Failure of landlord to carry out duties — Determination by court or arbitrator — Judgment against landlord for diminished rental value and repair costs — Enforcement of judgment — Reduction in rent under certain conditions.
(1) If a court or an arbitrator determines that:
(a) A landlord has failed to carry out a duty or duties imposed by RCW 59.18.060; and
(b) A reasonable time has passed for the landlord to remedy the defective condition following notice to the landlord in accordance with RCW 59.18.070 or such other time as may be allotted by the court or arbitrator; the court or arbitrator may determine the diminution in rental value of the premises due to the defective condition and shall render judgment against the landlord for the rent paid in excess of such diminished rental value from the time of notice of such defect to the time of decision and any costs of repair done pursuant to RCW 59.18.100 for which no deduction has been previously made. Such decisions may be enforced as other judgments at law and shall be available to the tenant as a set-off against any existing or subsequent claims of the landlord.
The court or arbitrator may also authorize the tenant to make or contract to make further corrective repairs and the tenant may deduct from the rent the cost of such repairs, as long as the court specifies a time period in which the landlord may make such repairs before the tenant may commence or contract for such repairs.
(2) The tenant shall not be obligated to pay rent in excess of the diminished rental value of the premises until such defect or defects are corrected by the landlord or until the court or arbitrator determines otherwise.
[2011 c 132 § 7; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 § 11.]