Landlord and Tenant Lawyers in Bellingham
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Landlord and Tenant Law in Washington
In Bellingham, Washington, it's not simple to be a tenant or a landlord, and relations between those parties can occasionally get testy.
Landlords and tenants have various 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 Bellingham, 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 make a living, so they are entitled to collect the rent that the tenant agreed to pay.
Additionally, landlords have a right to be compensated for damage a tenant causes to a rented unit, either intentionally or negligently. Landlords have a right to deduct repair costs from tenants' security deposits, unless the damage was caused by usual wear and tear, for which tenants are not responsible.
Tenant's Rights in Bellingham, WA
Tenants, most essentially, have a right to a habitable apartment. After all, this is what they're paying for. Bellingham, Washington landlords are obligated to see that the units they rent to tenants are fit to be lived in by people. Many numerous 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.
Tenants also have a right to ensure that the common areas of their apartment building are reasonably safe. Landlords are required to make sure that the common areas of their buildings meet Bellingham, Washington's building codes, and that there are no conditions that create unnecessary safety hazards. They are obligated to make, at their own expense, the proper repairs.
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 grave civil penalties against the landlord. Landlords additionally cannot discriminate against tenants based on physical disability, and have to make reasonable accommodations for physically disabled tenants. For instance, 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.
Lastly, the laws of most states safeguard tenants from unfair eviction. In general, as long as a tenant is paying rent on time, and is not damaging the unit, they cannot be evicted before the term of the lease expires, unless there is a very good reason to do so (such as excessive noise caused by the tenant, or illegal activities in the apartment).
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Can a Bellingham, Washington Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?
Tenants and landlords always want to avoid getting into any serious disputes - these disputes interfere with the tenant's living arrangement, and the landlord's business. In short, they help nobody. While a good Bellingham, Washington attorney can definately help his or her client prevail in such a dispute, they may be more essential for their ability to help prevent such disputes from escalating in the first place.
Landlord & Tenant Attorneys in the Largest WA Cities
Life in BellinghamBellingham is located in Whatcom County, Washington. Per the 2010 census, Washington has 80,885 residents. Bellingham is surrounded by Fairhaven, Whatcom, and Sehome.
Bellingham is home to many wonderful attractions. Popular sites include the Whatcom Museum of History and Art, the Bellingham Railway Museum, the American Museum of Radio and Electricity, Whatcom Falls Park, Mount Baker Ski Area, Salish Sea, and North Lookout Mountain.
Although the city is known for its small-town charm, top employers include PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, Haggen, Sodexo, Bellingham School District, Sterling Health Plans and Fred Meyer. The legal industry too has a presence in Bellingham via many small law firms and law offices. These entities provide legal services to residents in practically all areas of law, with competent attorneys overseeing each and every case.
Famous celebrities who have, at one time or another, called Bellingham home include Billy Burke, Hilary Swank, Ryan Stiles, Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer.