Federal Way tenants fight against landlord's "move out" fees


Tenants in a Federal Way complex were shocked when, at the end of their lease, they were sent bills for thousands of dollars for what the landlord said were for repairs and cleaning. 

One tenant, Maria, left at the end of her lease at the Kitts Corner Apartments. Mold was infesting her apartment and her property managers dismissed her concerns, treating her rudely. They never came to her apartment to make repairs. When she left, the property owners kept the security deposit, but they also charged her an additional $2,600 for "repairs."

Well, when we hear about this type of injustice, we stand by you and demand just treatment. About 15 of us marched into the property manager's office at the Kitts Corner Apartments and delivered a demand letter, asking to set up a meeting to go over tenants concerns. 

We will update you when we get a meeting scheduled. 

Issaquah tenants fight back against unjust evictions

Violeta was losing sleep after her property manager told her she would be kicked out of her home if she let her teenage son continue to live with her. 

Why, after nine years of living in this federally-subsidized apartment building, was Violeta getting 10-day notices to kick out her son? Well, her son had just turned 18, so technically was deemed an unauthorized tenant. The property manager insisted he had caused "issues" like parking slightly outside a parking space. But the image she attached on the notice made this "issue" look confusing to Violeta. How could something so minor warrant an eviction?

That's when Violeta began hearing from her neighbors that they too were getting surprising and unreasonable 10-day notices from the manager. Tenants say, the property manager was doubling their rent, or threatening eviction after a tenant was behind on rent by $1. Yes, one dollar. 

Violeta was joined by one of our organizers when she attended a meeting with the property manager trying to clear up the situation. But the property manager insisted Violeta would need to vacate if she wanted to keep her son at home. When Violeta asked where she was supposed to go, the property manager gave her a list of homeless shelters. 

Violeta took action and worked with Washington CAN to organize her neighbors and march on the property management office. Tenants and advocates delivered their own 10-day notice on April 10, urging the property manager to put an end to Management, and demanding a meeting with Imagine Housing, which owns the building, and FPI Management, which manages the building. 

Craig and his grandmas

Dozens showed up, tenants and advocates, to show their support.  The offices of two congressional candidates for the 8th District, attended to show their support. Candidate Shannon Hader and a representative from Kim Schrier attended in solidarity.  UFCW 21 and PSARA representatives also attended in support. Violeta's son was supported at the action by both of his grandmas, and reporters showed up to cover the story. 

We expect the owners and management company to respond by April 20, but hope they get back to us quickly, since tenants are currently under grave duress, afraid they will lose their homes. Help us put pressure by sharing this story on Facebook and with your friends and neighbors. 

KIRO bought $1,000,000 in medical debt for $12,000

Seattle TV station KIRO 7 made its own news this year when it purchased and then forgave $1 million in medical debt. 

The kicker, though, is that the station only spent $12,000 to buy off that debt. Yes that's right: debt that is worth millions to poor folks struggling to access health care, is worth a fraction of that cost to the people who make money off debt. 

Washington CAN member Joelle spoke to KIRO's Jesse Jones about how medical debt was keeping her family in poverty, and forcing her to make a decision between life with lifelong debt, or death. 

Since KIRO first aired its story on medical debt, the news organization has started up a fundraising page to help pay off the medical debt of other struggling residents. 

Check out KIRO's original segment: