Test Your Rental Knowledge

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Test Your Rental Knowledge Powered By Docstoc
					Test Your Rental
1.   Your landlord stops by
     unannounced and wants to inspect
     your unit or show it to potential
     buyers or future tenants. You…

     a)   must let your landlord in.

     b)   may request that your landlord
          comes back next week.

     c)   may request that your landlord
          comes back tomorrow.
1.     You may request that your landlord
       comes back tomorrow. (c)

     According to RCW 59.18.150 of the Washington State
     Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (LTA) you are
     entitled to 48 hours notice before your landlord
     enters your unit unless there is an emergency.
     Although you may request that your landlord returns
     in two days, under reasonable circumstances you
     should not deny access to the unit after one day. You
     also have the right to let your landlord in immediately
     if you so choose. Do not sign a contract or lease that
     violates this law. Our office has seen leases from
     landlords in this area that require you to allow access
     to your unit on certain days and at certain times of
     the week. Don’t sign that lease! You must insist that
     your landlord contact you at least 24 hours in
     advance of all non-emergent entries.
2.   True or False

     Your landlord can demand that you
     vacuum, take out the garbage, and
     mow the lawn.
2.      True!

     According to RCW 59.18.130 you are responsible for
     upkeep of the rental unit. Vacuuming carpets
     prevents bug infestation and mildew. So does taking
     out the garbage on a regular basis and keeping the
     house clean. Mowing the lawn keeps unwanted
     critters away and it keeps the property value up.
     These are necessary maintenance issues that must be
     taken care of. You can be evicted or face monetary
     charges if you do not take this law seriously.
3.    The toilet in your bathroom has
      stopped working. You should…

 a)    immediately contact your

 b)    call and pay for a plumber

 c)    move out.
3.      You should immediately contact your
        landlord. (a)
According to RCW 59.18.060 your landlord is responsible for maintaining
all electrical, plumbing, heating, and appliances supplied by him or her in
reasonably good working order. RCW 59.18.070 states that your landlord
must fix defective conditions that deprive you of hot or cold water, heat,
or electricity within 24 hours. Plumbing and other appliance issues must
be fixed within 72 hours. Notify your landlord immediately in person or by
phone when the issue arises and follow that notification with a letter. You
and your landlord can discuss how the problem should be fixed. The
solution may be for you to contact a plumber and pay for the repairs
yourself. If this solution is agreed upon, RCW 59.18.100 states that you
are allowed to deduct the cost from your rent. If no solution is found and
your landlord does not fix the problem within the required time, RCW
59.18.090 states that you are allowed to move out of the premises
because your landlord has violated the lease. Most landlords are going to
fix problems quickly because they want to keep good tenants in their
units. Knowing your rights however, is empowering and prevents you
from being taken advantage of. Also remember that if you caused the
appliance, plumbing, etc. to be damaged, you are responsible for repairs
and all costs associated with them.
4.   True or False

                     As a tenant, you
                     are responsible
                     for changing
                     dead batteries
                     and maintaining
                     all smoke
                     detectors in your
4.     True!

     According to RCW 48.48.140 your landlord must
     provide you with working smoke detectors but you
     are responsible for maintenance and upkeep. Helpful
     tip: When setting your clocks for Daylight Savings
     Time twice a year, check your smoke detectors too.
     Have enough batteries for your clocks and your
     smoke detectors if necessary.
5.   True or False

     You have signed a 12-month rental
     agreement. Your landlord is allowed
     to increase your rent before the 12-
     month period ends as long as he
     gives you 20 days notice before your
     next rent is due.
5.     False!

     A 12-month lease is a written contract. No changes
     can be made without your consent and a written
     addendum to the lease. A month-to-month lease
     however, is void at the end of every month. Your
     landlord can increase the rent or tell you to move out
     with at least 30 days notice before the end of the
     month. Details of this law are under RCW 59.18.140
6.   A friend moves to town and needs
     a place to live. You think she
     would be a good housemate so
                  a)   help her move into
                       the spare room.

                  b)   discuss the issue
                       with your landlord.

                  c)   let her sleep on
                       the couch for a
                       couple of weeks
                       to test things out.
6.    You should discuss the issue with your
      landlord. (b)

     You signed a lease with your landlord that states how
     many people are allowed to live in the unit. If the
     lease allows for another person then there should not
     be a problem. If the lease does not allow for another
     person then you will be in violation of the lease once
     your friend starts living with you. An addendum must
     be added to the lease allowing an extra person to live
     in the unit and your landlord has the right to increase
     your rent accordingly. You may test the waters with
     your friend for a few nights, but after a week or two,
     you need to make a decision or you could face
     possible eviction for violating your lease.
7.   Your housemate moves out and
     you need a new one. You…

     a)   make a flyer with those pre-cut
          tabs and hang them all over

     b)   fill out a Student Listing Form
          in Student Services and get a
          FREE advertisement posted

     c)   say nothing and hope people
          can read your mind.
7.      You should fill out a Student Listing
        Form in Student Services and get a FREE
        advertisement posted online. (b)

     According to past surveys, the number one way UPS
     students find available housing is by word of mouth.
     The second best way is through our Available Housing link
     in the Off Campus section of Student Services:

     Flyers and newspaper ads come in third and mind-reading
     doesn’t even make the list.
     Here is a direct link to the submission form:
8.   True or False

         When advertising for this new
         housemate, you can specify if
         you want only male or female
8.     True!
     Washington State Fair Housing laws prevent
     discrimination based on race, sex, disability, color,
     religion, age, national origin, marital status, or familial
     status. This means that your landlord cannot prevent
     men, women, Christians or Romanians from becoming
     tenants just because they happen to be men, women,
     Christians or Romanians, however, the law does not
     apply to housemates. Since you have to live with the
     person who applies, share living space and other items,
     you may decide what sex is acceptable. Make sure you
     file a complaint with the Office of Fair Housing and Equal
     Opportunity if you feel that you have been discriminated
     against in other ways as a tenant.
     Find more information and complaint forms here:

     or by calling their toll-free number (800) 669-9777.
9.        A house that has been certified by
          the Crime Free Housing Program is
          safe for you because it has…
     a)     trimmed bushes and hedges
            that meet specific

     b)     180-degree peepholes in all
            front doors and anti-theft
            devices on ground-floor
            windows and sliding doors.

     c)     adequate outdoor lighting.
9.     The house is safe because it has a, b,
       and c!

The Crime Free Housing Program (CFHP) is a public safety partnership
that assists owners and managers of rental properties in keeping
drugs and other illegal activity off their property and making it safe
for residents. If the property has been certified it means that your
landlord has attended 16 hours of class instruction by Tacoma’s
Police, Human Rights and Human Services, Fire and Public Works
Departments. The property you live in has also been inspected for
peepholes, door locks, window locks, outdoor lighting, fire hazards
and trimmed bushes that predators cannot hide behind. If your
property passed inspection, you may see this logo
on a sign somewhere around your house. You may
also have a CFHP addendum to your lease. In order
to maintain CFHP membership, your property must be
inspected each year. Ask your landlord to see a recent CFHP
certificate or check online at www.cityoftacoma.org under Human
Services to see a recent list of CFHP properties. Call the Crime Free
Housing Hotline at (253) 591-2008 for more information.
10. True or False

    Failing to pay your rent on time will
    not affect your future plans for
    buying a house or a new vehicle.
10. False!

    Failing to pay your rent on time can stay on
    your credit report for 7 to 10 YEARS! Bad
    credit makes it hard to get a loan to buy
    your first house, your next car, or to get
    good interest rates on your credit cards.
    Make a budget and stick to it so you never
    miss a rent payment.
     IMPORTANT Web Sites & References

                Washington State Residential LTA:

         WA State Attorney General Consumer Line:
       (800) 692-5802 / Press 1 / Tape Number 048

               City of Tacoma Business Registration:

                      Crime Free Housing Program:

    Fair Housing Issues:             http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/index.cfm

Find sample letters to landlords requesting repairs or getting
 out of a lease, use this handy website by the Tenants Union
       of Washington State… http://www.tenantsunion.org/rights
    Please contact us for more information.
We are happy to look over your lease and discuss
         tenant issues as they come up.

       Off-Campus Student Services
           Wheelock Room 203
              (253) 879-3374

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