Tenant eviction, it’s the black smear on the back of managing property, and not surprisingly, more people don’t want to talk about it. Whether you didn’t screen your tenants properly, or a perfectly good application turned into the tenants from hell, if you’re tenants are damaging your property, not paying rent, or causing too many complaints in your unit, then you may be under rights to evict them. But how do you go about evicting a tenant? And when is their behavior grounds for eviction? Consider these tips from local Issaquah property managers to find out.

Evictions and Terminations

While eviction is the most commonly known way to have a tenant leave a unit, termination is much more common. Eviction is an actual court order to have someone evicted. Logically, you should only go through the court if a termination is not respected. You can handle a termination yourself by simply telling the tenant that you would like them to leave. However, there are different processes depending on whether the tenant has a lease, or a month to month contract.

Handling Tenants With a Lease

If your tenant has a lease for a specific period, such as two years, then you cannot evict them before the end of the period without a just cause. Just cause usually refers to the tenant not paying rent, habitually being late on rent, damaging property, or habitually disturbing other tenants. If they do not have a ’cause of eviction’, then you cannot evict them in the state of Washington.

Handling Month to Month Tenants

If your tenants have a month to month rental contract and you are not within Seattle city limits, then you may give a tenant a 20 day no cause eviction notice. If you are within Seattle city limits then you cannot issue a 20 day eviction without one of 18 listed reasons. This bill is known as Just Cause Eviction.

Following the Proper Eviction Process

If your tenant has a cause for eviction and you want them out, then the proper way to do so is to give it to the tenant in person if possible. If not then mail will suffice, but you want registered mail with signed receipt on delivery so that you can prove in the court of law that you sent them the proper warning in case it goes to court. A few of the most common notices include ‘3-days to pay or move out’, a 3-day notice for waste or nuisance, or a 10-day notice to comply with rental terms or vacate. You may also post a notice on the tenants door, hand them letters, and hand the notice to one of each of the tenants in the unit.

If the tenant does not respond or solve the issue within the time listed in the notice, then you may take the issue to court to get a lawful eviction. It is unlawful for you to lock the tenant out or to force them out on your own without a court order.

If you want help with managing your tenants, then hiring an Issaquah Property Management company to help is the best way to go. Not only will you get help with the day to day management and paperwork, but also professional tenant screening, and someone to handle eviction notices for you if it comes down to it.