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Test Your Rental Knowledge. 1.Your landlord stops by unannounced and wants to inspect your unit or show it to potential buyers or future tenants. You…

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Presentation on theme: "Test Your Rental Knowledge. 1.Your landlord stops by unannounced and wants to inspect your unit or show it to potential buyers or future tenants. You…"— Presentation transcript:

1 Test Your Rental Knowledge

2 1.Your landlord stops by unannounced and wants to inspect your unit or show it to potential buyers or future tenants. You… a)must let your landlord in. b)may request that your landlord comes back next week. c)may request that your landlord comes back tomorrow.

3 1. You may request that your landlord comes back tomorrow. (c) According to RCW of the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (LTA) you are entitled to 48 hours notice before your landlord enters your unit unless there is an emergency. Although you may request that your landlord returns in two days, under reasonable circumstances you should not deny access to the unit after one day. You also have the right to let your landlord in immediately if you so choose. Do not sign a contract or lease that violates this law. Our office has seen leases from landlords in this area that require you to allow access to your unit on certain days and at certain times of the week. Don’t sign that lease! You must insist that your landlord contact you at least 24 hours in advance of all non-emergent entries.

4 2.True or False Your landlord can demand that you vacuum, take out the garbage, and mow the lawn.

5 2. True! According to RCW you are responsible for upkeep of the rental unit. Vacuuming carpets prevents bug infestation and mildew. So does taking out the garbage on a regular basis and keeping the house clean. Mowing the lawn keeps unwanted critters away and it keeps the property value up. These are necessary maintenance issues that must be taken care of. You can be evicted or face monetary charges if you do not take this law seriously.

6 3.The toilet in your bathroom has stopped working. You should… a)immediately contact your landlord. b)call and pay for a plumber yourself. c)move out.

7 3. You should immediately contact your landlord. (a) According to RCW your landlord is responsible for maintaining all electrical, plumbing, heating, and appliances supplied by him or her in reasonably good working order. RCW states that your landlord must fix defective conditions that deprive you of hot or cold water, heat, or electricity within 24 hours. Plumbing and other appliance issues must be fixed within 72 hours. Notify your landlord immediately in person or by phone when the issue arises and follow that notification with a letter. You and your landlord can discuss how the problem should be fixed. The solution may be for you to contact a plumber and pay for the repairs yourself. If this solution is agreed upon, RCW states that you are allowed to deduct the cost from your rent. If no solution is found and your landlord does not fix the problem within the required time, RCW states that you are allowed to move out of the premises because your landlord has violated the lease. Most landlords are going to fix problems quickly because they want to keep good tenants in their units. Knowing your rights however, is empowering and prevents you from being taken advantage of. Also remember that if you caused the appliance, plumbing, etc. to be damaged, you are responsible for repairs and all costs associated with them.

8 4.True or False As a tenant, you are responsible for changing dead batteries and maintaining all smoke detectors in your unit.

9 4. True! According to RCW your landlord must provide you with working smoke detectors but you are responsible for maintenance and upkeep. Helpful tip: When setting your clocks for Daylight Savings Time twice a year, check your smoke detectors too. Have enough batteries for your clocks and your smoke detectors if necessary.

10 5.True or False You have signed a 12-month rental agreement. Your landlord is allowed to increase your rent before the 12- month period ends as long as he gives you 20 days notice before your next rent is due.

11 5. False! A 12-month lease is a written contract. No changes can be made without your consent and a written addendum to the lease. A month-to-month lease however, is void at the end of every month. Your landlord can increase the rent or tell you to move out with at least 30 days notice before the end of the month. Details of this law are under RCW

12 6.A friend moves to town and needs a place to live. You think she would be a good housemate so you… a)help her move into the spare room. b)discuss the issue with your landlord. c)let her sleep on the couch for a couple of weeks to test things out.

13 6. You should discuss the issue with your landlord. (b) You signed a lease with your landlord that states how many people are allowed to live in the unit. If the lease allows for another person then there should not be a problem. If the lease does not allow for another person then you will be in violation of the lease once your friend starts living with you. An addendum must be added to the lease allowing an extra person to live in the unit and your landlord has the right to increase your rent accordingly. You may test the waters with your friend for a few nights, but after a week or two, you need to make a decision or you could face possible eviction for violating your lease.

14 7.Your housemate moves out and you need a new one. You… a)make a flyer with those pre-cut tabs and hang them all over campus. b)fill out a Student Listing Form in Student Services and get a FREE advertisement posted online. c)say nothing and hope people can read your mind.

15 7. You should fill out a Student Listing Form in Student Services and get a FREE advertisement posted online. (b) According to past surveys, the number one way UPS students find available housing is by word of mouth. The second best way is through our Available Housing link in the Off Campus section of Student Services: Flyers and newspaper ads come in third and mind-reading doesn’t even make the list. Here is a direct link to the submission form:

16 8.True or False When advertising for this new housemate, you can specify if you want only male or female applicants.

17 8. True! Washington State Fair Housing laws prevent discrimination based on race, sex, disability, color, religion, age, national origin, marital status, or familial status. This means that your landlord cannot prevent men, women, Christians or Romanians from becoming tenants just because they happen to be men, women, Christians or Romanians, however, the law does not apply to housemates. Since you have to live with the person who applies, share living space and other items, you may decide what sex is acceptable. Make sure you file a complaint with the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity if you feel that you have been discriminated against in other ways as a tenant. Find more information and complaint forms here: or by calling their toll-free number (800)

18 9.A house that has been certified by the Crime Free Housing Program is safe for you because it has… a)trimmed bushes and hedges that meet specific requirements. b)180-degree peepholes in all front doors and anti-theft devices on ground-floor windows and sliding doors. c)adequate outdoor lighting.

19 9. The house is safe because it has a, b, and c! The Crime Free Housing Program (CFHP) is a public safety partnership that assists owners and managers of rental properties in keeping drugs and other illegal activity off their property and making it safe for residents. If the property has been certified it means that your landlord has attended 16 hours of class instruction by Tacoma’s Police, Human Rights and Human Services, Fire and Public Works Departments. The property you live in has also been inspected for peepholes, door locks, window locks, outdoor lighting, fire hazards and trimmed bushes that predators cannot hide behind. If your property passed inspection, you may see this logo on a sign somewhere around your house. You may also have a CFHP addendum to your lease. In order to maintain CFHP membership, your property must be inspected each year. Ask your landlord to see a recent CFHP certificate or check online at under Human Services to see a recent list of CFHP properties. Call the Crime Free Housing Hotline at (253) for more information.www.cityoftacoma.org

20 10.True or False Failing to pay your rent on time will not affect your future plans for buying a house or a new vehicle.

21 10. False! Failing to pay your rent on time can stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 YEARS! Bad credit makes it hard to get a loan to buy your first house, your next car, or to get good interest rates on your credit cards. Make a budget and stick to it so you never miss a rent payment.

22 City of Tacoma Business Registration: WA State Attorney General Consumer Line: (800) / Press 1 / Tape Number 048 Washington State Residential LTA: Crime Free Housing Program: Fair Housing Issues: IMPORTANT Web Sites & References Find sample letters to landlords requesting repairs or getting out of a lease, use this handy website by the Tenants Union of Washington State…

23 Please contact us for more information. We are happy to look over your lease and discuss tenant issues as they come up. Off-Campus Student Services Wheelock Room 203 (253)


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