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Seattle Renter Horror Stories: 'It Seemed Like a Great Deal'

This Renters Week we're collecting and sharing the worst Renter Horror Stories, downright terrifying tales of renting in Seattle. Have you had an awful experience with a roommate or a landlord? Share your story to qualify to win a two-night staycation at a local boutique hotel (anonymity guaranteed). Take a quick look at the official rules and submit your tales of renter anguish and horror to our tip line!

It seemed like a great deal - a huge two bedroom basement unit in an older house in Seattle's prime Capitol Hill neighborhood, pet friendly, utilities included, and a massive backyard, oh and for about $700 a month LESS than what a comparable unit in this area would go for. Despite looking somewhat outdated and oddly put together with it's yellow linoleum, teeny barred windows and strange looking green bathtub, it was a great deal and we took it!

A few months in we asked our landlord to send a repairman as we had mushrooms sprouting up on the edge of one of our carpets. He came by and lucky for us was quite honest with us that our gas furnace had been leaking water into the carpet and wall (resulting in mold and mushrooms), as well as leaking gas throughout our unit which was not detected since we did not have a gas detector in our unit, which is mandatory.

After contacting our landlord and expressing concern for our safety, she wrote us off and told us we could move if we didn't like the place. This prompted us to call a city inspector out to check our unit and she was appalled. Little did we know we had been living in an illegal unit - the teeny barred windows prevented us from getting out in case of fire, the pipes and sewage were routed to go to our front door drain, everything about the unit was illegal. Safe to say we got out as soon as possible and the landlord was on the hook for bringing the unit up to code or would be penalized with daily fines.
· All Renters Week coverage [CS]