Real Estate Law
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This definitely sounds like retaliation which is illegal under RCW 59.18.250 Reprisals or retaliatory actions by landlord.
This statute says basically that if a landlord takes any negative action against you that is not due to a breach within 90 days of you exercising your legal rights, then it is considered illegal retaliation and you can sue him for harassment and breach of contract for damages and court costs. Since this is a malicious and willful action on the part of the landlord, the judge may choose to award punitive damages to set an example and deter future similar conduct.
As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...
They are the agent for the landlord, so the landlord is still responsible under the legal doctrine "respondeat superior".
Well, you would have to look up a local attorney in the city where you live who handles landlord tenant or general civil litigation issues and schedule a time to go talk to them.
Once you hired them, they will file a civil complaint and get the lawsuit moving forward.. Generally these types of cases settle out of court with the defendant agreeing to pay some amount just so they don't have to hire their own attorney and defend in court.
Or you could file your own small claims court case if you didn't want to hire an attorney. The clerks at the courthouse will have the summons and complaint forms that you need to file to start the case..
I would guestimate it at around $1500-2000 to get an attorney interested enough to take the case..