Property Owner Takes Action

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Property Owner Takes Action

South Snohomish women takes action in removing a problem tenant and begins a long process of cleaning up the mess.

Linda Bjarnason bought the property located at 9813 Airport Way just south of the railroad tracks across from the Buzz Inn Steakhouse from Donna Harvey.

In April 2018 she leased her property to someone who she thought would not only pay rent but also make some improvements. She was so confident in the assurance the tenant would make improvements that she offset their first month’s rent a substantial amount.

But it didn’t take long before she realized things may not be what she had hoped. Starting in May 2018 she told us they were late paying their rent which forced her to issue a pay or vacate notice. She said they were late or didn’t pay numerous times over the past year, receiving a notice each time.

The problems began to mount when she noticed that her property was being filled with vehicles and parts from those vehicles being left all over the property. Neighbors expressed concern when they witnessed mysterious comings and goings at all hours of the night leading them to believe possible illegal activities were going on.

Bjarnason said she reported what she and her neighbors were witnessing to the Sheriff and that hundreds of calls over the past year were made reporting all sorts of illicit behavior but each time they refused to enter the property saying they have to witness illegal activity first.

As issues continued increase Bjarnason sought out additional help from the County Fire Marshall who found numerous violations including an illegal business, this was passed onto Stephanie Lyons at Snohomish County Planning who in turn sent a letter to Bjarnason advising her she has to correct the issues the Fire Marshall found or face fines.

In addition, she found that her tenant was renting to several vagrants, allowing them to setup camp at the rear of the property. Neighbors witnessed fires and other activities that were concerning, including trespassing.

Bjarnason said that at some point the electricity had been turned off and instead of paying the bill her tenant vandalized the electrical panel to hotwire in a generator circumventing the utility.

About the same time the water was also turned off. Bjarnason reported finding buckets of human waste, apparently from the unavailability of toilet flushing water.

Finally in March Bjarnason got her day in court and Superior Court Judge Lewis agreed that her tenant needed to go. An eviction order was issued and on April 12th at 10 a.m. the Snohomish County Sheriff showed up in force to remove the tenant.

Bjarnason has regained control of her property and has begun the arduous process of repairing all the damage and removing all the trash. She is also sorting through piles of miscellaneous items acquired by her tenant and left in every visible corner, from camera lenses to leaf blowers and countless auto parts.

The County was informed of the eviction and has extended her cleanup order by 90 days but she hopes to have it finished quite a bit sooner.