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A Landlord's Guide on Handling Evictions in the Greater Seattle Area

A Landlord's Guide on Handling Evictions in the Greater Seattle Area

Becoming a landlord is a stressful decision, especially if you have no experience marketing your property or screening potential renters. It becomes even more difficult when you're forced to deal with a disruptive tenant who either violates their lease or fails to pay rent on time.

It's important to know what you can and can't do when you need to evict someone. Failure to follow local laws could land you in legal trouble or even get stuck with a delinquent tenant.

Here's your guide on how to handle evictions in the Greater Seattle area.

When to Evict

The first thing you should know is when you can evict a tenant. Ideally, there should be a pattern of lease violations and opportunities to correct their behavior.

Regular rental inspections can help reveal the condition of your property. You may also find that a tenant has lied about how they use your apartment or home.

Most commonly, renters are evicted for breaking a lease or failing to pay their rent. If someone is guilty of these violations, then you send them a notice to comply. Always give them the chance to make things right.

If they refuse to comply, then that's when you start the eviction process.

The Eviction Process

The eviction timeline begins with a written notice of the tenant's failure to pay rent or any other lease violations. If they do not respond within a certain timeframe, then you follow up by filing a complaint with the court. You also need to leave a written eviction notice with the tenant.

In Washington State, a landlord can give fourteen days for a renter to pay or vacate. For lease violations, that timeline is ten days to comply or vacate.

People being evicted have up to a month to provide a written answer to the eviction. A hearing for eviction is then scheduled, and the court decides the outcome of the situation.

Evictions and Housing Laws

As a landlord, you have certain responsibilities to your tenants. You must go through the eviction process before you can kick someone out of your property. That means providing various notices and waiting for the court system to render a verdict.

It is illegal for a landlord to kick a tenant out before that verdict. They also cannot take away access to utilities or amenities beforehand.

The easiest way to streamline this process is through the use of a property management company. They can handle the details while you focus on the court date.

Handling an Eviction Like a Pro

Evictions are a difficult area to navigate, especially if you've never had to do one in the past. What's most important is that you get some kind of legal help so that you don't overstep or make a mistake.

Brink Property Management can offer you the help you need in the Greater Seattle area. We have over 27 years of experience serving the local renting market and managing properties. Reach out today with any questions or to get started with our services.