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Bellevue landlord gets March 2025 court date in war with squatters

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(The Center Square) – It has been two years since Jaskaran Singh rented his Bellevue home to a couple who soon after moving in, stopped paying rent.

The high profile Bellevue Squatters case has garnered global attention.

The tenants living in Singh’s $2 million home, San and Youjin Kim, have been allowed to remain there because King County’s Housing Justice Project used taxpayer dollars to pay off the delinquent rent.

Singh has attempted to evict the couple four different times, but a backlog of cases for unpaid rent has clogged the courts, all the while allowing renters to squat in the homes of landlords who are powerless to force them out.

Singh and supporters held another protest over the weekend outside the Bellevue business where Youjin Kim works as an aesthetician.

He told The Center Square her car was there, but she is no longer listed on the company’s website.

“They are breaking all the rules to protect these tenants, these are criminals I would say,” Singh said.

The Housing Justice Project is operated by the King County Bar Association with a stated mission to help tenants facing eviction for unpaid rent.

Singh is now running as a Republican for state Senate in hopes of changing squatter laws and getting Olympia lawmakers to pass legislation to address the shortage of court commissioners to hear the backlog of eviction efforts.

As of May, the tenants in Singh’s home have benefited from taxpayers, through HJP, covering their rent.

“Ninety thousand dollars and counting,” Singh noted. “They [lawmakers] are saying it’s a personal legal issue and most of the council members say the same thing, that they have no power in their hands to do anything.”

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn has tried to help Singh and is backing efforts to audit the Housing Justice Project.

“They’ve claimed they are open to full transparency, well then let’s see the records,” Dunn told The Center Square. “Show us.”

The councilmember said the Housing Justice Project and other nonprofit organizations have taken advantage of programs that were meant to help people truly in need.

“It’s not what the money was intended to go for,” Dunn said. “Not for someone renting a multimillion dollar home in Bellevue.”

“It was designed for someone who is 200% or below the median poverty line and for folks who are on the bubble,” he added. “The single mom who lost her job, that’s what that money was intended for.”

Earlier this year, Dunn introduced legislation in the King County Council to address the months long backlog of eviction cases in the court system. He’s hopeful that will come up in the next round of budget talks.

Dunn said his proposal would provide $1.3 million to pay for two more court commissioners and staff to properly process eviction cases in a timely manner.

“Every person that has signed a lease and isn’t paying and a landlord brings an eviction notice, the tenant is automatically entitled to a taxpayer funded lawyer,” Dunn said. “For the short term, it continues to be frustrating.”

“I’ve not gotten any interest in the county council to audit HJP. A couple members tell me they want to do an audit, but until I get a hearing on that, the audit isn’t going to happen,” he said.

Singh says he received a notice in the mail last week that sets the court date for his attempt to evict the squatters.

“It says March 6, 2025, so another nine months to wait; it’s unbelievable,” Singh said.

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