Legal assistance is extraordinarily valuable for tenants but must be utilized in specific ways. There are five primary ways to make legal assistance work for you in resolving landlord-tenant matters. Many of these resources are free or low cost to renters seeking assistance. Contact each program individually to find out about their eligibility requirements.
1) Get assistance to understand and interpret Landlord-Tenant Laws.
Washington LawHelp provides detailed information on laws governing tenancy in Washington State. You can also call CLEAR, Northwest Justice Project’s free legal help and assistance for low-income Washington State residents. CLEAR is open Mon–Fri, 9:15 am–12:15 pm. at Tues 3:30-6:15 pm at 888-201-1014.
2) Use it to strengthen your negotiations with your landlord.
Though tenants can do all their negotiations with their landlords themselves, some landlords may be responsive to the authority of an attorney. You may also be able to get assistance writing letters and citing the laws in communications with your landlord. Lawyers at the King County Bar Association’s Neighborhood Legal Clinics may be able to help you write a letter asserting your rights.
Some of the following resources are specific to King County. For resources in your area, contact the Washington State 2-1-1 at 2-1-1 from a landline, 206-461-3200 or 800-621-4636 or 206-461-3610 for TTY/hearing impaired calls.
- Washington LawHelp: (online only) — Provides self-help legal information for renters, including detailed packets on repairs, deposits, small claims court and the eviction process.
- CLEAR Line Legal Help: 888-201-1014 — Northwest Justice Project’s free legal help and assistance for low-income Washington State residents. Open Mon–Fri, 9:15 am–12:15 pm.
- Housing Justice Project: 206-267-7090 — King County Bar Association’s walk-in legal information and assistance. Priority service for renters facing evictions. Open Mon–Fri, 8–10:30 am, in the King County Courthouse in Seattle and Kent Regional Justice Center. Seattle location also open Mon, 3:45-4:45 pm.
- Legal Action Center: 206-324-6890 — A part of Catholic Community Services, Legal Action Center offers legal advice and assistance for low-income Seattle renters facing eviction, repair problems, deposit loss, subsidy termination, lockouts and other issues.
- Neighborhood Legal Clinics: 206-267-7070 — King County Bar Association’s legal clinics located across King County, NLC attorneys can provide a free half hour of legal advice to renters, regardless of income.