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WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

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  • WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

    I was recently a victim of domestic violence. The abuser was a housemate. I got a protection order granting me rights to our home. The abuser's mother is very close friends the the landlords. Since the incident, the landlords have given me three different excuses to evict me, all lies. The day after the incident, I spoke on the phone with the landlord and she told me that I had to leave "because I freaked out on the housemate and called the cops and said that he was threatening to kill me and I was causing a ruckus" (which is untrue), they then had his mother deliver a notice to me saying that I had three days to vacate for "causing trouble with another tenant resulting in complaints from the neighbors (another lie, referring to the domestic violence incident). (At the time, his mother was our "property manager" - she was INSIDE my house with her very intimidating husband when I got home, and gave NO notice prior to coming over.) They (the mother (ex property manager) and the landlords) are trying to evict me because they support the abuser. The landlords even showed up at the court hearing for the extended protection order, with the offender and his family. They sat with the offender and his family, did not speak to me at all. As soon as they left court, they posted another eviction notice on my door. The new notice states that I must vacate because the house needs repairs (which is also untrue). They are clearly biased and are discriminating against me because I am a victim. What can I do keep them from evicting me? What steps do I need to take in order to protect myself? I would like to keep my home.

    I am on a month-to-month lease. I realize that they may terminate the agreement for NO reason, but they..haven't taken that method. They are clearly only trying to evict me because of the domestic violence issue.

    Please help.

  • #2
    Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

    I wish to inform you that you can refuse to leave the premises on the ground that you are facing retaliation. You can have a court order that you must eb allowed to stay in premises because the act of evicting you is under retaliation. Generally in a month to month tenancy a landlord can evict a tenant by giving proper termination notice but however in your case you can request court for relief because the action is retaliatory.

    AFF

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

      Originally posted by RML View Post
      I was recently a victim of domestic violence. The abuser was a housemate. I got a protection order granting me rights to our home. The abuser's mother is very close friends the the landlords. Since the incident, the landlords have given me three different excuses to evict me, all lies. The day after the incident, I spoke on the phone with the landlord and she told me that I had to leave "because I freaked out on the housemate and called the cops and said that he was threatening to kill me and I was causing a ruckus" (which is untrue), they then had his mother deliver a notice to me saying that I had three days to vacate for "causing trouble with another tenant resulting in complaints from the neighbors (another lie, referring to the domestic violence incident). (At the time, his mother was our "property manager" - she was INSIDE my house with her very intimidating husband when I got home, and gave NO notice prior to coming over.) They (the mother (ex property manager) and the landlords) are trying to evict me because they support the abuser. The landlords even showed up at the court hearing for the extended protection order, with the offender and his family. They sat with the offender and his family, did not speak to me at all. As soon as they left court, they posted another eviction notice on my door. The new notice states that I must vacate because the house needs repairs (which is also untrue). They are clearly biased and are discriminating against me because I am a victim. What can I do keep them from evicting me? What steps do I need to take in order to protect myself? I would like to keep my home.

      I am on a month-to-month lease. I realize that they may terminate the agreement for NO reason, but they..haven't taken that method. They are clearly only trying to evict me because of the domestic violence issue.

      Please help.
      It sounds pretty likely that the LLs are discriminating against you. What EXACTLY are they saying needs to be repaired that requires you to vacate the premises? Why can't they effect the repairs while you are living there?

      Under Washington law it is ILLEGAL to evict someone simply because you are a victim of abuse or domestic violence. Tenants who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, unlawful harassment or stalking now have increased protection under the Residential Landlord Tenant Act (RLTA). The RLTA is found in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 59.18), which you can find at your local library, or online at Revised Code of Washington (RCW)

      You may be entitled to financial compensation from the LL as a result of their attempts to illegally evict you. You need to get in touch with an attorney NOW. If you are low-income, you can contact Northwest Justice Project’s CLEAR hotline at: 1-888-201-1014.
      "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
      "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
      "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

        A victim of domestic violence is protected from housing discrimination by both federal and WA state laws. In Washington, a tenant may abandon her lease if she has been a victim of domestic violence, for example in addition to prohibiting a landlord from evicting a women because she has been a victim of domestic violence..

        Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act discrimination is prohibited against victims of domestic violence because the overwhelming majority are women. WA state has enacted legislation specifically prohibiting discrimination against victims of domestic violence.

        The ACLU, on its site, has some background information, a portion of which I am posting here.
        "Do state laws protect victims of


        domestic violence from housing
        discrimination?



        Many states have enacted legislation that ]offers greater protection for victims of domestic violence. Rhode Island, Washington, andNorth Carolina, for example, prohibit landlords from evicting or otherwise discriminating against tenants because they have experienced domestic violence. In these states, a tenant experiencing domestic violencemay also break her lease if she needsto move to protect herself. These comprehensive state laws offer strong protections]and support for domestic violence victims and survivors. "

        If you are in King County, you may wish to contact D.A.W.N., the Domestic Abuse Women's Network for advocacy in your behalf and/or direction on getting legal assistance to deal with your landlord.


        Comment


        • #5
          Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

          Thank you so much for the timely and helpful responses!

          The new notice (posted after court on May 25th) merely states that the reason is "due to the fact that there needs to be considerable repair work done to the house." That's all it says. The house is three bedroom, and there were three housemates - myself, the offender, and another girl (who is entirely supportive of me, on my side, and also wants to keep the house). The landlords allowed her to move in about a month ago - and would not have done so if they had been planning repairs then. The bathroom needs a new floor put in, but that can happen while we are living here, there's been other work to the bathroom before. The house does NOT need considerable repair. They are just making excuses to get rid of me. I am under the assumption that they are trying to get rid of us so that they can move the offender back in.

          I live in Thurston County and am very low income. I plan to call the CLEAR hotline first thing on Tuesday.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

            Also - since they merely posted their notice to vacate on my door and made NO efforts to give it to me in person, don't they also have to mail me a copy to make it valid?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

              Originally posted by RML View Post
              Also - since they merely posted their notice to vacate on my door and made NO efforts to give it to me in person, don't they also have to mail me a copy to make it valid?
              No. They posted it, you got it, it's valid.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

                Originally posted by RML View Post
                Thank you so much for the timely and helpful responses!

                The new notice (posted after court on May 25th) merely states that the reason is "due to the fact that there needs to be considerable repair work done to the house." That's all it says. The house is three bedroom, and there were three housemates - myself, the offender, and another girl (who is entirely supportive of me, on my side, and also wants to keep the house). The landlords allowed her to move in about a month ago - and would not have done so if they had been planning repairs then. The bathroom needs a new floor put in, but that can happen while we are living here, there's been other work to the bathroom before. The house does NOT need considerable repair. They are just making excuses to get rid of me. I am under the assumption that they are trying to get rid of us so that they can move the offender back in.

                I live in Thurston County and am very low income. I plan to call the CLEAR hotline first thing on Tuesday.
                I would point out to the attorney that only YOU have been served with an eviction notice to vacate due to the alleged major repairs that are required. Let them (LL) explain why the OTHER tenants are not also receiving eviction notices. If the repairs that they are claiming need to be done are so extreme that it requires eviction, then it should require eviction of EVERYONE, and NOT just the one tenant who happens to have been a victim of domestic violence. That would certainly work in your favor.
                "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
                "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
                "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

                  Oh, okay. I was just looking at RCW 59.12.040...which I thought states that it would have to be affixed in a conspicuous place AND then mailed..but.. I could be wrong, I don't know.

                  And it doesn't...say.. "eviction" or "notice to vacate" on it. It reads "IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR RENTORS" .. "The house at -insert address- which you are currently renting, due to the fact that there needs to be considerable repair work done to the house, you are required to vacate along with all of your belongs by such and such date".

                  I don't know whether this counts as something official or not.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

                    RCW 59.18 covers landlord's duties and tenant's rights for victims of domestic violence. You will be best served by having a Washington State attorney represent you, inform you from the facts whether he or she can make a good case against the landlord for discrimination -- regardless of what lame excuse he is using now to deny you housing.

                    Follow up by contacting one of the domestic violence networks and ask for a referral there for an attorney to contact on this issue. Nothing short of having a lawyer intervene to assert your rights will do you any good at this point.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: WA - Eviction based on discrimination after domestic violence

                      Originally posted by RML View Post
                      Oh, okay. I was just looking at RCW 59.12.040...which I thought states that it would have to be affixed in a conspicuous place AND then mailed..but.. I could be wrong, I don't know.

                      And it doesn't...say.. "eviction" or "notice to vacate" on it. It reads "IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR RENTORS" .. "The house at -insert address- which you are currently renting, due to the fact that there needs to be considerable repair work done to the house, you are required to vacate along with all of your belongs by such and such date".

                      I don't know whether this counts as something official or not.

                      RCW 59.12 applies to tenants generally and not to protections for victims of domestic violence.

                      Comment

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