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#1 admd79

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:51 PM

I live in seattle. a couple months ago a friend wanted to leave their apartment, but had a couple months left on his lease. I offered to move in. I've been paying rent via personal check for the last 4 months. The landlord hasn't said anything and has cashed my checks. Based on what other tenants have said to me, who have lived in the complex for several years, they've never had to sign to renew their leases. My friend's year lease has already passed, and the landlord hasn't contacted him or left any notes in the mailbox or my door. I have good credit, but don't have the extra money to pay first, last and a security deposit. My friend also didn't leave the apartment in the best shape.
Can the landord kick me out of the apartment? for all intensive purposes i've been a good tenant (paid my rent on time, kept the apartment and surrounding areas clean, I'm not loud).

If I ask to have my name added to the lease or the lease changed to my name can the manager ask me for first, last and a security deposit?

I've tried to read the landlord/tenant acts and there isn't anything specific to subletting

#2 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:22 PM

Would be in the discretion of the landlord. You may wish to visit the Real Estate Law Center and read Landlord-Tenant Law as a good resource to learn more about this subject matter.

#3 Fallen

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:36 PM

"Can the landord kick me out of the apartment?"

Not precisely clear what you mean by "kick [you] out" but the landlord would be free to treat you as a monthly tenant. In WA, they'd only need to give you a 20-day termination notice if you don't have a long-term lease.

That's "intents and purposes" vs. intensive purposes by the way.

If the initial term of the prior tenant's lease is up, it's not a matter of being "added" to a lease but asking the landlord to enter into a long-term lease (which it's free not to do). Yes, the landlord's free to ask you for first, last and a deposit.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#4 pg1067

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

a couple months ago a friend wanted to leave their apartment, but had a couple months left on his lease.


Are you talking about a single person (as suggested by your references to "a friend" and "his lease") or are you talking about multiple persons (as suggested by your reference to "their apartment")?


The landlord hasn't said anything and has cashed my checks.


Is the landlord aware that you are occupying the apartment and that your friend is no longer occupying the apartment? It's entirely possible that he's not paying any attention to the name on the check and is only making note of the fact that the rent is being paid for apartment #X.


I offered to move in.


I assume you made this offer to your friend(s) and not to the landlord. Correct?


Based on what other tenants have said to me, who have lived in the complex for several years, they've never had to sign to renew their leases.


It's obviously not clear what these persons meant by "renew" or what this has to do the questions you asked. Typically, when the initial term of a residential lease expires, the tenancy converts to a month-to-month tenancy on the same terms. Unless these tenants' leases provided for automatic renewal (which would be extremely uncommon), they could not be renewed in the absence of a new agreement.


My friend's year lease has already passed. . . . Can the landord kick me out of the apartment?


Since I've never read your friend's lease, I cannot be 100% certain, but it's likely that the tenancy has converted to a month-to-month tenancy that can be terminated by either the landlord or the tenant upon giving appropriate notice under WA law (I believe it's only 20 days).


i've been a good tenant (paid my rent on time, kept the apartment and surrounding areas clean, I'm not loud).


Not legally relevant, although such things might make it less likely that the landlord will kick you out.


If I ask to have my name added to the lease or the lease changed to my name can the manager ask me for first, last and a security deposit?


He can ask you for anything he wants, but doesn't he already have these things from your friend? What's not clear to me is why your friend would move out without getting his security deposit back and without you paying him for the last month's rent. As for the landlord, if you came to me under these circumstances, I would absolutely require that you sign a new lease. I would contact your friend about the improper way that he left the premises and ask him what he wants to do about his security deposit and last month's rent or whether he's intending to forfeit the deposit because of the improper way that he left the apartment. And, of course, just as the landlord can ask you for anything he wants, you're perfectly free to propose some other arrangement. While you said that you can't afford to pay a "last month's rent" in advance and a security deposit, what are your other options? I don't know what the market for apartments is like in Seattle. If it's common for landlords to require the first month's rent, the last month's rent in advance, and a security deposit at the time of moving in, what choice do you have?

#5 kassounilaw.com

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:35 PM

You would probably be considered a month to month tenant at the property even without a written lease agreement. Currently, the landlord could give you 30 days notice to leave the premises.
Concerning is the fact that the previous tenant left the apartment in untidy shape. I encourage a walk-through with the landlord so he/she is aware of the state of the apartment and sign a new lease with the landlord should you desire if you want a longer lease term.

Edited by FindLaw_AHK, 07 February 2013 - 08:19 AM.
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