Tenant lawyer threatening on bais of Consumer Protection Act” WA

9 Replies

Hello - I got into a situation where my tenants, who moved in the beginning of Nov from out of state (did the walkthru using FaceTime), start complaining that they didn’t like the house. The house got few issues as well (appliances stopped working), which I replaced in 48hrs. They keep complaining that they want move out for which I also offered options and mutual resolutions.

today all of a sudden I was surprised by a letter from their attorney claiming that I falsely advertised my home and used “bait and switch” tactics to deceive them. They are asking me to return all the rent/security deposit and asking for additional attorney fee + some other reimbursement for groceries/vaccum etc.

I am very certain that I didn’t do anything wrong and everything was handled as per landlord/tenant act. I am also not sure if consumer protection act is even applicable as in WA, issues covered by tenant/landlord are not addressed by Consumer protection act.

I am looking for an attorney referral in snohomish county area to help me with this. I was about to travel internationally and I feel the tenants intentionally timed it to clash with my trip making me more willing to settle with them.

Would appreciate some guidance on this matter.

Even if you fight this and win, you will only end up with more problems in the future. I would ask them to leave, no penalty, refund of the deposit after they are out, and go your separate ways. If they insist on fighting, give it to an attorney. 

Hi Ashish,

They want reimbursement for vacuuming (???)

Some attorney files a suit under "Consumer Protection"....

They are paying this attorney themselves and it's not Pro Bono work by Legal Aid(???)

Will the housing court hear a "Consumer Protection" case (???) or will it have to go to another court with "interrogatories" and endless spinning wheels in the mud ($$$$$).

You need to talk to your attorney and see how to proceed.

With renters like this the next 11 months will be a PITA for you, and for them.

And not this kind of PITA. 

Good Luck!

People move when they want to move, no lease can hold them. (Pro tip - long term leases benefit tenants more than landlords, because landlords have to actually live up to the lease). 

If someone wants to move, we let them. No point in even objecting. But, we do keep the SD and they may have to pay an additionl month for breaking the lease pre-maturely. But ultimatly, I will settle for the best I can get and move on. There is no upside in fighting.

Thanks for all the responses. I agree that it’s not worth trying to keep them and I believe they do plan to vacate the property this Sunday. The confusion is that the attorney never mentioned about them moving out and they haven’t said formally they are moving and if they would do move out walk thru.


the attorney simply demanded that I pay all the money by Monday by check payable to attorneys account which I don’t think make sense. If they move out, I can offer refunding theirs deposit. 

Originally posted by @Ashish G.:

Thanks for all the responses. I agree that it’s not worth trying to keep them and I believe they do plan to vacate the property this Sunday. The confusion is that the attorney never mentioned about them moving out and they haven’t said formally they are moving and if they would do move out walk thru.


the attorney simply demanded that I pay all the money by Monday by check payable to attorneys account which I don’t think make sense. If they move out, I can offer refunding theirs deposit. 

First, what ever you don't pay the attorneys directly. 

Second, don't pay your tenants without them signing an termination of lease document. Even if they move out, don't pay them until they sign. 

Third, talk to a lawyer and at least get advice on best way to proceed. 

Lastly, WA law is changing that gives A LOT of power to a tenant if they are in a mtm lease. Even if its a 6 or 12m that coverts to mtm. The absolute best option for LL going forward is having a 6 or 12m lease that DOES NOT auto renew or transfer to a mtm lease. Going forward you want to have them sign a NEW contract every time the lease ends. Nothing has to change about it but it needs to be a NEW lease, every time. It will be EXTREMELY difficult to get people with mtm lease starting Jan 1. 

99.9% chance the lawyer is either from some free tenants organization or a friend. Regardless, the lawyer will ask for a bunch of stuff just to scare you or hope you're dumb enough to pay it. You're free to reply that you agree to break the lease as long as the tenants agree to send you 2 pounds of olives every 3rd Wednesday of the month for the next 16 months. See, you can ask for stupid s*** too! 

I'd just respond back: I will terminate the lease with no early lease break penalty effective (end of current month) provided tenants have completely vacated property by then, left it in like condition as received, and returned all keys. Security deposit will be returned based on condition of the property and full rent received through the date of lease termination in accordance with the lease and local laws. Please confirm within 48 hours from receipt otherwise please enjoy your home for the next 11 months.