Landlord/Tenant

Patty Grossman represents landlords in various actions, including virtually all types of landlord/tenants actions. Landlord/tenant disputes in Washington are normally governed by the Washington Residential Landlord/Tenant Act, known as WRLTA. Tenants renting only the space in a mobile home park are covered by the Mobile Home Landlord/Tenant Act. In either event, the Act(s) provide specific duties for both landlords and tenants, specific remedies if the duties are not carried out by either or both of the parties to a lease agreement, and procedures to be strictly followed when pursuing a court action to enforce the terms and conditions in a lease agreement. There are specific defenses that a tenant must raise in the course of litigation that are addressed in the landlord/tenant statutes. It is the familiarity with those statutes and attention to the detail exacted by the WRLTA that sets Patty apart from others who may represent landlords and/or tenants.

When representing landlords in the eviction process, Patty strictly scrutinizes the Three Day Notice, the Summons and Complaint, and the Order to Show Cause as well as the Writ of Restitution for legal defects. Such a defect might lead to a defense to legal action brought by the landlord under a lease agreement to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent. Patty will search for possible defenses to the action, asking questions about the condition of the premises, whether rent was offered by the tenant, whether discrimination or harassment is a possible defense, and other questions which may lead to the case being dismissed by the court. These defenses are a concern for the landlord; the landlord will want to raise the defenses or at least prepare the proper response for court. Patty will also consider if an initial checklist was provided at the inception of the lease, whether there is a security deposit, and if there are questions regarding personal property retention, and other issues that may arise during the course of a landlord/tenant dispute. In those cases pertaining to mobile home owners and lease of the park space by the owner, Patty will use the relevant law with attention to the varying time elements contained in the statutes.

In some cases there may be room for negotiation. If that is the case, Patty will take into consideration what is reasonable for all parties to the action: can the tenant realistically remain on the premises; are there alternatives to eviction that are workable for both parties; and what remedies might the landlord have if the tenant has no assets with which to satisfy an award by the court of money for damages or unpaid rent?

For over 35 years, Patty has been involved with landlord/tenant law in various capacities: as an attorney on a housing justice project; as a private counsel representing parties to an appellant case involving salient issues affecting landlord/tenant law; as an editor for the landlord/tenant chapters contained in a real estate publication; and, from a personal point of view, as both a landlord and a tenant.

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