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Can a Landlord Change the Lease Agreement Oregon

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Can a Landlord Change the Lease Agreement Oregon Powered By Docstoc
					Advising and Representing Low-
Income Tenants Facing Eviction

                    Overview of the
           Residential Landlord-Tenant Act &
                Unlawful Detainer Act


 Steve Fredrickson
 Northwest Justice Project
 January 22, 2010

 1.22.10                                       1
            History of
            the World
of Residential Landlord-Tenant Law:
                Part I




  1.22.10                         2
Old Landlord-Tenant Law


 Norman
 Conquest –
 1066 A.D.
 1.22.10                  3
New Landlord-Tenant Law
             Uniform Residential
           Landlord And Tenant Act
            Adopted by the National Conference of
            Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
                            1972




 1.22.10                                            4
 States Adopting URLTA
Alabama       Kansas        Oklahoma
Alaska        Kentucky      Oregon
Arizona       Michigan      Rhode Island
Connecticut   Mississippi   South
              Montana         Carolina
Florida
              Nebraska      Tennessee
Hawaii                      Virginia
              New Mexico
Iowa                        Washington

 1.22.10                               5
     Washington State
   Landlord-Tenant Laws
 Residential Landlord-Tenant Act;
  RCW 59.18 – Adopted 1973
 Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-
  Tenant Act; RCW 59.20 – Adopted 1977
 Forcible Entry and Forcible and Unlawful
  Detainer Act; RCW 59.12 – Adopted
  1891

1.22.10                                      6
MANUFACTURED/MOBILE
HOME LANDLORD-TENANT
 ACT RCW 59.20 (1977)

       Covers rental of lot in mobile home park
       Mobile Home Park:
        - Two or more mobile or manufactured
        homes with year-round occupancy in
        order to produce income


1.22.10                                            7
MANUFACTURED/MOBILE HOME
  LANDLORD-TENANT ACT
     RCW 59.20 (1977)

              IMPORTANT FEATURES

   Must offer tenant one-year rental agreement
   Must have good cause to terminate tenancy
   List of prohibited landlord actions
   Authorizes sale and transfer of rental agreement

    1.22.10                                            8
FORCIBLE ENTRY AND FORCIBLE
 AND UNLAWFUL DETAINER ACT
       RCW 59.12 (1891)

COVERAGE
 Residential and commercial landlord-tenant
  relationships
EXCLUSIONS
 Tenancies at will
MODIFICATIONS
 RLTA & M/MHLTA add additional procedures


  1.22.10                                      9
FORCIBLE ENTRY AND FORCIBLE
 AND UNLAWFUL DETAINER ACT
       RCW 59.12 (1891)

            IMPORTANT FEATURES

  Specifies grounds for unlawful detainer and
   types of unlawful detainer notices
  Service requirements for unlawful detainer
   notices
  Priority over other civil cases
  Right to jury trial

 1.22.10                                         10
            Local Laws

Seattle
 SMC 7.20 – Floating Home Moorages
 SMC 7.24 – Rental Agreement
             Regulation
 SMC 7.25 – Third Party Utility Billing
 SMC 22.206 – Housing and Building
                Maintenance Code
1.22.10                                    11
          Local Laws, cont’d.

 SMC 22.206.160.C – Just Cause Eviction
 SMC 22.210 – Tenant Relocation
               Assistance
 SMC 22.902 – Cooperative Conversion
 SMC 22.903 – Condominium Conversion
 SMC 22.904 – Mobile Homes & Mobile
               Home Parks
1.22.10                                12
          Local Laws, cont’d.

Bellevue
 BCC 9.21 – Bellevue Relocation
               Assistance
Pasco
 PMC 5.04.160(a); PMC 5.78. Rental
  units must be licensed, registered,
  maintained, inspected and certified.

1.22.10                                  13
      RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD-
           TENANT ACT
         RCW 59.18 (1973)

 Covers rental of dwelling unit for residential use
 Rights & Obligations:
  - Landlord duties, tenant duties, repair remedies,
  rent and rule changes, privacy, deposits and
  fees, lockouts, utility terminations, property
  seizures, evictions, relocation assistance,
  attorney's fees

  1.22.10                                              14
               Coverage

    Applies to rental of a dwelling unit for
     residential use
    “Dwelling unit”: a structure or part of
     structure used as a home, residence, or
     sleeping place including single family
     residences, multiplexes, apartments and
     mobile homes



1.22.10                                         15
 Excluded Living Arrangements
 Institutions where residence is incidental to
  provision of services including prisons,
  nursing homes, hospitals, convents

 Housing under purchase and sale agreements
  where residents constitute purchasers

 Hotels, motels, or other transient lodging



  1.22.10                                         16
              Excluded Living
           Arrangements, cont’d.


 Housing for seasonal agricultural workers

 Housing for an employee when the right to
  occupancy is conditioned upon employment in
  or about the premises




 1.22.10                                        17
   Unlawful Detainer Process
         Still Applies!!

       RCW 59.12 or RCW 7.28 (ejectment)
        still applies.
        NO LOCKOUTS! To evict, landlord
        must obtain court order enforced by the
        sheriff.
       Exception: Tenancy at Will – ejectment
        action

1.22.10                                           18
Prohibited Lease Provisions
     RCW 59.18.230
Lease cannot:
 Provide that tenant waives rights or
  remedies provided for under the Act
 Limit landlord’s liability under the law
 Provide that tenant must pay attorney’s
  fees except as authorized by law


1.22.10                                      19
           Prohibited Lease
          Provisions, cont’d.
 Provide that landlord may take or detain
  tenant property or have a lien against
  personal property if tenant owes rent or
  other charges
 Provide that landlord can sue without
  notice to tenant (confession of judgment
  clauses)
 Cannot designate a specific arbitrator
1.22.10                                      20
          Deposits & Fees

 Screening Fees   RCW 59.18.257

 Holding Fees     RCW 59.18.253

 Security Deposit RCW 59.18.260-280

 Nonrefundable Fees   RCW 59.18.285
1.22.10                                21
            Common Law
          Remedies Preserved
 RCW 59.18.070: … the tenant may, in
  addition to pursuit of remedies otherwise
  provided him by law, …

 RCW 59.18.080: delinquent rent or utilities is
  not a bar to pursue civil remedies for
  negligent or intentional damages or to
  defense that no rent is due and owing in an
  unlawful detainer action

 Breach of the implied warranty of habitability
1.22.10                                            22
          Warranty of Habitability


 Foisy v. Wyman, 83 Wn.2d 22 (1973)

    Implied warranty of habitability in all
    residential landlord-tenant relationships.
    Can’t be waived, even in exchange for
    reduced rent.

1.22.10                                          23
           Code Enforcement &
          Relocation Assistance
    RCW 59.18.085
    Tenants who are displaced by code
    enforcement may be eligible for cash
    relocation assistance of $2000 or three
    times the monthly rent, whichever is
    greater.

    See also, Bellevue City Code 9.21
1.22.10                                       24
  Rent Increase/Rule Changes


     Month-to-Month: 30 days written notice
      before end of rental period
        except Seattle: 60 days whenever rent
         increase is 10% or more than rent
         charged during preceding 12 month
         period
     Lease: ordinarily, cannot increase rent or
      change rules during term unless both agree

1.22.10                                            25
             Late fees

 Buchanan v. Kettner, 97 Wn. App. 370
  (1999)

 A mobile home park late fee of $20 plus
  $2 a day is a permissible liquidated
  damages clause and not a penalty.


1.22.10                                     26
          DV Victim Protection

 RCW 59.18.570-585: Protection for victims of
  sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking.

    Landlord may not terminate a tenancy, fail to
    renew a tenancy or refuse to enter into a rental
    agreement based on tenant, applicant or
    household member’s status as a victim of
    sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking.
    Tenants who are victims may terminate their
    lease or rental agreement immediately.

1.22.10                                             27
               Rent Control



                   Rent Control


    RCW 35.21.830; RCW 36.01.130

    Local government is prohibited from adopting
    any direct or indirect rent control.
1.22.10                                            28
      Consumer Protection Act


             Consumer Protection Act


   State v. Schwab, 103 Wn.2d 542 (1985).

    Tenancies that are covered by the Residential
    Landlord-Tenant Act, RCW 59.18, are not
    covered by the Consumer Protection Act, RCW
    19.86.
1.22.10                                         29
                  Eviction Timetable
              Day
             1   -   Rent due date
             2   -   Service of three-day
                      notice to pay or vacate
              3
              4
             5   -   Payment deadline, unless
                      Saturday, Sunday, or Holiday
                      (Does RCW 1.12.040 apply?)

    1.22.10                                          30
        Eviction Timetable, cont’d.
          Day
         6      -      Service of eviction summons,
                        complaint, and order to show
                        cause (OTSC optional)

         7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

       13       -      Eviction summons return
                        date (7 to 30 days); deadline
                        for notice of appearance or
                        answer and deadline for paying
                        rent to court clerk or filing sworn
                        statement that rent is not owed
                        (optional; RCW 59.18.375)
    1.22.10                                                   31
     Eviction Timetable, cont’d.
  Day
 14       -   Show cause hearing; writ of
               restitution issued if tenant
               fails to deliver written
               response to eviction
               summons, fails to appear or
               loses at show cause hearing,
               or fails to pay rent to court
               clerk or file sworn statement
               if required (optional; .375)
 1.22.10                                       32
      Eviction Timetable, cont’d.
  Day
 15         -   Sheriff serves writ of restitution at
                 rental property (King County)
 16, 17, 18
 19         -   First day on which sheriff can
                 enforce writ
 20
 21         -   Sheriff's usual, earliest eviction
                 date (King County)
 22, 22, 23
 24         -   Sheriff's statutory deadline for
                 completing eviction



   1.22.10                                               33
          Unlawful Detainer Act –
            Strict Construction
 Special statutory proceeding

 In derogation of the common law

 STRICTLY CONSTRUED in favor of the
  tenant


1.22.10                                34
          Eviction Defenses

 RCW 59.18.380.

 Tenants can assert any legal or equitable
  defense or set-off arising out of the
  tenancy.
 Written or oral at show cause hearing;
  amending answer – CR 15 w/i 20 days.

1.22.10                                   35
Grounds for Eviction & Notices

 3-day pay or vacate
 3-day notice for waste, nuisance or
  unlawful business
 3 day notice for occupying without color
  of title
 10-day notice to comply or vacate
 20-day notice to terminate
1.22.10                                      36
          Grounds for Eviction
           & Notices, cont’d.

 Gang-related activity; notice?
 Expired term rental agreement; no notice
  required unless rental agreement
  requires it.
 Holdover after nonjudicial deed of trust
  foreclosure or real estate contract
  forfeiture; no additional notice required.

1.22.10                                    37
 Service of Unlawful Detainer
            Notice

 RCW 59.12.040
 Attempt personal Service (knock)
 Tenant not home
      Leave a copy with Person of suitable age &
       discretion and mail
      Post a notice and mail (add 1 day for
       mailing)

1.22.10                                             38
          Can you count?




1.22.10                    39
          Eviction Summons
            & .375 Notice
 Special Summons Required (RCW 59.18.365);
  7 to 30 day return date.

 Notice of service by facsimile

 Separate RCW 59.18.375 Payment or Sworn
  Statement Requirement notice now required
  (.375 language can’t be included in summons)

1.22.10                                      40
              Service of
          Summons & Complaint
 Personal Service Required
      On tenant or
      At the person’s usual abode to a person of suitable
       age and discretion residing therein.
      filed or unfiled


     Alternative Service; RCW 59.18.055
      Due diligence (court order)
      Nail and mail
      No money judgment
1.22.10                                                      41
      Return Date on Summons


 7 - 30 days to appear or answer

 Not less than 9 days (alternative service)




1.22.10                                    42
          Order to Show Cause

 7 to 30 days notice

 Mail; service deemed complete 3rd day
  following date of mailing, unless Sat.,
  Sun., Hol.; CR 5(b)(2)(A)

 Striking show cause hearing
1.22.10                                     43
           Bankruptcy

 If petition filed before “judgment for
  possession” entered, automatic stay
  of commencement or continuation of
  eviction action until relief from stay
  granted or bankruptcy concluded.



1.22.10                                44
          Bankruptcy, cont’d.

 If petition filed after entry of “judgment for
  possession” stay will apply if:
      Debtor discloses judgment;
      Debtor certifies that cure allowed after
       “judgment for possession;”
      Debtor pays rent due within next 30 days to
       clerk at filing and certifies payment;
      Debtor pays entire amount due within 30
       days of filing and certifies full payment.
1.22.10                                              45
Internet Resources
  Brochures & Pamphlets on Rental Housing and
   Other Topics – www.nwjustice.org
   (Navigation tip: click on “law center” +
   "housing")
  Information on Tenants' Rights; Links to Other
   States’ L-T Laws - www.tenantsunion.org
  Federal Housing Statutes, Regulations, &
   Handbooks - www.hudclips.org
   (Navigation tip: click on “Library”)
 1.22.10                                       46
 Internet Resources,
 cont’d.
 Washington State Statutes (RCW 59: Code
  Reviser, 360.753.6804) - www.wa.gov or
  http://access.wa.gov
  (Navigation tip: click on “government” + “state” +
  “laws and codes”)
 Seattle City Ordinances - www.pan.ci.seattle.wa.us
  (Navigation tip: click on “citizen information” + “city
  clerk’s office” + “municipal code”)

   1.22.10                                             47
Internet Resources,
cont’d.
  King County Ordinances -
   www.metrokc.gov
   (Navigation tip: scroll to “local links” +
   click on “county code”)

  Bellevue City Ordinances -
   www.bellevuewa.gov/bellcode
 1.22.10                                        48
Internet Resources,
cont’d.
 Public & Subsidized Housing Programs -
  www.hud.gov
  (Navigation tip: click on “local info” +
  “washington, seattle” + “homes/housing”
  + “find housing”)

 Housing Discrimination - www.hud.gov
  (Navigation tip: click on “rental help” +
  “housing discrimination”)
1.22.10                                       49
          The End


1.22.10             50

				
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