Evicting a Tenant in Washington: A Quick Guide for Landlords to Save Time

Perhaps you've just started a new career as a landlord in Washington State and have your first reliable tenants in your rental unit. Recently, you've maybe run across one bad tenant who isn't paying their rent on time, or at all. If you see it's going to become a recurring problem, what legal rights do you have toward eviction?

  • Tuesday, May 9, 2017

  General   Legal   Washington   Eviction Guide   

Perhaps you've just started a new career as a landlord in Washington State and have your first reliable tenants in your rental unit. Recently, you've maybe run across one bad tenant who isn't paying their rent on time, or at all. If you see it's going to become a recurring problem, what legal rights do you have toward eviction? Washington gives you legal byways to evict based on not paying rent. Nevertheless, it involves sometimes lengthy legal steps to assure you properly follow the law.

Giving You Legal Leeway on When Rent is Due

You don't have to legally provide any grace periods on when you expect your rent. If a tenant doesn't pay on the date you set, you're automatically in position to evict if you so choose. What's important is to set up a lease with your tenant in advance so you both have an understanding when the rent is due.

If you so choose to provide a grace period, you can. When this becomes violated, you have right to send a specific notice to pay, or face termination of the agreement.

A Three-Day Notice

In Washington, you can send a three-day pay notice to a tenant if they haven't paid on the date you agreed to. It means the tenant has to pay the rent within three days, or move out within the same time frame. When you create this notice, you need to stipulate these alternatives. You can't just send separate notices to pay or vacate.

You'll need to include specific information in the notice to make it legal. Include the date you served the notice, the name and address of your tenant, the reason for the notice, the amount of rent due, and the three-day statement. End with a note on how you delivered the notice.

What Rights Does the Tenant Have?

Remember, the tenant does have some rights before you evict them. If they pay the rent within three days, you have to drop any eviction proceedings. You also have to avoid the "self-help" eviction process. In this scenario, you may change locks or shut off utilities as a forced way to evict your tenant. This is illegal, and the tenant has a right to file a lawsuit against you if you take these actions.

Going Through the Superior Court of Washington for an Eviction

The only way to evict legally is to obtain a summons, complaint, or order through Washington's Superior Court. Once successful on obtaining a summons, the judge sets a hearing for the tenant. At the hearing, you'll need to bring all evidence available showing just cause for why you're evicting the person.

When the judge agrees with your side, they'll issue a writ of restitution for the sheriff's office to remove the tenant. It's one example in how you ultimately need a legal authority to evict rather than you taking action alone.

Keep reading us at VerticalRent as we explore all U.S. eviction laws.

DISCLAIMER:

VerticalRent® is not a law firm, and the employees of VerticalRent® are not acting as your attorney.Our free eviction notice service is not a substitute for the sound advice of a local attorney, whom is familiar with your local laws and regulations.VerticalRent® cannot provide you with legal advice, nor are we permitted to engage in the practice of law.Therefore, we are prohibited from providing you with any sort of advice, opinion, explanation, or recommendation about your possible legal rights – which may include remedies, options, defenses, or the selection of landlord forms available on the VerticalRent platform.

Our platform is designed to provide landlords and property managers with an education portal to share ideas, connect with one another, screen applicants, collect rent online, advertise vacancies, and generate free landlord forms.To that extent, our blog and community often publishes general information on legal issues commonly encountered by landlords – such as evicting tenants.

Although VerticalRent takes every reasonably effort possible to ensure the accuracy of its consumer reports and landlord forms, we do not guarantee or warrant the information to be correct, complete, or up - to - date.The law changes rapidly in across the United States, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Finally, it should be noted that VerticalRent is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, damage, or liability related to the use of our landlord forms or consumer reports generated from this platform.


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