Washington Eviction Laws

To evict a person in Washington State, a residential landlord needs to adhere to the Washington eviction process. This includes serving the proper notice, allowing the tenant time to correct the lease violation and obtaining a court order if there is no compliance.

Tenant Self-Evictions are Unlawful in Washington

No tenant may be forcibly removed from the property in Washington. Self-eviction is illegal. Examples of self eviction are padlocking the doors and windows, removing the tenant’s personal belongings and shutting off electricity. Landlords can be held liable for damages that can add up to thousands of dollars.

Written 3-Day Eviction Notice to Vacate

For nonpayment of Rent

Most evictions are for nonpayment of rent. In case of nonpayment, the landlord needs to serve a written 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate. If the tenant pays the full amount, the eviction will be stopped. Washington law does not require a grace period in any rental agreement.

For illegal Activity, Waste or Nuisance

Eviction for illegal activity, property damage (waste) or nuisances such as severe noise violations the landlord is required to serve a 3-day notice. Getting arrested a number of times may also constitute a nuisance. In some of these cases, a landlord does not need to allow the tenant an opportunity to remedy the violation

10-Day Eviction Notice to Vacate

For lease violations that are other than nonpayment of rent or for gross lease violations, the Washington eviction notice is 10-days. These include such violations as having unauthorized persons or pets on the premises. The tenant should be given 10-days to correct the violation or to vacate.

20-Day Eviction Notice to Vacate

In month-to-month leases no reason needs to be given.The notice must be in writing and be served at least 20-days before the last day of the rental period.

“Just Cause” Seattle - Exception for tenants renting within the city limits of Seattle

In month-to-month leases, the landlord must show “just cause” for evicting a tenant. Just cause includes: Nonpayment of rent, consistently late rent payments, the unit is to be occupied by the landlord or an immediate family member, the unit is up for sale, or the tenant has received 3 or more 10-day notices in a 12-month period

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