Seattle and Tacoma Eviction Proceedings Attorneys
Assisting with the eviction process in Seattle and Tacoma
Almost every property owner/landlord has had a troublesome tenant who does not pay or creates other challenges. If you decide it is in your best interest—and the best interest of your other tenants—to remove the tenant, you should never take the matter into your hands. Instead, you should always contact an experienced evictions proceedings lawyer at the Dickson Frohlich for assistance as soon as possible.
CONTACT ONE OF OUR OFFICES TODAY AT (253) 572-1000 OR (206) 621-1110 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.
The evictions process in Washington
When a tenant refuses to pay rent, Washington laws1 prohibit a landlord from “self-help” evictions, which can include simply changing the locks, shutting off utilities, taking off the front door, or other actions to induce the tenant to leave. Instead, the law requires property owners to follow specific procedures in order to lawfully evict a tenant.
The eviction process commonly involves the following steps:
- Notice—Depending on the type of lease that you have and the situation at hand (i.e. whether a tenant will not pay, is a nuisance, or another reason for eviction), you will have to give the tenant certain notice to comply with the lease or move out.
- Filing a complaint—If your tenant does not leave on their own, you will have to file a complaint with the proper court and arrange to have the tenant served2 with the complaint and summons to come to court.
- Court proceedings—If the tenant does not show up to the scheduled court date, the court may issue a default judgment for eviction. However, if the tenant appears in court, you must have a hearing to show sufficient cause for the eviction and the tenant will get to tell their side of the story, as well. In order to receive an eviction judgment, the court must find in your favor after hearing both sides.
- Sheriff serves the judgment—If you receive a judgment, also known as a writ of restitution, the sheriff will serve it on the tenant. This gives the tenant three business days to move out.
Contact the Dickson Frohlich for help with eviction proceedings
Eviction proceedings in Washington can be time-consuming and require filing specific paperwork with the court, appearing in court, and possibly even a show cause hearing before a judge. In order to ensure that you successfully evict a troublesome tenant, you should always seek the help of an experienced eviction attorney in Seattle or Tacoma.
WE OFFER FREE 15 MINUTE PHONE CONSULTATIONS, SO CALL TODAY AT (253) 572-1000 OR (206) 621-1110 TO DISCUSS YOUR CASE.