Eviction

In Washington State: a landlord may pursue an unlawful detainer (commonly called eviction) for the following reasons:

A tenant fails to pay rent.

On the first day you are behind in rent, a landlord may issue a 3-day notice informing a tenant that he / she must either pay the overdue rent or move out. If they pay the rent within that 3-day period, the landlord must accept it and cannot begin an unlawful detainer action. The rent is due in full; a landlord does not have to accept partial payment.

A tenant does not comply with the terms of the rental agreement.

If a tenant does not comply with the terms of the rental agreement (for example, having a waterbed when the rental agreement does not allow waterbeds), a landlord can give you a 10-day notice to comply or move out. An unlawful detainer can only be pursued if the tenant fails to comply with the 10-day notice.

A tenant creates waste or nuisance.

If a tenant causes damage that reduces the value of the property, destroy the property, or use the premises for unlawful activity, a landlord may issue a 3-day notice demanding that the tenant move out. This notice means that the tenant must move out, even if the tenant fixes the problem(s).

No cause.

If a tenant has a month-to-month rental agreement, the landlord may remove a tenant without any reason. The reason for the removal cannot be discriminatory or retaliatory. In most Washington state cities, the landlord gives a tenant a 20-day notice to vacate. This notice must be given 20 days before a tenant’s next rent payment is due. Unless provided for in the rental agreement, a landlord cannot use the 20-day notice to remove a tenant if a lease has been signed.

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The eviction process:

Notice.

A landlord must serve a tenant with the required eviction notice.

Unlawful detainer action.

If a tenant fails to correct the problem or continues to stay in the rental property, the landlord must file an unlawful detainer lawsuit.

Hearing.

A tenant has the right to appear for the court hearing to dispute the reasons for the unlawful detainer.

Decision for the landlord.

If the landlord wins his/her case in court, the sheriff will be instructed to move a tenant out of the rental property if a tenant not move out voluntarily.

Attorney’s fee.

In an unlawful detainer action, the winning party is entitled to costs and attorney fees.

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