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Assisting with Unlawful Detainer Lawsuits in Tacoma and Seattle

A legal action for unlawful detainer arises when a landlord wants a tenant to move out because they no longer have the legal right to occupy the premises for some reason. Washington State law requires parties to follow very specific procedures for this type of lawsuit, which is also commonly referred to as an eviction, so it is always important to have the assistance of an experienced unlawful detainer attorney.

If you are a landlord wishing to file a claim, you should contact the experienced lawyers at the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess at 206-621-1110 (Seattle), 253-572-1000 (Tacoma), 360-742-3500 (Olympia), 971-416-0881 (Portland) to discuss how we can help you with your case.

Common Reasons for Unlawful Detainer Lawsuits

Unlawful detainer cases arise when a tenant has acted in a certain way that goes against one or more provisions of the lease agreement. Some of the most common reasons for these cases include the following:

  • Failure to pay rent for an extended period of time
  • Remaining on the premises after the lease agreement expired
  • Having a pet that was not allowed per the lease agreement
  • Being so loud that other neighbors were substantially and regularly disturbed
  • Conducting illegal activities on the premises, such as selling drugs

If any of the above situations occur, Washington law prohibits a landlord from forcing the tenant out of the rental property on his or her own by changing the locks, removing their belongings, turning off utilities, or other similar tactics. Instead, the landlord must properly file an unlawful detainer claim with the courts.

Resolving Unlawful Detainer Disputes

Once tenants receive notice that a landlord has filed a legal action to remove them from the premises,  they may avoid going to court by voluntarily leaving the premises, paying rent, or otherwise coming to an agreement with the landlord to solve the issue. An attorney can assist tenants and landlords in coming to a resolution on their own without a judge. If you do end up in court, a lawyer may present various affirmative defenses on the part of the tenant and each side will have to show evidence to the court supporting their arguments. Because courts have very specific procedures, you should always have quality representation by an unlawful detainer attorney in Seattle or Tacoma who is familiar with Washington laws and procedures.

If you are facing an unlawful detainer lawsuit or wish to file one, the attorneys at the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess in Seattle and Tacoma can help. Call us today at 206-621-1110 (Seattle), 253-572-1000 (Tacoma), 360-742-3500 (Olympia), 971-416-0881 (Portland) for a phone consultation.