I. Washington Law Help Forms
A. Emergency shelter & assistance
Help for People Unable to Work: ABD and HEN: The ABD and HEN programs may be able to help you if you have very low income and resources AND are unable to work due to disability or “incapacity”. Read more for details.
How to Fight a Denial or Termination of Eligibility for the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Referral Program for Medical Reasons: The HEN Referral Program can provide non-cash help for people who are unable to work. You must meet the income and incapacity requirements to establish eligibility for the HEN Referral Program. This publication explains what you can do if DSHS denies or terminates your eligibility for the HEN Referral Program.
B. Energy assistance, utilities, & telecommunications
Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program: If you are in need of help to pay your home energy bill, you may qualify for emergency assistance.
Filing a Complaint with the Utilities and Transportation Committee: If you have a dispute with your utility company, you should first try to resolve it with the company. Many disputes can be resolved by asking for a supervisor. If you are unable to resolve the issue, this web site has an online complaint form if you decide to file a complaint regarding your utility service.
Public Utilities: General information about your rights when dealing with public utilities.
Smart Consumer Guide: Public Utility Service: Describes consumer rights relating to telephone, natural gas, electricity and water services.
Energy Assistance: Bill Pay Help: If you are facing unmanageable energy bills, here are links to some options that will help keep your service turned on.
Free Mobile Phone: How to Qualify for the Lifeline Program: Receive a FREE Virgin Mobile phone and 250 monthly minutes from Assurance Wireless. Assurance Wireless is an eligible telecommunications carrier for the Lifeline phone program that provides free wireless phones and service to income-eligible consumers in certain US states.
Eviction: In this section of WashingtonLawHelp.org you will find general information, resources and self-help packets on eviction issues in Washington state. Popular forms and packets include the following:
My Landlord Locked Me Out: What Can I Do? Read this publication if you rent an apartment or house and your landlord changed the locks so that you cannot get into your place and you had no plans to move.
Vacating a Judgment & Staying Enforcement of a Writ of Restitution: If you receive a judgment or a writ of restitution and you believe you had a good reason for not responding to the eviction summons or appearing at the show cause hearing, you may ask the court to vacate (or withdraw) the judgment and stay (or temporarily stop) the eviction.
Evictions from Public Housing: If you are a tenant who lives in public housing or a federally subsidized apartment complex, you have greater protection against eviction than other tenants. But these rights are limited.
Facing Foreclosure: Federal Trade Commission’s guidance on protecting yourself if you are facing foreclosure.
Foreclosure When You Have a Mortgage: Read this publication if you have a mortgage AND your house is in foreclosure OR you might fall behind in your payments on the home you are buying.
Foreclosure When You Have a Deed of Trust: If your house is in foreclosure, your best chance to keep your home is to act quickly and with the help of a housing counselor or a lawyer. Both can help you evaluate available options to help save your home from foreclosure.
Washington Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide: The Washington Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide is designed to provide practical tools, information and resources to help homeowners dealing with foreclosure issues.
Foreclosure Mediation: This resource is for homeowners who have already been referred to foreclosure mediation by an attorney or a housing counselor. The following information is intended to help prepare homeowners for their mediation, and explain the foreclosure mediation process.
E. Home buyers & owners
Home buyers & owners: In this section of WashingtonLawHelp.org you will find general legal information and resources for home buyers and owners in Washington state. Popular forms and packets include the following:
Know Your Rights Before Buying a Home: Questions and answers about things you should know before you enter into a contract to purchase a home.
Contractor Information: Information about hiring a contractor, reporting unregistered contractors and contractor forms.
Quitclaim Deeds and Life Estates: Before transferring any property, it is best to consult with a lawyer to find out all the possible consequences of the transfer in your specific circumstances. Some lawyers will provide services free of charge or for a reduced fee for low-income people. Contact your local bar association for more information. Also called Quit Claim Deed.
Washington Homeownership Information: This website is a one stop resource center for homeownership and foreclosure assistance for Washington residents.
F. Housing discrimination
Housing Discrimination and Your Civil Rights: A fair housing guide for renters and home buyers.
Fair Housing Laws: Link to the HUD web site containing comprehensive information about fair housing and links to the laws.
Fair Housing: It’s Your Right: HUD has played a lead role in administering the Fair Housing Act since its adoption in 1968. The 1988 amendments, however, have greatly increased the Department’s enforcement role. First, the newly protected classes have proven significant sources of new complaints. Second, HUD’s expanded enforcement role took the Department beyond investigation and conciliation into the area of mandatory enforcement.
Housing Discrimination Complaints: Federal law prohibits housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, you can file a fair housing complaint.
G. Mobile home park tenants
Mobile home park tenants: In this section of WashingtonLawHelp.org you will find general information, self-help packets and resources for mobile home tenants in Washington state. Forms and packets include the following:
My Landlord Has Not Paid Their Water Bill: Read this if you live in a manufactured housing community AND are facing water shut-off because the park owner has not paid their water bill.
Your Rights: Buying a Manufactured Home: Buying a manufactured home can be complicated. You may not understand all the terms. You may want to rely on verbal statements that are not in writing. STOP! This publication should help you understand your rights and some important terms.
Tenant Rights Under the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act: The Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act, (“MHLTA” sometimes called the “M/MHLTA”) has governed the relationship between a landlord and a tenant who rents a mobile home space since 1977. This publication discusses a tenant’s rights and duties under the MHLTA.
Attorney General’s Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Dispute Resolution Service & Complaint Form: The Attorney General will take complaints from manufactured/mobile home tenants and landlords; investigate complaints; and attempt to negotiate an agreement. There is also an online complaint form available.
Purchasing a Used Mobile Home in Grant or Adams County: This brochure will educate you about important information to consider before buying a used mobile home within Grant and Adams counties.
H. Public & subsidized housing:
Public Housing Evictions: As a public housing tenant, you have greater protection against evictions than most other tenants do. You have these protections because if you are evicted from public housing, you will lose your federal housing subsidy, often worth hundreds of dollars per month. This publication briefly explains what you should do when the Housing Authority tries to evict you from public housing.
Public Housing Grievance Procedure: As a public housing tenant, you have the right to appeal many decisions or actions taken by the Housing Authority through its administrative Public Housing Grievance Procedure. Every Housing Authority is required by federal law to adopt a written public housing grievance procedure. A copy of the agency’s grievance procedure should be posted in their office and available upon request.
HUD Housing Evictions: As a tenant living in an apartment complex where the landlord has a contract with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), you have more protection against evictions than most other tenants. This publication briefly explains your rights and the steps you can take to avoid an eviction.
I. Small Claims Court
An Introduction to Small Claims Court: This brochure is intended to be a general statement of small claims procedure.
How to Use Small Claims Court to Recover Unpaid Wages: If you are owed wages by your employer, you may use Small Claims Court to attempt to recover them. This publication contains instructions on the process.
Small Claims Court in Washington State: In Small Claims Court, a person may sue for up to $10,000. This court is meant to be a relatively quick, inexpensive way to resolve disputes that you have been unable to settle. The Small Claims Court is not complicated. Lawyers generally cannot participate and there are no juries, motions or objections. There is only a small charge for filing the lawsuit. A trial may be obtained much sooner than in other courts, and most trials are short, lasting about 20 minutes.
King County District Court Small Claims: King County specific information and forms for Small Claims Court.
J. Tenant’s Rights
Tenant’s Rights: In this section of WashingtonLawHelp.org you will find general information, self-help packets and resources on tenant’s rights in Washington state. Popular forms and instructions include the following:
Your Rights as a Tenant in Washington State: This publication was written to help residential tenants and landlords in Washington understand their rights and responsibilities.
Information for Tenants: Solid Ground’s housing counseling services for tenants help families and individuals maintain permanent and reliable rental housing. Our services provide tenants with the resources and tools they need to prevent eviction and ensure housing stability. While we do not have attorneys on staff and cannot provide legal advice, we can help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a renter.
Can the Landlord Do That? General information about what a landlord legally can and cannot do to a tenant.
K. Veteran and servicemember rights in housing and home loans:
Veteran and servicemember rights in housing and home loans: In this section of WashingtonLawHelp.org you will find general legal information and resources about veteran and servicemember rights in housing and home loans. Popular forms and packets include the following:
FAQs about VA Home Loan Program: Frequently Asked Questions About the VA Home Loan Program.
Home Loan Guarantee Services: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs home loan guarantee website.
Home Modification Programs: VA has three main grant programs to assist disabled veterans and servicemembers with necessary home modifications.
Links Updated October 2020