Before using any of this online tenant information, please read our OVERVIEW:
- Understanding Landlord-Tenant Law
- Tools for Tenants
- Best Practices and Tips for Renters
Solid Ground Tenant Counselors are not attorneys, and this information should not be considered legal advice. To read specific laws in the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, click on the RCW (Revised Code of WA) links throughout this site.
QUESTIONS? Tenant Services Message Line
Legal Assistance for Tenants
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.
2) Use it to strengthen your negotiations with your landlord.
3) Obtain assistance or representation in eviction court or a subsidy termination grievance hearing.
4) Use it to help you prepare for a Small Claims Court suit against your landlord.
5) File a civil lawsuit against your landlord.
Some of the following resources are specific to King County. For resources in your area, see Washington State 2-1-1 (also 206.461.3200, 1.800.621.4636 or 206.461.3610 for TTY/hearing impaired calls).
- Washington LawHelp: www.walawhelp.org (an online resource; no phone) – Provides self-help legal information for renters, including detailed packets on repairs, deposits, Small Claims Court and the eviction process. Materials are created and updated by attorneys from the Northwest Justice Project.
- CLEAR Line Legal Help: 1.888.201.1014 – Northwest Justice Project’s free legal help and assistance over the phone for low-income Washington State residents. Open Mon–Fri, 9:15am–12:15pm.
- Housing Justice Project: 206.267.7090 – King County Bar Association’s walk-in legal information and assistance. Priority service for renters facing evictions only. Open Mon–Fri, 8–10:30am, in the King County Courthouse in Seattle and Kent Regional Justice Center. Seattle location also open Mon, 4–6pm.
- Tenant Law Center: 206.324.6890 – A part of Catholic Community Services, Tenant Law Center offers legal advice and assistance for low-income renters in King County who are facing eviction, repair problems, deposit loss, subsidy termination, lockouts and other issues.
- Volunteer Legal Services (VLS): 206.461.3200 – King County Bar Association’s pro bono lawyer referral service. Eligibility for VLS is screened through Washington State 2-1-1 (also 206.461.3200, 1.800.621.4636 or 206.461.3610 for TTY/hearing impaired calls).
- CLEAR*Senior Legal Help: 888.387.7111 – Northwest Justice Project’s free legal help and assistance for persons over 60 years of age of all income levels. Seniors can call the CLEAR Senior Line starting at 9:15am and leave a message. The line will close for the day once the voicemail message system is full.
- Neighborhood Legal Clinics (NLC): 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.
- Northwest Justice Project: 206.464.1519 – Legal help for tenants in public housing or with Section 8 vouchers facing subsidy termination or eviction.
- Lawyer Referral Service: 206.267.7010 – King County Bar Association attorneys for hire at regular rates.
- Legal Voice: Empowers women with knowledge about their legal rights and tools to help them navigate the legal system.