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legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
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I am a single mom with Lupus, with two kids renting my apt

Customer Question

Hi, I am a single mom with Lupus, with two kids renting my apt for 2 1\2 yrs. My neighbors 5 in total (2 parents, 3 children, 1 of whom is functionally disabled and partially blind) moved in about a year after I did. They are unimaginably loud. The mom and dad are alcoholics and have had 4 domestic disturbance calls in the past three weeks, all between 2and 4 am. The bookshelf closest to their apartment is constantly having pictures knock off because of their voilent activities. My dad came over just now and upon leaving called my manager to express his concern for us BC of what he hears everytime he comes over. My manager would not even address the issue with my neighbors but instead stated that if I did not get my bedroom completely clean ( I have a lot of unfolded laundry piled up in my the corned by my dresser ) he was going to through me out. ??!!!! What should I do this is crazy and its only a very small part of the situation .
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 8 months ago.

What state is this in regards ***** *****?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Washington State and I also failed to mention that I am paying $700 for a three bedroom unit and they are paying 650 for the same three bedroom unit Plus an additional storage garage separate from the apartment complex
Expert:  legalgems replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your patience as I researched this for you.

Here are the basics of eviction (reasons) -this is not a complete list, but the most common notices to vacate are:

  1. 3-day notice to pay or vacate
  2. 10-day notice to comply with the terms of the rental agreement or vacate
  3. 3-day notice for waste or nuisance
  4. 20-day notice to terminate tenancy (a “no cause” notice)

So a landlord cannot unilaterally evict a person for laundry on the floor, unless the lease specifically states that laundry will not be placed on the floor (I have never seen that in a lease, so the judge may even rule that to be an unreasonable restriction in the lease).

As for the neighbors, the common law principle of “the covenant of quiet enjoyment” is a common law rule that comes from the decisions judges make in certain court cases. The quiet enjoyment covenant makes a landlord responsible for dealing with any disturbances that reasonably interfere with one's use and enjoyment of the rental.

WA is more proactive than most states and even has a law that precludes a tenant from being a "nuisance":

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=59.18.130

RCW 59.18.130

Duties of tenant.

Each tenant shall pay the rental amount at such times and in such amounts as provided for in the rental agreement or as otherwise provided by law and comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of all municipal, county, and state codes, statutes, ordinances, and regulations, and in addition shall:

(1) Keep that part of the premises which he or she occupies and uses as clean and sanitary as the conditions of the premises permit;

(2) Properly dispose from his or her dwelling unit all rubbish, garbage, and other organic or flammable waste, in a clean and sanitary manner at reasonable and regular intervals, and assume all costs of extermination and fumigation for infestation caused by the tenant;

(3) Properly use and operate all electrical, gas, heating, plumbing and other fixtures and appliances supplied by the landlord;

(4) Not intentionally or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the structure or dwelling, with the appurtenances thereto, including the facilities, equipment, furniture, furnishings, and appliances, or permit any member of his or her family, invitee, licensee, or any person acting under his or her control to do so. Violations may be prosecuted under chapter 9A.48 RCW if the destruction is intentional and malicious;

(5) Not permit a nuisance or common waste;

(6) Not engage in drug-related activity at the rental premises, or allow a subtenant, sublessee, resident, or anyone else to engage in drug-related activity at the rental premises with the knowledge or consent of the tenant. "Drug-related activity" means that activity which constitutes a violation of chapter 69.41, 69.50, or 69.52 RCW;

(7) Maintain the smoke detection device in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, including the replacement of batteries where required for the proper operation of the smoke detection device, as required in RCW 43.44.110(3);

(8) Not engage in any activity at the rental premises that is:

(a) Imminently hazardous to the physical safety of other persons on the premises; and

(b)(i) Entails physical assaults upon another person which result in an arrest; or

(ii) Entails the unlawful use of a firearm or other deadly weapon as defined in RCW 9A.04.110 which results in an arrest, including threatening another tenant or the landlord with a firearm or other deadly weapon under RCW 59.18.352. Nothing in this subsection (8) shall authorize the termination of tenancy and eviction of the victim of a physical assault or the victim of the use or threatened use of a firearm or other deadly weapon;

(9) Not engage in any gang-related activity at the premises, as defined in RCW 59.18.030, or allow another to engage in such activity at the premises, that renders people in at least two or more dwelling units or residences insecure in life or the use of property or that injures or endangers the safety or health of people in at least two or more dwelling units or residences. In determining whether a tenant is engaged in gang-related activity, a court should consider the totality of the circumstances, including factors such as whether there have been a significant number of complaints to the landlord about the tenant's activities at the property, damages done by the tenant to the property, including the property of other tenants or neighbors, harassment or threats made by the tenant to other tenants or neighbors that have been reported to law enforcement agencies, any police incident reports involving the tenant, and the tenant's criminal history; and

(10) Upon termination and vacation, restore the premises to their initial condition except for reasonable wear and tear or conditions caused by failure of the landlord to comply with his or her obligations under this chapter. The tenant shall not be charged for normal cleaning if he or she has paid a nonrefundable cleaning fee.

So if the landlord fails to control the nuisance tenants, the landlord can be responsible to the tenant for damages suffered.

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