Washington Eviction help

11 Replies

It's time to do my first eviction! I purchased my second property in August, so I have inherited tenants and the old landlords lease. Tennant has not made February payment and has now stopped responding. I posted a 14 day pay or quit notice on the door and need to move on to eviction.

I am a DIY guy and am fairly fluent in leagalese but have not done an eviction before.  Is it possible to represent and file the unlawful detainer yourself?  What documentation or forms do I need?  What happens if they pay after I file?  Can I hold them liable for court fees? 

Those who hire an attorney, what do they charge?  Any other tips?  Thanks!
 

@Alex Gordon we get a lot of support, networking and all forms, including leases from the Wa LL Association. They will help with evictions etc. They have a website; give them a call. You did say you area DIY guy but keep in mind your tenant will likely have a lawyer(free) representing him. All the best!

Originally posted by @Alex Gordon :

I posted a 14 day pay or quit notice on the door and need to move on to eviction. 

I am a DIY guy and am fairly fluent in leagalese but 

These are all about proper service. If you posted anything yourself, gotta do it over properly.

My last one costed me $1500. The attorney came in after notice expired and I proved to him the tenant was properly served.  Glad you still seem to have a good attitude about it. Good luck!

@Alex Gordon it is possible to do an eviction by yourself but I will caution you that any mistakes or miss-steps in the process will likely get your complaint dismissed requiring you to start the process over.  I haven't done an eviction in eastern Washington but I would imagine it is very similar to the west side of the state.

My advice would be to contact an attorney and have them serve all of the required notices.  While it will cost you some money most tenant's leave before an actual eviction and if the ones you are dealing with do fall into the minority of cases that go all the way, you will certainly want proper legal support.  Remember, time is money and you want to pay for expertise that will shorten the amount of time you rental is down.

Best of luck,

John

Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan :
These are all about proper service. If you posted anything yourself, gotta do it over properly.

My last one costed me $1500. The attorney came in after notice expired and I proved to him the tenant was properly served.  Glad you still seem to have a good attitude about it. Good luck!

Any idea what proper service is?  I have a photo of it posted on the front door. 

 

Originally posted by @Alex Gordon :
Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan:
These are all about proper service. If you posted anything yourself, gotta do it over properly.

Any idea what proper service is?  I have a photo of it posted on the front door. 

 

Oh ok. A picture should be fine. LOL

it's outlined in the state landlord-tenant law online. It's extensive.

 

Go to Superior court file a unlawful retainer. The local law kept changing and if you mess it up you can get counter lawsuit. They have so many days to respond etc.   Your best bet is pay the tenants tell them to pack to save the hassle. It can take several months for court to get on the schedule while they can get their lawyer suing hardship, discrimination etc.  The judge is often on the tenant side.

Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan :
Originally posted by @Alex Gordon:
Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan:
These are all about proper service. If you posted anything yourself, gotta do it over properly.

Any idea what proper service is?  I have a photo of it posted on the front door. 

 

Oh ok. A picture should be fine. LOL

it's outlined in the state landlord-tenant law online. It's extensive. I have read it. 

Steve - I have read it too, and believe I am following it. I may need to send it through the mail as well. 

"Any notice provided for in this chapter shall be served either (1) by delivering a copy personally to the person entitled thereto; or (2) if he or she be absent from the premises unlawfully held, by leaving there a copy, with some person of suitable age and discretion, and sending a copy through the mail addressed to the person entitled thereto at his or her place of residence; or (3) if the person to be notified be a tenant, or an unlawful holder of premises, and his or her place of residence is not known, or if a person of suitable age and discretion there cannot be found then by affixing a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises unlawfully held, and also delivering a copy to a person there residing, if such a person can be found, and also sending a copy through the mail addressed to the tenant, or unlawful occupant, at the place where the premises unlawfully held are situated. Service upon a subtenant may be made in the same manner: PROVIDED, That in cases where the tenant or unlawful occupant, shall be conducting a hotel, inn, lodging house, boarding house, or shall be renting rooms while still retaining control of the premises as a whole, that the guests, lodgers, boarders, or persons renting such rooms shall not be considered as subtenants within the meaning of this chapter, but all such persons may be served by affixing a copy of the notice to be served in two conspicuous places upon the premises unlawfully held; and such persons shall not be necessary parties defendant in an action to recover possession of said premises. Service of any notice provided for in this chapter may be had upon a corporation by delivering a copy thereof to any officer, agent, or person having charge of the business of such corporation, at the premises unlawfully held, and in case no such officer, agent, or person can be found upon such premises, then service may be had by affixing a copy of such notice in a conspicuous place upon said premises and by sending a copy through the mail addressed to such corporation at the place where said premises are situated. Proof of any service under this section may be made by the affidavit of the person making the same in like manner and with like effect as the proof of service of summons in civil actions. When a copy of notice is sent through the mail, as provided in this section, service shall be deemed complete when such copy is deposited in the United States mail in the county in which the property is situated properly addressed with postage prepaid: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That when service is made by mail one additional day shall be allowed before the commencement of an action based upon such notice. RCW 59.18.375 may also apply to notice given under this chapter."

 

Originally posted by @Alex Gordon :
Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan:
Originally posted by @Alex Gordon:
Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan:
These are all about proper service. If you posted anything yourself, gotta do it over properly.

Any idea what proper service is?  I have a photo of it posted on the front door. 

 

Oh ok. A picture should be fine. LOL

it's outlined in the state landlord-tenant law online. It's extensive. I have read it. 

Steve - I have read it too, and believe I am following it. I may need to send it through the mail as well. 

"Any notice provided for in this chapter shall be served either (1) by delivering a copy personally to the person entitled thereto; or (2) if he or she be absent from the premises unlawfully held, by leaving there a copy, with some person of suitable age and discretion, and sending a copy through the mail addressed to the person entitled thereto at his or her place of residence; or (3) if the person to be notified be a tenant, or an unlawful holder of premises, and his or her place of residence is not known, or if a person of suitable age and discretion there cannot be found then by affixing a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises unlawfully held, and also delivering a copy to a person there residing, if such a person can be found, and also sending a copy through the mail addressed to the tenant, or unlawful occupant, at the place where the premises unlawfully held are situated. Service upon a subtenant may be made in the same manner: PROVIDED, That in cases where the tenant or unlawful occupant, shall be conducting a hotel, inn, lodging house, boarding house, or shall be renting rooms while still retaining control of the premises as a whole, that the guests, lodgers, boarders, or persons renting such rooms shall not be considered as subtenants within the meaning of this chapter, but all such persons may be served by affixing a copy of the notice to be served in two conspicuous places upon the premises unlawfully held; and such persons shall not be necessary parties defendant in an action to recover possession of said premises. Service of any notice provided for in this chapter may be had upon a corporation by delivering a copy thereof to any officer, agent, or person having charge of the business of such corporation, at the premises unlawfully held, and in case no such officer, agent, or person can be found upon such premises, then service may be had by affixing a copy of such notice in a conspicuous place upon said premises and by sending a copy through the mail addressed to such corporation at the place where said premises are situated. Proof of any service under this section may be made by the affidavit of the person making the same in like manner and with like effect as the proof of service of summons in civil actions. When a copy of notice is sent through the mail, as provided in this section, service shall be deemed complete when such copy is deposited in the United States mail in the county in which the property is situated properly addressed with postage prepaid: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That when service is made by mail one additional day shall be allowed before the commencement of an action based upon such notice. RCW 59.18.375 may also apply to notice given under this chapter."


Unless it changed in July, it can only be served by a Washingtonion 18 or over that's NOT a party to or is benefited by the suit.

Can't be served by you, your wife, kids, business  etc.

 

My last eviction cost me about $300 (lawyer cost). Because tenant didn't go to court and moved out before hearing date, which happen pretty often. Especially if you explain tenant about eviction records and its effect on ability to rent.

Here are the references I got for lawyer:

  1. LT Services
  2. Dimensions Law Group
  3. Loeffler Law Group

You can email them and they will send you price sheet, to get an idea.