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Evicting tenants legally

Written by SJA Property Management

SJA offers premier Seattle property management services and serves as the local real estate industry’s most experienced resource for rental property owners.

If you’re a landlord, property investor, concierge, or other type of Kirkland property manager, then chances are, you will have to evict a tenant eventually.

If you’re lucky, you will get mostly good tenants who pay their rent on time, don’t damage the property and follow the terms set by the lease. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible not to get the eventual bad egg, which means you will have to evict someone eventually.

Kirkland has a lot of rules put in place to protect your tenants, which is a good thing, but you do have to know them and be aware of them when you evict a tenant. For that reason, it is always a good idea to read up on the Washington State RCW Chapter 59:18

Choosing a Type of Notice

There are four types of eviction notices you can use in the State of Washington. These include the following:

  1. 3-day notice to pay or
  2. 10-day notice to comply with rental agreement or
  3. 3-day notice to remove waste or nuisance or
  4. 20-day no-cause notice of termination of rental

Sending a Notice

If your tenants lease is up then all you have to do is send them a notice.

  1. Draft the Notice of Eviction up properly. Consider having a real estate lawyer do it for you. Outline the reasons for
  2. Send the notice via registered mail and require a signature when it arrives. This way, the tenant cannot claim that they did not receive it. Do not deliver the notice yourself, as you will have no proof of it being
  3. Make sure that the letter is dated

Things to Keep in Mind

While you can usually handle most of the eviction process yourself, it is important to keep several things in mind.

  1. It is illegal to lock out your tenant for any reason, including failure to pay. In the case of a non-paying tenant, take the case to court. Eviction processes typically take around three weeks, after which the police will help you with the
  2. It is illegal to make the tenant leave for whatever reason. Follow the same procedure as listed
  3. Once you’ve served the Eviction Notice, or Notice of Payment, then it is important that you take no further steps on your own. If the tenant does not comply with your notice within the specified time, you can take the case to court and the court will serve a summons. The tenant has 7 days to reply to the summons, after which the court will rule in your favor if they do not show
  4. 4Once you take the case to court, the decision is entirely in the judge’s hands, including how much the tenant owes you. If the tenant is on a lease contract and can pay up everything they owe you, then you have to, by law, reinstate their leasing

A professional Kirkland property management company can handle all of the management details, including evictions, so you won’t have to. If you want to know more, contact us for a free consultation.

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