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Legal Services

Legal Services

What can I do if I need legal assistance?

First gather your documents.  

  • When you speak with or meet with organizations providing legal assistance, be sure to bring or discuss any documents you have related to your case (letters, pictures, notices, lease, etc.)

Call 2-1-1 Washington Information Network, for referrals to agencies that may be able to help you. Keep in mind that some assistance programs may only be accessed through a 2-1-1 telephone screening.

  • Write down the contact information, hours of operation and eligibility info for agencies suggested by the 2-1-1 operator. Different programs will have different eligibility criteria
  • Make notes about the conversations (examples: “left message, need to call back” “appointment on Monday at 2 p.m.”)

Tip: Generally, lowest call volumes at 2-1-1 are on Wednesday and Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00p.m. Call from a landline if you have limited cell phone minutes

 

Do you have a question about landlord tenant issues?

Contact a tenant counseling hotline:

 

Do you believe that you have experienced a violation of fair housing law or your civil rights, including a landlord refusing to rent to voucher holders? 

Contact the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, 206.684-4500, seattle.gov/civilrights

 

Have you received a lease termination or eviction notice that you think is invalid?

Call the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development complaint hotline. 206.684.7899, seattle.gov/dpd

 

Do you have an eviction court date set?

Attend your court date. If you do not attend you will likely be evicted by default 

If possible, attend court with legal representation.  If you have not found legal assistance by your court date, meet with the Housing Justice Project at the courthouse in Seattle (516 3rd Avenue, 3rd floor room W-314).  No appointment is needed, (206) 267-7090

If the eviction action is likely to be upheld in court, it may be in your best interest to sign an agreement with your landlord to move out and avoid eviction.  If you are evicted, your voucher may be terminated.

 

Has your landlord failed to make necessary repairs to your rental unit?

  • Give your landlord written notice of the repairs needed and keep a copy for your records. 
  • The landlord must begin repairs within 24 hours if you have lost heat, hot/cold water, or electricity or if the situation is dangerous to health and safety. 
  • The landlord must begin repairs within 72 hours if you cannot use the refrigerator, range, oven or major plumbing fixture.  
  • The landlord must begin repairs within ten days in all other cases.  If he or she does not respond within legal timelines:
  • Call the Department of Planning & Development to request an inspection, (206) 684–7899
  • Send Seattle Housing Authority a copy of your written repair request and ask for a “complaint inspection.”

Have you considered mediation?

Sometimes disputes can be resolved outside of the court system through mediation.

  • If both parties agree to participate, free mediation services are available through the King County Dispute Resolution Center,  (206) 443-9603 or kcdrc.org/