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The Washington eviction notice is a document that informs the tenant that they have violated the lease agreement by not paying rent on time, engaging in illegal activities on the property, or breaching other terms of the lease. It gives the tenant a specific period of time to remedy the violation or vacate the property.

The importance of the eviction notice lies in the fact that it is the first necessary step in the eviction process, without which the landlord cannot directly approach the court to remove the tenant from the property. 

On the other hand, the tenant is given the opportunity to correct the lease violation within a specified time frame and continue the tenancy.

Types of Eviction Notices in Washington

The type of eviction notice a landlord can utilize in Washington primarily depends on factors such as lease types and eviction grounds. Consequently, these criteria categorize the following forms of Washington eviction notices.

Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

When a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord can serve a written notice demanding payment or surrender of the property. This notice must be complied with within three days for regular tenancies or 14 days for tenancies under Chapter 59.18 RCW.


In the case of a breach of the lease other than non-payment of rent, the landlord is required to serve an eviction notice to the tenant and allow them ten days to comply with the lease agreement before initiating eviction proceedings.

Illegal Activity

If a tenant damages the property, engages in illegal activities, or creates a disturbance, the landlord can give them a 3-day notice to leave the property.

Periodical Lease

In a lease agreement for an indefinite period with monthly or periodic rent, the landlord must notify the tenant of their intention to terminate the lease and require the tenant to vacate the property at the end of the period, at least 20 days before the end of that period.

Renovation, Destruction, and Change of Apartment Use

If the landlord plans to convert any apartment to a condominium, demolish or substantially renovate the property, or change its use, they must give written notice to the tenant at least 120 days before the tenancy ends.

Eviction Laws and Requirements in Washington

Laws & Requirements

  • Non-Payment of Rent. Depending on the type, the notice period is from 3 to 14 days. (RCW 59-12-030(3))

  • Non-Compliance. A 10-day notice period is required for a breach of the lease. (RCW 59-12-030(4))

  • Illegal Activity. A 3-day notice period is required for the use of the property for illegal purposes. (RCW 59-12-030(5))

  • Periodical Lease. A 20-day notice period is required before the end of the lease period. (RCW 59-12-030(2))

  • Renovation, Destruction, Change of Apartment. A 120-day notice period is required before the end of the tenancy. (RCW 59-18-200)

When is Rent Late in Washington?

In Washington, tenants are required to pay their rent on the date specified in their lease agreement. If the rent is not paid on the due date, it is considered late. However, according to Washington law, landlords cannot charge a late fee for rent that is paid within five days following the due date specified in the lease agreement.

Grounds for Eviction in Washington

The landlord may start the eviction process for the following reasons:

Grounds for Eviction

  • When a tenant fails to pay rent.

  • If the tenant violates any terms of the lease, such as causing damage to the property.

  • When a tenant remains on the property after the lease term has expired.

  • If the tenant creates a nuisance or engages in illegal activity on the property.

Eviction Process in Washington

In Washington, landlords must follow specific steps to legally evict a tenant from a rental property. 

#1. Write a Notice

The first step in the eviction process is to serve an eviction notice on the tenant. Depending on the reason for eviction, the landlord will indicate a deadline by which the tenant can remedy the violations if the breach is curable or leave the property if the breach is not curable.

#2. File the Complaint

If the tenant does not comply with the eviction notice, i.e., does not fix the violations or does not vacate the premises within the given timeframe, the landlord can file a complaint with the court in the jurisdiction where the rented property is located.

#3. Serve the Tenant

The next step is to serve the complaint and summons on the tenant so that they are informed of the content of the complaint and the time and place of the hearing. This also gives the tenant the opportunity to respond to the complaint and present their own arguments to dispute the landlord's claims.

#4. Wait for the Court’s Judgment

After the hearing, the court may issue a judgment in favor of the tenant, meaning that the lease will remain in effect. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, it will order the tenant to vacate the premises within a short period of time. 

If the tenant does not comply with the court's decision, the landlord can request that the court issue a writ of restitution, which allows the landlord to have the tenant removed from the property with the assistance of the sheriff's office.

Other Eviction-Related Forms in Washington

Besides the eviction notice, different forms come into play as part of the eviction process used by the involved parties.

Other Eviction-Related Forms

  • Complaint. A legal document used to start the eviction process. It contains the landlord's request for the tenant to vacate the property and the reasons for the eviction.

  • Summons. This is a legal document that is served on the tenant along with the complaint. It notifies the tenant of the eviction and their right to provide a defense.

  • The Notice of Appearance or Response. It is a document that tenants use to respond to a summons or eviction notice. It is a formal statement indicating that the tenant intends to appear in court and providing information about the parties involved. If a case has been filed, the tenant is also required to submit a response.

  • The Writ of Restitution. A legal document that enables the landlord to evict the tenant forcibly and regain possession of their property.

Eviction Information for Landlords in Washington

The landlord should be aware of their rights and obligations when renting out a property.

If the landlord wishes to terminate the lease due to a violation of the agreement or other reasons, in most cases, this will involve notifying the tenant with an eviction notice and giving them time to vacate voluntarily.

If the tenant resists, the landlord may initiate legal proceedings, file a lawsuit, follow court procedure, and obtain a Writ of Restitution to forcibly evict the tenant and regain possession of the property.

Eviction Information for Tenants in Washington

The tenant is obligated to use the leased property in accordance with the agreed terms and conditions of the lease, as failure to do so may result in an eviction process for their removal.

Whether the tenant has violated the lease agreement or the landlord wishes to terminate the lease, the tenant has the right to be informed of the reason for eviction through an eviction notice and is given a legally mandated period to vacate or remedy the violation if possible.

Additionally, if the landlord files a complaint against the tenant for eviction, the tenant has the right to defend themselves in court and present evidence to refute the landlord's claim.

How to Write an Eviction Notice in Washington

Washington Eviction Notice Checklist

Washington Eviction Notice FAQ

  • You can file a Washington eviction notice when the landlord wants to terminate a lease agreement or the tenant has breached the lease agreement, such as by failing to pay rent, causing damage to the property, or engaging in criminal activity on the premises.

  • An eviction notice serves as a document that informs the tenant that they are being evicted and gives them a set amount of time to vacate the property. It also serves as evidence in court if the tenant refuses to leave voluntarily.

  • The timeline for eviction in Washington can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. It can last for a couple of months. This includes the time it takes to serve the eviction notice, the time for the tenant to respond, and the time for a court hearing if necessary.

  • Yes, a 3-day eviction notice is legal in Washington for non-payment of rent for regular leases. Other types of evictions may require longer notice periods.

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