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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55716
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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We moved out of a town home we were renting in Kirkland, WA.

Customer Question

We moved out of a town home we were renting in Kirkland, WA. The owner chose to sell, rather continue to use as a rental property. We spent Jan-July 2015 finding an appropriate rental home, due to a handicap I have in my legs. There are only 2 of us who used the washer.
The owner (who had been over many times) wanted to buy our used (8 yrs) front load Kenmore washer, as well as our matching gas dryer (had been in storage for over one year.
They paid $700.00 for the pair. Both items had the optional pedestals. Our ex- landlord called about the Washer stinking. He wants us to take care it it's repair. "A new gasket for $110 dollars and 10.00 for delivery. I thought these types of Sales are "as is".
I checked on the Internet "thrifty". You don't need a new gasket. They currently still have our security, et al, deposits. I'm afraid they will come up with some other issue,
to recoup the gasket issue.
Also. What is the legal length of time given to owners to reimburse security, and other fees?
Thank you, ***** ***** ***@******.***
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Hi Melvina! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
First, you have no legal obligation to pay for the new gasket and delivery. The landlord purchased the washer and dryer used and the transaction closed. They have no further recourse against you as they have no legal right to try to change the terms of the transaction after it was completed. They had every ability to inspect both and if they failed to do so, it's their negligence that resulted in the problem.
Second, if they fail to return your deposit, file a claim against them in small claims court to recover it. You can file this without an attorney. In Washington, the following statute addresses the timing and the liability of the owner for punitive damages if the owner does not comply:
"RCW 59.18.280
Moneys paid as deposit or security for performance by tenant — Statement and notice of basis for retention — Remedies for landlord's failure to make refund.
Within fourteen days after the termination of the rental agreement and vacation of the premises or, if the tenant abandons the premises as defined in RCW 59.18.310, within fourteen days after the landlord learns of the abandonment, the landlord shall give a full and specific statement of the basis for retaining any of the deposit together with the payment of any refund due the tenant under the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. No portion of any deposit shall be withheld on account of wear resulting from ordinary use of the premises. The landlord complies with this section if the required statement or payment, or both, are deposited in the United States mail properly addressed with first-class postage prepaid within the fourteen days.
The notice shall be delivered to the tenant personally or by mail to his or her last known address. If the landlord fails to give such statement together with any refund due the tenant within the time limits specified above he or she shall be liable to the tenant for the full amount of the deposit. The landlord is also barred in any action brought by the tenant to recover the deposit from asserting any claim or raising any defense for retaining any of the deposit unless the landlord shows that circumstances beyond the landlord's control prevented the landlord from providing the statement within the fourteen days or that the tenant abandoned the premises as defined in RCW 59.18.310. The court may in its discretion award up to two times the amount of the deposit for the intentional refusal of the landlord to give the statement or refund due. In any action brought by the tenant to recover the deposit, the prevailing party shall additionally be entitled to the cost of suit or arbitration including a reasonable attorney's fee."
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