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Maverick
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6246
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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Our Sept. 2015 rent was payed via Bill Pay from our bank.

Customer Question

Our Sept. 2015 rent was payed via Bill Pay from our bank. Our landlord failed to deposit the check within 90 days so the sum of our rent went back to our account automatically in Dec. 2015. In Jan. 2016 we spoke with our landlord and made them aware of the deposit and asked if they wanted us to send payment again at which time he and his wife declined. In July 2016 they found the undeposited check and said it would be nice if we would repay it. Do we have a legal obligation to repay the Sept. 2015 rent? Can they legally withhold from our security deposit when we move?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Hello: This is Phillipsesq. Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Your questions:

Do we have a legal obligation to repay the Sept. 2015 rent?

Response 1: Yes. Eventhough the deposit was returned, you are still liable for the rent for that month.

Can they legally withhold from our security deposit when we move?

Response 2: Yes, they can for the outstanding rent. See Revised Code of Washington, Chapter 59.18 Section 59.18.260, 59.18.270, 59.18.280.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No checklist was made at the time the rental agreement began. Does that change the situation?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.

No, because the checklist has to do with damages to the property. The Landlord can retain the deposit for the missing September 2015 rent.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
for Response 1, can you cite the statute or legal precedence you are using to inform your response?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.

I have already cited it in my response #2

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No, those statutes are only in regards ***** ***** legality of withholding from a security deposit. What I would like to know is the legal basis for me to still be liable for a rent that I have made what I view as a good faith effort to pay on two separate occasions.
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick. Please give me a few minutes to review, analyze and/or research your inquiry and I will be back. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Maverick replied 7 months ago.

The legal authority for your having to make payment under Response 1 is the lease agreement that you signed. However, in this case you may still be able to escape liability for the Sept. 2015 rent by arguing the defense of "waiver". Under WA law: "Waiver" is an intentional relinquishment of a known right, but the existence of an intent to waive that right must clearly appear in order to show a waiver. See O'Connor v. Tesdale, 34 Wn.2d 259, 209 P.2d 274 (1949).

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