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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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In my past rental, I was invaded by the owner 37+ times, had

Customer Question

In my past rental, I was invaded by the owner 37+ times, had windows painted shut, paid for their second refrigerator, their security system and had my security deposits withheld. I was givin 2 years rental which turned into 1 year and ultimately to 6 months.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Is there a specific question with which I could assist?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I would like to receive my security deposits back from the landlord and perhaps more due to mental anguish that has been offered from the get go.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

And what is your question on this?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We started at $40, so already confused...I want to get my monies back from this landlord. I have documentation of every entry he made into my house. I have a letter stating that he'd pay $500 for moving expenses (he required I hire a licensed and bonded Co) and return my security deposits. The moving Co scratched his floors that I brought to his attention and he got one estimate and took that amount from me. Even though the moving Co was to be responsible.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

You can sue him for breach of contract, although that doesn't allow you to recover for mental anguish. It would allow you to recover your security deposits and possibly some of the rent you paid.

I'm not sure from your facts as to whether he evicted you or you left voluntarily but if you left voluntarily you could also sue for "constructive eviction" which means he made living conditions so unbearable that it was equivalent to him evicting you.

If he failed to properly handle the security deposit issue you could sue for that as well. That would be a lawsuit for breach of contract as well as a violation of statute. You can see the statute at but note that there was a statutory change in 2016 so if you started living there and put your deposits up in 2015 you woudl want to sue him for that statute as well as this one:

which is the new one.

Likely the old statute is the one that will apply. If you read through it at the link above it gives you specifics as to how he was supposed to handle the deposit.

In Washington state the small claims court (which you can read about at only has jurisdiction up to $5000 so if you want to sue for more than that you need to do so in one of the higher courts and you will likely need a lawyer. However, you can sue for your attorney's fees as well.

Any of these causes of action will get you to any of the damages except mental anguish. You could argue a trespass by the landlord, although that is a little difficult to prove since he is the landlord, and that cause of action would allow you to get mental anguish damages.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.

I will be offline for just a little while but will be back later this evening.

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