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Thread: Need to kick room mates out ASAP! Question! (Washington State)

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    Need to kick room mates out ASAP! Question! (Washington State)

    My wife and myself are renting a condo in the state of Washington. We also have a four year old daughter. We are renting it from a private individual. Back in December, my wife was in touch with some old acquaintances who claimed to be down on their luck. It was a guy and his pregnant girlfriend. They claimed they were undergoing serious hardship, and how he was unemployed, and had no place to live, and didn't want to be left without a roof over his head due to his girlfriend being pregnant. We told them they would be allowed to stay with us, and we did not ask them to pay rent. We told them to take the time an use it to their advantage, so he can get a job, save up money, and get back on his own feet, and we'd play it by ear.

    Well, they moved in back in December of 2012. After a couple months, I started noticing some disturbing behavior. He started using marijuana out on the back porch, and I told him I did not want that on the property. He complied, but I caught him a few times after that. He did not look for a job, and started to really demonstrate that they were mooching off of us. Well, two weeks ago, the pregnant girlfriend had her two children over (from a previous marriage) for the weekend, and she is currently going through a custody battle with them, because she was charged with Domestic Violence Assault 4 two years ago, and initially had them taken away. Well, when the father of the children picked the kids up, he noticed a lot of bumps and bruises on them, and finger imprints on his rib cage. He ended up contacting the police, who then came out to question my room mate. No arrest was made and no charges have been filed (yet), but the police did give me a case number.

    Since then, I told them I'd like to have them out by April 1st, and they complied at the time. Since then, they have shown nothing but blatant disrespect; inviting people over for the night without asking, being very inappropriate with how they present themselves, accuse my wife and I of stealing their belongings, send incredibly rude and disrespectful text messages, stating that legally, they don't have to leave, because they have established residency here for over 90 days, and unless I serve them with a 30 day eviction notice, they don't have to leave. A few months ago, we even allowed them to have our room, and my wife and I have been sleeping on the hide a bed in the living room. We did this out of courtesy to them. Absolutely no appreciation has been shown, and we've been treated with nothing but disrespect. They are claiming that they can do whatever they like, because this place is theirs just as much as it is ours, even though they are not in the lease. I honestly do not know the legality of these issues, but to be honest, with her custody battle, and charges of domestic violence against children, I do not feel comfortable having her here with my four year old daughter. The officer who responded informed me that there's a way I can file for a 7 day emergency eviction if I take the case number down to the local PD.

    Earlier tonight, they came out here and started a huge hiatus, claiming they don't have to leave unless we give them a 30 day notice, and how they can do whatever they want while we're here.

    An legal experts on here that may be able to tell me what my rights are, and what I can do to get them out of here?!

    Thanks!!

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    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    First - be safe. Try not to antagonize them prior to presenting the eviction notice.Then Google "how to evict a roommate in Washington state".
    Very seriously consider a lawyer's time for an hour to get a plan that will hold up in court. Take your current lease with you. Read it carefully to see how it addresses long term guests or sub leases.

    Talk to your landlord if you have a good relationship and you're not currently in violation of your lease.

    It sounds like these people have nothing to lose and no respect for anyone else.
    Do you have some place off site to hide valuables during the eviction process?
    Never go without a contract!

    Best of luck.

    ETA: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=59.04.050
    If they're not on a lease they have no right to be there.

    http://www.tenantsunion.org/rights/section/eviction
    Last edited by Jim675; 03-26-2013 at 04:37 AM.

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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    Wowwie!!!

    I doubt that they have any right to live in your house any longer than you allow.
    Throw their stuff out in the yard and tell them to get out, now!
    If they wont leave, get the cops to enforce their tresspass, then charge them if need be!

    Edit to Ask,,, Why would you call these moochers... RoomMates???
    they are just over stayed guests!
    Last edited by 1245A Defender; 03-26-2013 at 05:45 AM.
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    Regular Member Wolfgang1952's Avatar
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    I know I am cold. I wouldn’t have let them in, in the first place. Put their **** out on the side walk, and change the locks
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    Jeez, folks living off of the teats of others showing no respect for those others, taking liberties, expecting more, doing less, ...

    Whodathunk?

    You should have asked for rent of some kind, anything, just a few dollars, painting the house, doing the yard work, etc. Oh, and once they broke the law, increasing the chance that YOU would be convicted of a crime, you should have called the cops, had them bust the doper, and had them use the dogs to find all the stashes, lest they be found later and thought to be YOURS.

    Charity should always be a generous contract, never a gift.
    Last edited by eye95; 03-26-2013 at 10:08 AM.

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    Regular Member skeith5's Avatar
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    Re: Need to kick room mates out ASAP! Question! (Washington State)

    I would contact a lawyer asap if you can afford it. Read up on the landlord tenant act of Washington state, although the laws might be different when they aren't on the lease. I would also stop referring to them as roommates they are unwelcome house guests. A roommate would imply a contractual obligation that shouldn't exist.
    Last edited by skeith5; 03-26-2013 at 10:15 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Jeez, folks living off of the teats of others showing no respect for those others, taking liberties, expecting more, doing less, ...

    Whodathunk?

    You should have asked for rent of some kind, anything, just a few dollars, painting the house, doing the yard work, etc. Oh, and once they broke the law, increasing the chance that YOU would be convicted of a crime, you should have called the cops, had them bust the doper, and had them use the dogs to find all the stashes, lest they be found later and thought to be YOURS.

    Charity should always be a generous contract, never a gift.
    While I agree with your overall point, note that they didn't break any WA law as of yet. Marijuana use is legal here, and as Aaron points out, they're abusing the eviction process to get as much mooch time as possible.

    Aaron: you need to contact a lawyer and be ready for whatever comes out of this. People being evicted can do terrible things, including trashing your place, so you will want to do this without making them alert to it until the cops show up with a forcible eviction notice. Make sure you change your locks, and if you don't have a safe, now's a time to get one, because they may attempt to break in to steal stuff from you after they're gone.

    Good luck. It sucks when someone takes advantage of your goodwill and charity.
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    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    Since they are not on the lease, I don't see how they can get any benefit of being a benefactor of the landlord/tenant relationship. They were invited in temporarily so I would think you could kick them out at any time - trespass maybe? Giving them a free pass was a BIG mistake, but there is no point in arguing that. I would contact a lawyer and get the police involved regarding trespass.

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    Check your State law. Once someone is living somewhere, they cannot (in many jurisdictions) be summarily kicked out. There are procedures. These procedures may allow freeloading to a ridiculous extent, but that was the risk you took when you allowed those folks into your home.

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    Agree with most of the above, EXCEPT setting them out w/o legal process. You might incur liability for their stuff.

    See an attorney ASAP!
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    Regular Member NavyMike's Avatar
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    "At will" guest

    If your 'room mate' is not on the lease, and is not subletting from you, he is essentially a long term guest and you have the right to throw him out at will.

    if they are not paying rent then there is no landlord/ tenant relationship or legal obligation on your part.

    Change the locks and remove their things. If they refuse to leave or attempt to renter against your will, you can call the police and have them removed for trespass.

    This calls their bluff. They will now need to sue you for unlawful eviction and will need to prove that you were their landlord, by showing a judge their lease agreement, security deposit receipt, rent receipts etc. Tough to prove for someone who was just a house guest.

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    A quick search of the Internet pulled up several references to "at will" tenants still having rights under the law.

    I strongly recommend NOT taking any legal advice you get on this forum, especially if the advice is not accompanied by the citations that OCDO rules require. In addition to any rights your "guest" had that you risk violating by following IANAL advice, putting their property out on the streets could create some liability for you. Check with attorney in person.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    What Eye95 said... i'm not even going to pretend to know the law on this,

    go talk to a lawyer, especially if you don't have much money, consulting with an attorney is going to cost nothing compared to having to hire said attroney if they sue, + all the penalties and judgements and the possible damage to your home if they win. landlord tenant law can be complex, before you do anything please talk to an attorney, and not just ANY attorney, you need an attorney who specializes in landlord tenant relationships and evictions... It appears this firm does that.... but call around and find a good lawyer in that field

    http://www.loefflerlegal.com/

    Edit, so wouldn't your "tenants" wife be breaking federal law by living in your place? if she's a DV offender and you own firearms?
    Last edited by EMNofSeattle; 03-26-2013 at 03:41 PM.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeith5 View Post
    I would contact a lawyer asap if you can afford it. Read up on the landlord tenant act of Washington state, although the laws might be different when they aren't on the lease. I would also stop referring to them as roommates they are unwelcome house guests. A roommate would imply a contractual obligation that shouldn't exist.
    +1 especially contacting a lawyer.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    In addition to the repeated advice to consult with an attorney about the eviction process, you might want to consult with a criminal defense attorney about how you and your wife may be effected by the criminal behavior of your temporary guests, and how that might effect your daughter.

    Drug use is illegal. You most likely are, at least in the definitional sense, accessories in the second or third degree to illegal drug use, as well as possibly possession of illegal drugs. All of that, besides raising concerns about criminal charges and the follow-up from that, means your daughter is being neglected and exposed to an unsafe environment. Look out for CPS swooping down and adding even more to your already unhappy situation.

    Get some guidance/advice from a criminal defense attorney before you call the cops on these folks.

    stay safe.
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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    In addition to the repeated advice to consult with an attorney about the eviction process, you might want to consult with a criminal defense attorney about how you and your wife may be effected by the criminal behavior of your temporary guests, and how that might effect your daughter.

    Drug use is illegal. You most likely are, at least in the definitional sense, accessories in the second or third degree to illegal drug use, as well as possibly possession of illegal drugs. All of that, besides raising concerns about criminal charges and the follow-up from that, means your daughter is being neglected and exposed to an unsafe environment. Look out for CPS swooping down and adding even more to your already unhappy situation.

    Get some guidance/advice from a criminal defense attorney before you call the cops on these folks.

    stay safe.
    Just want to point out again this OP is in WA state, which just passed a law that anybody over 21 can smoke and possess up to one OZ of weed.
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    Just want to point out, whether you agree with it or not, it is still a violation of federal law.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Just want to point out, whether you agree with it or not, it is still a violation of federal law.
    yeah but the chance of the feds giving a hoot about one ounce of reefer are not high.... unless she's got a whole hydroponics lab dedicated to growing MJ the Fed's aren't even going to bother.
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    yeah but the chance of the feds giving a hoot about one ounce of reefer are not high.... unless she's got a whole hydroponics lab dedicated to growing MJ the Fed's aren't even going to bother.
    Is that a risk you'd be willing to take? I wouldn't. Plus, you risk being determined to be a "prohibited person." No thanks. Anyone doing any illegal drugs in my house gets ratted out. Plus I call in the dogs to find all of their stashes. When I get through with them, they will beg to leave.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Is that a risk you'd be willing to take? I wouldn't. Plus, you risk being determined to be a "prohibited person." No thanks. Anyone doing any illegal drugs in my house gets ratted out. Plus I call in the dogs to find all of their stashes. When I get through with them, they will beg to leave.
    I don't use Mj, please don't insinuate I do.

    that's why we're telling him to get an attorney, because there's a legal concept of implied lease, if a judge rules that this wonderful couple actually is a tenant or a room-mate, your dogs are going to get you slapped with civil judgements and then you won't be able to practically evict them at all, because it's illegal to evict a tenant as retaliation for seeking enforcement of tenant rights. so any eviction you attempt will scrutinized carefully.

    Who will you rat 'em too? I promise if you call the DEA unless you lie to them (a crime) and say there's a growery they ain't goin' to do jack. and the local police cannot do anything because possessing wackyweed in your house is not illegal, hence no probable cause of a crime. furthermore if they have their own room, you as a landlord or sub landlord cannot consent to officer friendly and Rover to tear their room apart. they'd need a warrant go back to square one, no probable cause. your "advice" while good for Ohio and 'Bama I'm sure, is only going to get the OP's clock cleaned in Superior Court here in WA.
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    I insinuated no such thing. The risk is that if the stuff is found in your house, you could end up being a prohibited person. Please don't accuse me of stuff. If you think I am implying something, ask.

    I'll rat them out to every agency I can. I'll ask the local cops to do a search to find their stash. If it is more than the magic ounce, I want THEM facing charges and being declared prohibited, not me. I would not tolerate criminal activity in my house. If I did, I would be a criminal too. And, regardless of the willingness of the feds to act, it still is a crime, and one in which I'd be an accomplice. No thanks. They get ratted out so that I am not an accomplice.

    That'll probably also get them running from the house, no eviction needed! What stoner wants to live with someone who will drop a dime on him?

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I insinuated no such thing. The risk is that if the stuff is found in your house, you could end up being a prohibited person. Please don't accuse me of stuff. If you think I am implying something, ask.

    I'll rat them out to every agency I can. I'll ask the local cops to do a search to find their stash. If it is more than the magic ounce, I want THEM facing charges and being declared prohibited, not me. I would not tolerate criminal activity in my house. If I did, I would be a criminal too. And, regardless of the willingness of the feds to act, it still is a crime, and one in which I'd be an accomplice. No thanks. They get ratted out so that I am not an accomplice.

    That'll probably also get them running from the house, no eviction needed! What stoner wants to live with someone who will drop a dime on him?
    Hopefully, maybe make a complaint for CYA purposes for yourself, but I wouldn't expect LE to do anything about it unless there's a grow op in the house.....

    Maybe they'll run, but possibly not, and now they have incentive to break your stuff while you're not home then deny it.... I'm just saying, I think the OP needs to consult some attorneys before taking any action.... I'd hate for them to have to move and still pay rent due to them taking some premature action that gets a judgement lodged against him.... tenancy laws in this state DO NOT favor landlords.....
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Need to kick room mates out ASAP! Question! (Washington State)

    Out on the lawn, and if you are concerned about damage or theft of their things, build a secure box. Have the sheriff present if you like, but they are not on the lease and were your guests. They asked for help, you provided help. You now simply want to withdraw further help. If the law doesn't allow this, you live in the wrong place.

    If you owned the property, I might think differently, but your lease probably doesn't give you the right to allow them to "live" there, only to visit.

    You feel that you are no longer safe and that your property and lives could be in jeopardy if they were allowed to stay even one more day. While you cannot show that they have committed any crime other than weed, you do have reasonably fear. By allowing them to stay one more night, you would be demonstrating a lack of that same fear.

    If the court doesn't agree, move to Texas. If they show up, we will just put their corpses in the desert for eternity.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonameisgood View Post
    Out on the lawn, and if you are concerned about damage or theft of their things, build a secure box. Have the sheriff present if you like, but they are not on the lease and were your guests. They asked for help, you provided help. You now simply want to withdraw further help. If the law doesn't allow this, you live in the wrong place.

    If you owned the property, I might think differently, but your lease probably doesn't give you the right to allow them to "live" there, only to visit.

    You feel that you are no longer safe and that your property and lives could be in jeopardy if they were allowed to stay even one more day. While you cannot show that they have committed any crime other than weed, you do have reasonably fear. By allowing them to stay one more night, you would be demonstrating a lack of that same fear.

    If the court doesn't agree, move to Texas. If they show up, we will just put their corpses in the desert for eternity.
    Talk about why you shouldn't take legal advice on the internet....
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    How about an OC BBQ/Pot luck meet-up at your place while they are there?
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