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Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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I was renting a room in a house in Seattle years and

Customer Question

I was renting a room in a house in Seattle for 6 years and had never signed a lease or any sort of contract. When I moved in I gave my landlord first and last month’s rent ($475 + $475), plus a $150 deposit. He told me on 6/26/15 that the owner of the house was going to be selling it and we would have to move out. I found a new place fairly quickly and said that I would be out by the end of that month, so I would need my last months rent back. He said I can't have it because I didn't give 30 days notice.
I consulted someone who works with Washington renter's laws and she said that I indeed was supposed to give notice (20 days). But that since he took my money without a contract, he technically took it illegally. I want to take this to small claims to get my money back (if not the last months because I didn't give enough notice, at least my despot). Would this be worth perusing?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
It is up to you really, small claims is more of a nuisance to deal with than a traditional civil case (you will have to plan on going to the courthouse to file your summons and complaint, have somebody else (I recommend hiring a process server for a couple of bucks - your local bar association can provide referrals) serve the defendant, then appear at the hearing to argue your case, then enforce your judgment.The Washington Courts have some very good information on small claims: of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation. Most landlord/tenant mediators are reasonable (Seattle, like most large metropolitan areas, has a fair amount of landlord/tenant resources so this may be good option for you, again your bar association can give you referrals).