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Kent couple fights eviction from apartment
Princilla and Dominic Dinish never knew a landlord could refuse to renew an apartment lease for no reason at all.
Now they are fighting the decision by the managers of Bryson Square Apartments, 24006 108th Place S.E., in Kent, to evict them from their unit.
They moved to Kent last July from Seattle. They signed a one-year lease. But when Dominic Dinish, 69, went to pay rent in June, the apartment management told them their lease was up soon and wouldn't be renewed. They were given 20 days written notice, but no reason for having to move out.
"They don't have to give a reason," Princlla Dinish, 58, said during an interview last week at her apartment. "My husband asked if it was because of flowers, they said no, and said didn't have to give a reason."
Managers raised concerns about so many flowers planted by the Dinish's in their backyard, Princilla Dinish said. Dinish added she's also complained to management about parking problems and noisy neighbors.
Bryson Square managers didn't return a voicemail from a reporter for comment about the case. The complex is run by ConAm, which manages approximately 50,000 apartment units in more than 26 metropolitan areas across the nation.
"Upset, angry because if you don't know why somebody's doing something it's really hard to fight and argue," Princilla Dinish said about her reaction to not being able to renew the lease. "We don't care about the reason because there's not good enough reason to do this."
Because they haven't moved out, the couple received an eviction notice. They are fighting that eviction in King County Superior Court and hope to get a hearing soon before a judge.
I'm not going anywhere," Princilla Dinish said. "It'd be different if we were lousy tenants. We pay our rent on time."
State law doesn't protect tenants from leases not renewed for no reason. The couple met with an attorney and didn't get much support.
"She said what they are doing is OK legally," Princilla Dinish said. "She told us Kent has it where they can do that. Seattle doesn't. She said to me you guys should move back to Seattle. But that's not where we want to live just because in Seattle they have to give you an answer. That doesn't solve things. We're tired of being jerked around."
The city of Seattle has laws that landlords must give renters a reason to end a rental agreement, according to solid-ground.org.
"The attorney told us if we lose we'll have to pay all court fees and costs for both sides and have an eviction on our record," Princilla Dinish said. "But I don't see how any judge in their right mind would agree with this. Just because it's legal don't mean it's right."
Family and friends have told Dinish she should just move, find a place somewhere else rather than fight.
"If we just move it's not going to solve anything," she said.
Despite their complaints to management about noise and parking, the couple wants to stay put.
"I like the layout of the apartment," Princilla Dinish said. "I just need a nice place where we can breathe and enjoy life. I'm 58 years old my husband is 69. We're not no young kids that want to just pack up and move all the time."