenancy keep the premises fit for human habitation, and shall in particular:  (1) Maintain the premises to substantially comply with any applicable code, statute, ordinance, or regulation governing their maintenance or operation, which the legislative body enacting the applicable code, statute, ordinance or regulation could enforce as to the premises rented if such condition substantially endangers or impairs the health or safety of the tenant;  (2) Maintain the roofs, floors, walls, chimneys, fireplaces, foundations, and all other structural components in reasonably good repair so as to be usable and capable of resisting any and all normal forces and loads to which they may be subjected;  (7) Maintain all electrical, plumbing, heating, and other facilities and appliances supplied by him in reasonably good working order;    (8) Maintain the dwelling unit in reasonably weathertight condition



The Landlord is RESPONSIBLE for providing a safe and habitable rental unit for the tenant.

LANDLORD RESPONSIBILITIES: Provide habitable housing. This means the house or apartment must comply with all building, housing, and health codes which significantly affect health and safety.

Make the house or apartment comply with all building, housing, and health codes which significantly affect health and safety.

Provide for properly working plumbing and heating. Hot and cold running water, bathroom, shower or tub, kitchen etc.

Respond to maintenance requests in a timely fashion.

If you must evict a tenant, follow the eviction laws for your state.


Landlord – Tenant Rights

A lease should protect both the landlord and the tenant.

The lease must be signed by the landlord and the tenant.

If anything goes wrong, most judges will not even let "oral agreements" be presented in court.


Lockout by Landlord – Under most circumstances, a landlord should not "lockout" a tenant for any reason without a court order. The landlord may be held responsible for interfering with the tenant’s right to "peaceful possession" until a legal court eviction. A landlord who illegally locks out a tenant risks being sued for damages.


Eviction – The only way a landlord can legally evict a tenant is by going through the legal eviction process.




Washington State Regulations

The Landlord-Tenant Act

Chapter 59.18 RCW



Regardless of whether they are covered by the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, all renters have these basic rights under other state laws; the Right to a livable dwelling; Protection from unlawful discrimination; Right to hold the landlord liable for personal injury or property damage caused by the landlord’s negligence; Protection against lockouts and seizure of personal property by the landlord.



The landlord must give the tenant at least a two day notice of his intent to enter at reasonable times.

* this was VIOLATED WHEN YOU USED YOUR KEY TO ENTER MY HOME AND TO HARASS MY SON- I BELIEVE YOUR EXACT WORDS TO HIM WERE "WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?"* This inappropriate action by the landlord happened on/about the last Thursday of October 2010.



The landlord must:

Maintain the dwelling so it does not violate state and local codes in ways which endanger tenants’ health and safety.

Maintain structural components, such as roofs, floors and chimneys in reasonable good repair.

Maintain the dwelling in reasonable weather tight condition.

Provide the necessary facilities to supply heat, electricity, hot and cold water.

Keep electrical, plumbing and heating systems in good repair, and maintain any appliances which are provided with the rental.



Lockouts. [RCW 59.18.290] The law prohibits landlords from changing locks, adding new locks, or otherwise making it impossible for the tenant to use the normal locks and keys. Even if a tenant is behind in rent, such lockouts are illegal. A tenant who is locked out can file a lawsuit to regain entry.


Utility shutoffs.[RCW 59.18.300] The landlord may not shut off utilities because the tenant is behind in rent, or to force a tenant to move out. Utilities may only be shut off by the landlord so that repairs may be made, and only for a reasonable amount of time. If a landlord intentionally does not pay utility bills so the service will be turned off, that could be considered an illegal shutoff. If the utilities have been shut off by the landlord, the tenant should first check with the utility company to see if it will restore service. If it appears the shutoff is illegal, the tenant can file a lawsuit. If the tenant wins in court, the judge can award the tenant up to $100 per day for time without service, as well as attorney’s fees.


Tenant Eviction: What You Should Know as a Renter


You should know that, under eviction law, your landlord cannot simply kick you out of your apartment or other space that you’re renting, even if you are behind on rent.  In almost all situations, a landlord must obtain a court judgment before evicting a tenant.


In order to evict you from your rental lease, your landlord must first give you adequate notice, normally in writing, that must conform to certain formalities.  At this point, you have a few options.  First, you can act according to the eviction notice and move out.  On the other hand, you can fix whatever defect your landlord has complained about (smoking, pets, late rent…etc) and see if your landlord still wishes to go through with the tenant eviction procedures.  Your last choice is to not do anything and continue to live in your apartment.  If you choose this last option, your landlord will have to file a lawsuit against you, normally called an unlawful detainer suit, to keep the eviction procedure moving forward.  To win this lawsuit, your landlord must prove that you did something in violation of the lease agreement that justifies ending the rental agreement.


If you have not moved out or fixed the defect in the lease after receiving a notice to vacate, the landlord must go forward with a lawsuit to remove you from the property.  In order to do so, the landlord must properly serve you with a copy of the complaint as well as a summons to go forward with evicting you.


Landlord Obligations


The landlord must provide and maintain the rental property, and must obey the rules of the rental agreement.

# keep the premises up to code;

# maintain the roof, walls and structural components;

The landlord may not knowingly rent property that is condemned – I.E FAILED DRAIN FIELD/SEPTIC SYSTEM- 72 hours to repair major plumbing fixtures

Right of Entry-Entry is limited to reasonable times, and two days’ notice of intent to enter is required-A landlord may not abuse his or her right of access to the premises to harass a tenant.



As you can plainly see from the above, there have been numerous laws violated by you as a landlord.  The unlawful entry, harassment of my child, no lease being presented, threatening to turn off the water/power and the absolute refusal to repair the drain field/septic issue.  This is a hazard to our health and you were made fully aware of this when you purchased the home.  This is at least what were told by the former seller and numerous neighbors.


I could go on and on but I’m sure you see my point.  All that I am asking for is for us to be on the same page as to where the rent stands and that to notify you that we will be out no later than December 23, 2010.  I’m positive that a legal eviction will take much longer than the move out date that I’m requesting.  Also, I’m sincerely hoping that I don’t have to notify the proper authorities about the UNSANITARY CONDITIONS OF THE YARD DUE TO THE DRAIN FIELD/SEPTIC SYSTEM PROBLEM THAT YOU WERE FULLY AWARE OF QUITE A FEW YEARS AGO.  Also as noted above, we have bought two toilets & have had both of them "snaked" to no avail.  Your unwillingness to address this UNHEALTHY issue is in severe violation of all tenant laws listed.  Incidentally I have already spoken with my doctor about this and he is in total agreement that it’s causing me greater health issues that WERE NOT present before I moved here.


Thank you for your time,

Rhonda Wyatt and Scott Fabens


Edited on: Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 1:30 am

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