Washington eviction lawyer.
Our eviction lawyer practices landlord-tenant law in King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston counties in the state of Washington. We handle residential, commercial, and post-foreclosure evictions. We represent landlords in residential eviction cases, and both landlord and tenant clients in commercial eviction cases.
We offer two eviction plans, a “fast-track” eviction and a “pay-as-you-go” eviction. The “pay-as-you-go eviction” costs less up front, but can take longer. Nothing is filed in court until it is necessary to do so, potentially saving court costs. With a “fast-track” eviction the case is filed and a hearing set initially, rather than waiting for the tenant to respond to the complaint. This costs more up front but can be faster in some circumstances.
An experienced and reputable landlord-tenant lawyer will handle your eviction case from start to finish at a competitive rate.
If a tenant does not comply with the initial eviction notice, or does not voluntarily vacate at the end of the lease term, then the landlord must litigate the eviction case in court (also known as an unlawful detainer action). There are no exceptions. Even if the landlord is not concerned about trying to collect rent or other money owed and just wants the property back, the landlord must go through the legal eviction process. The landlord must also go through the eviction process even if the lease has expired, or there was never a written agreement, or the rental agreement terms allow the landlord to change locks. Again, there are no exceptions. If a tenant refuses to vacate the rental property–the landlord must go through the eviction process.
Washington landlord-tenant law is governed by statutes such as the unlawful detainer statute and the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, and by a long line of landlord-tenant case law. Local ordinances are also important in Washington landlord-tenant law, especially in Seattle.
Seattle landlords renting residential properties must register their rental property with the City of Seattle. A Seattle landlord who does not register a rental property may not evict the tenant.
A Seattle residential landlord may not evict a tenant except for just cause. This is true even if the tenant is month-to-month, or the landlord is not interested in pursuing money owed and just wants possessions of the rental property. Just cause is always required to evict a residential tenant in Seattle.
Failure to pay rent and other material breaches of the rental agreement are just cause to evict, whether the tenant is month-to-month or has an unexpired lease.
Other examples of just cause require that the tenant be month-to-month. For example, a landlord who wishes to move back into the rental property may not evict a residential tenant with an unexpired lease, but if the tenant is month-to-month this is just cause. Note that the just cause eviction ordinance applies only to residential tenancies, and does not apply to commercial rentals. Also, outside Seattle just cause is not required to evict a month-to-month tenant.
This site provides useful and important information about Washington landlord-tenant law. Still, the application of landlord-tenant law to your situation is best analyzed by a landlord-tenant attorney. Get legal advice before acting.
Most Washington evictions begin with serving an eviction notice such as a notice to pay rent or vacate, a notice to comply or vacate, or a notice to terminate tenancy. You can download these eviction notice forms. Before choosing, completing, or using a particular eviction form it is best to get legal advice about your circumstances and about state and local landlord-tenant law.
Landlord-tenant law is governed mostly by state and local law.
Federal law, including fair housing law, applies nationally. Recent HUD guidelines made important changes to the rules for screening potential tenants for criminal background. Also, although marijuana sales are legal in some states including Washington, possession and distribution of marijuana remains illegal under federal law and may subject landlords and tenants to criminal prosecution–even if the landlord or tenant is following state licensing laws and regulations.
Landlord-tenant law varies a great deal, depending on where the rental property is located. It is best to consult with an attorney in your area.
If you are a landlord with a property in King, Pierce, or Snohomish counties in Washington please contact us.
If you have rental properties in other locations in Washington or in other states please see the Landlord Attorney Directory to find a landlord-tenant lawyer in your area. Note that we are not affiliated with nor are we endorsing the law firms listed in the directory.