You Need to Start Paying Rent But Did You Know You’ve Got Rights?
Knowing the line between legal and illegal when it comes to our rights is an important stepping stone in this beautiful thing called life. Bless your sweet soul if you've never needed legal advice and for those in the thick of it, bless you too!
But I'm Broke
Struggling with legal issues and having no funds to hire a lawyer can feel like the walls are caving in. Thankfully there are options.
Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services
Kindly, Erika Rudder, the brand new Staff attorney for Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services, volunteered her time to come in for an interview and broke down some of the basics to get us started. Below you will find a form you can fill out if you have a question you'd love answered.
Erika Rudder Legal Disclaimer
Just because we're talking on the radio, about your legal issues, does not mean that we have entered into an attorney-client relationship. In order to do that, you need to call, our office (the Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services) talk to our intake specialist, and then get assigned an attorney. But here on the radio, I would love to talk to you about your landlord/tenant issues.
Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services covers housing justice, certain family law issues, tenant and landlord issues. For most types of lawyering, if you fall within the income level, you can reach out to the Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services or in some cases be referred to a lawyer who might be a better fit.
The Brand New Law in Washington State
Washington State just passed a new law saying that certain people who are below a certain income level are actually entitled to an attorney when it comes to eviction, just like if they had committed a crime.
Did You Receive A Notice to Vacate?
Did your landlord just come over to your house and tell you, you have to move out? If eviction is on the horizon, you need to know that you have legal rights and below a certain income is where Yakima Volunteer Attorney Services can be of help.
An example of something that is currently happening in the Yakima Valley.
Apparently, there is a trend in the Yakima Valley, and perhaps beyond, where Landlords are coming over and removing items from the home. Helping the tenants to vacate the premises immediately.
They have to give you at least three days to vacate. If you are the renter and don't plan on leaving, you better call a lawyer immediately because if you don't. After three days the rentees have the legal right to bring the sheriff back with them and you do have to leave.
Is Your Tenant Damaging Your Property?
Yakima County Volenteer Attorney Services doesn't represent landlords but there are some in town. You could potentially get a referral to someone that could help with your specific issues but you have legal rights as well that should be acted on sooner rather than later.
The Moratorium Has Ended
It's done. July 31st, 2021 was when it ended. You cannot hide behind it anymore. If you haven't been paying your rent, at this point you have to begin AT LEAT paying what is due currently. You're still responsible for what is past due but, thankfully there is an answer for how that goes down.
Payment plans need to start appearing and if ignored, renters can go forward with some types of evictions but some will still be covered until January 31st, 2022. It's time for everyone to get all their ducks in a row. Once the new law fully goes into effect. You have to pay your rent, you are entitled to a payment plan and you'll need to pay it.
Be a Good Landlord
Work with your renters to figure out a payment plan
Be a Good Tenant
Accept what is and work towards getting out from under the fear of being evicted.
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