If you’re a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, use a Washington (WA) eviction notice to begin the process. Your eviction notice must be written according to Washington state law, and give your tenant the legally required amount of time to respond or move out.
In Washington, eviction lawsuits are governed by Chapter 59.12 of the Revised Code of Washington.
Eviction notices in Washington are also known as:
- Washington Notice to Vacate
- Washington Notice to Quit
- Washington Notice to Quit or Pay
- Washington Lease Termination
Washington Eviction Notices by Type
Download a free eviction notice customized for Washington state law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
20-Day Lease Termination: Use this notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a month-to-month lease, and that they must prepare to leave your property. In Washington, landlords must give tenants 20 days’ notice to move out if they’re on a month-to-month lease. Tenants on a month-to-month lease must also provide their landlord 20 days’ notice if they intend to move out.
10-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In Washington, landlords must give tenants 10 days’ notice before the eviction process can proceed in court. In that time, tenants have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem.
14-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they haven’t paid rent on time. In Washington, landlords must give tenants 14 days to pay rent before they can begin the eviction process in court.
If you wish to send a letter simply reminding your tenant that rent is late (without threat of eviction), use a late rent notice.
Washington Eviction Laws & Requirements
Residential Landlord-Tenant Act: Chapter 59.18 Revised Code of Washington
Landlord Duties: RCW 59.18.060
Tenant Duties: RCW 59.18.130
Late or Non-Rent Payment Notice: 14 days (RCW 59.12.030 (3))
Notice of Non-Compliance: 10 days (RCW 59.12.030 (4))
Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 20 days (RCW 59.18.200 (1)(a))
What is the Eviction Process in Washington?
Step 1: Post the eviction notice
The notice must explain what the problem is and how long the tenant has to vacate the property.
Step 2: File a complaint with the court
If the tenant doesn’t comply with the terms of the notice, the landlord can file their complaint with the county court. The landlord has to pay the filing fee, but the tenant may have to pay it back after a court hearing depending on the judgment.
Washington state law doesn’t specify exactly how long the landlord has to serve notice, but the landlord must do it before the hearing.
3. Wait for the tenant’s response
The tenant has between 7 and 30 days to respond to the complaint. The court will set a hearing date once it knows the tenant’s answer to the complaint. If there is no answer, the court will find in favor of the landlord.
4. Attend the hearing
At this point, the court will hold a hearing and issue a judgment. If the tenant doesn’t appear in court, the landlord will automatically win the case.
5. Receive and Use a Writ of Restitution
If the court grants the eviction, the landlord is given a writ of restitution. This document allows the Sheriff to forcibly remove the tenant from the property if they still don’t vacate the premises within the given timeframe.
Related Washington Court Forms
The official Washington Courts website provides a list of the individual Superior Courts by county. Contact the court in the location where your property is located to request the necessary eviction-related forms.
Eviction Information for Washington Landlords and Tenants
- Residential Landlord-Tenant Resources: List of resources for both landlords and tenants provided by the Washington State Office of the Attorney General.
- Rental Housing Association of Washington: Provides educational services for rental housing owners throughout the state.
- Northwest Justice Project: Helpful statewide legal service for information, advice, and low-income attorney referrals.
- Your Rights as a Tenant in Washington: Informational resource to help tenants understand their rights and responsibilities under the law.
- Washington Multi Family Housing Association Rental Assistance Resources
- Solid Ground: Offers tenant counseling and education.