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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53678
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Im in the middle of a loan modification with Chase. Due to

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I'm in the middle of a loan modification with Chase. Due to how long it's taken, I'm in default until the loan is approved, which should be any day. My tenant got the default papers delivered to her door, read them, and now refuses to pay June rent and instead use the last month's rent (already paid) for June and the security deposit for part of July. She claims the "landlord tenant relationship of trust has been broken." Her quote. What does that mean? Nothing has been changed with her tenancy agreement. She has been told that her obligation is to the lease, no matter whether it's with me, the bank or a new owner. I have had some health problems and, under the circumstances, would like to move back into this home. It has no stairs and would be perfect for me to mend. Since she's violated the terms of the lease, I'd like to have June be the last month's rent and send her the security deposit less the cleaning, etc., 14 days after she moves out, as per WA state law. I would take tenancy on July 1.

Can I do this?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. Actually there are two contractual relationships involved here...the tenant’s with the landlord and the landlord's with the lender. One does not affect the others. The tenant's contract with the landlord is for the tenant to pay the rent in exchange for occupancy. As long as the tenant retains occupancy, the tenant is obligated to pay the rent. Whether or not the landlord uses the rent to pay the mortgage is not relevant to the tenant's contract with the landlord, but only affects the landlord's contractual relationship with the lender. So, if your tenant failed to pay the rent, your tenant is in default.

You may or may not be able to take possession by July 1 because it depends upon whether or not your tenant leaves voluntarily when you terminate the lease. If not, you need to follow the formal eviction process to avoid a suit for an illegal eviction. Since your tenant is in default for nonpayment, you can terminate the lease by giving a 10-Day Notice to Quit under Washington law...meaning she must vacate within that period or face formal eviction. Then, if she doesn't leave within that period, you must file a petition for an eviction order. Once that is can have the sheriff evict her. You may then file a claim against her for all unpaid rent and damages not covered by her security deposit. Once you get your judgment, you can attach her assets, including bank accounts, and garnish her wages, to collect that judgment. Unfortunately, you must go through the formal process and what you cannot legally do is shut off the utilities, change the locks, or avail yourself of any other means of “self-help” eviction prior to obtaining the eviction order from the court.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that is was acceptable to simply change the locks and move out her things, but, I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Richard and other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for letting me know my options. Kristen

You're's been my pleasure to help! Have a great weekend!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
In regard to my previous question: The tenant paid the last month's rent. However, I gave her a 10-day notice to quit (June 17 is the 10 days) or the option of using June as the last month's rent and moving by June 30 so I can move back in. Is this legal? Can I serve the 10 notice and refund the rest of the month is she is out? How do I handle this? Can I move back in and break the lease on my end? I have a medical reason (stairs).
Thanks so much for your reply. Since you gave her the option of using the last month's rent in exchange for moving out on or before June 30, you will have to wait until June 30 to see if she moves out. If she does not, you would be able to giver her the 10-Day Notice to Quit at that time...but you would need to wait until June 30 to see if she moves out pursuant to her agreement with you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for responding. One last question here: I now have the legal right to move back into my place, right? Also, in WA state, can I ask a tenant to leave who has a lease agreement with me if I, or one of my family,want to move back into the home?
Since she was in default and then you made an agreement that she could remain in the place until June 30, she has the right to remain until June 30. But, if she does not leave, she is in default under your arrangement and thus you can then give her the 10-Day Notice to Quit.

And, you're's been my pleasure! Have a great day!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome...:)

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