Gross: Seattle landlord secures a key win against nightmare tenant
Aug 14, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: 10:14 am
(MyNorthwest File Photo)
A “nightmare” tenant who forced a small Seattle landlord into homelessness just got a wake-up call — thanks to a Republican state representative — as the tenant just lost access to Airbnb, which he was allegedly using to make money off the property without paying rent.
Landlord Jason Roth listed his Seattle residence as a rental property. But he claimed his tenant faked being low-income to avoid paying rent. Despite attempts to come to a settlement amicably, Roth says he was ignored. But when he found out the tenant was listing the property on Airbnb without permission, while making a profit, he was outraged and looked for help from “The Jason Rantz Show” on KTTH.
State Rep. Chris Corry (R-Yakima) happened to listen to Roth’s interview on “The Jason Rantz Show” and immediately thought he could help as Airbnb has advocates at the state legislature. So, he did some groundwork with Roth to bring this to Airbnb’s attention.
Original story on tenant: Nightmare tenant made Seattle landlord go homeless
“We gave them the listing the contact information, all the details,” Corry told “The Jason Rantz Show.” “I went in and got the King County parcel data before I even went over there just to confirm what was going on. And, obviously, once we got that information to them, they said, ‘We’ll look into it.’ And then I got a call Monday morning, (and they said), ‘Yep, we’ve taken it down, this should not have happened.'”
The listing was pulled Aug. 7. Roth said he appreciated the personal touch from a state representative who doesn’t even represent him in the legislature.
“Representative Corry called me, which was incredible,” Roth told “The Jason Rantz Show.” “Because I got a couple of emails from certain people, you know, expressing their concern, wanting to help, but he actually gave me a phone call, which was awesome.”
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Roth said he dealt with constant bureaucratic gymnastics while trying to reach out to his socialist council member Tammy Morales. He went to her because he felt the city was disinterested in helping landlords being taken advantage of. But her office didn’t help.
The war isn’t over, however. The tenant remains in the home and Roth is facing long delays getting a potential eviction hearing scheduled — due to backlogs in the court system.
“I‘m still waiting on the actual date that the hearing would be if I do have to go through the formal eviction,” Roth said. “And that’s likely going to be a month out, like the end of October or even into November.”
Roth said the tenant has still not paid anything toward the rent that is owed, despite his best efforts to be accommodating. He said the nightmare tenant is slow to communicate and Roth isn’t sure what the endgame is.
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“I know for a fact that this guy wants to play games,” Roth explained. “I’ve had one talk with him in person and a bunch of emails and then emails my lawyer, and he will use anything that he can get to push this thing out.”
Still, Roth remains optimistic that a resolution can be reached. Remarkably, he isn’t even dead set on evicting the tenant if some sort of agreement can be reached that allows him to reclaim his home. However, Roth is completely certain he will not be a landlord in Seattle ever again after this experience.
“I love Seattle, I have lived here forever,” Roth said. “If I become landlord (again), I will be taking my business elsewhere. I’m not re-buying in Seattle. I can’t afford to have this happen again.”
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