Landlord and Tenant Lawyers in Yakima
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Landlord and Tenant Law in Washington
In Yakima, Washington, it's not easy to be a tenant or a landlord, and relations between those parties can sometimes get testy.
Landlords and tenants have several rights and responsibilities. What follows is a partial list of the rights that landlords and tenants have, and the corresponding duties of the other party.
Landlord's Rights in Yakima, WA
The most basic right that landlords have is the right to be paid the agreed-upon rent by their tenant. Obviously, renting apartments is how landlords earn a living, so they are entitled to collect the rent that the tenant agreed to pay.
They also have a right to compensation for any damage that a tenant causes, beyond ordinary wear and tear. Landlords are free to bill the tenants for repairs to damage they caused, and deduct the cost from the security deposit.
Tenant's Rights in Yakima, WA
Tenants, most basically, have a right to a habitable apartment. After all, this is what they're paying for. Yakima, Washington landlords are obligated to see that the units they rent to tenants are fit to be lived in by people. Many different defects might render an apartment uninhabitable, such as serious infestations and other problems with sanitation, lack of running water or electricity, or failure to provide adequate protection from the outside elements.
In addition to habitable living spaces, tenants also have a right to reasonably safe common areas. Common areas include lobbies, hallways, and stairwells - basically anything that everyone living in an apartment complex has access to. These common areas must meet the building standards of Yakima, Washington, and must not contain any unnecessary safety hazards.
Under federal and Washington law, tenants are also entitled to protection against discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, marital status, or gender. Such discrimination can lead to severe civil penalties against the landlord. Landlords also cannot discriminate against tenants based on physical disability, and have to make reasonable accommodations for physically disabled tenants. For example, they have to allow disabled tenants to make minor physical alterations to the unit (at the tenant's expense) to make it more accessible. Now, they don't need to allow the tenants to have the building remodeled. We're just talking about things like installing handrails in the bathroom, and similar things. The landlord can, however, require tenants to restore the apartment to its original condition, at the tenant's expense, once the tenant leaves.
Finally, tenants are legally protected from arbitrary eviction. Landlords generally must have a very good reason to evict a tenant before the lease agreement reaches the end of its term (at this point, they are of course allowed to decline to renew the lease). Of course, if the tenant breaches the lease agreement (such as by failing to pay rent, damaging the property, or violating other reasonable rules the landlord has put in the lease), the landlord, like a party to any other contract, is free to terminate the agreement and evict the breaching tenant.
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Can a Yakima, Washington Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?
Landlords and tenants usually prefer to avoid getting into fights with one another, for obvious reasons. A harmonious relationship is profitable for everyone involved. To that end, the advice of a good Yakima, Washington landlord/tenant attorney can help defuse arguments before they become too serious.
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Life in YakimaYakima is located in Yakima County, Washington. Per the 2010 census, it is home to 91,067 people.
Popular sites include Mount Rainier National Park, West Valley and Terrace Heights, and the Yakama Indian Reservation.
Top employers include the Sports Center Tavern, The Hilton Garden Inn, the Speakeasy Bar, Grill & Nightclub, Kana Winery, Donitelia Winery, Yakima Cellars Winery, and the Barrell House.
Yakima is also home to many small law offices. Very competent attorneys are able to tackle the legal needs of residents with the help of their wonderful support staff. Therefore, Yakima residents never have trouble tending to their legal needs.
Overall, Yakima is a small, quaint area that hosts a small-town charm and humility. It is a wonderful place to visit and call home!