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Eviction Protection: What Rights Do Tenants Have in Puyallup?

Eviction Protection: What Rights Do Tenants Have in Puyallup?

Washington state has a booming rental market. That is good for property owners, but it also means a lot of work to stay ahead of the competition.

It also means keeping units filled with tenants who pay rent on time and abide by lease requirements. For those that do not, initiating eviction may be necessary. However, landlords must abide by eviction protection laws for tenants.

This article covers what those are. Keep reading to learn more about the eviction process in Puyallup, Washington, and how to protect your property.

Reasons for Eviction

In Washington state, the eviction process is also known as an "unlawful detainer action." This is a lawsuit that the landlord brings against a tenant who fails to leave a property after a lease has been terminated.

To terminate a lease, there are several necessary steps that reflect eviction protection laws for tenants. The first step is to send a clear, written notice to the occupant.

What this entails depends on the cause of eviction. These generally involve a failure to pay rent or violate the lease agreement.

If the tenant has not paid rent, the notice should give them three days to do so. If they do not, the landlord can move forward with eviction.

Lease violations are a bit more complex. In these situations, the notice should give the tenant 10 days to remedy the violation or move out. If they fail to do so, the landlord can terminate the lease and file an eviction lawsuit.

There may be situations where no remedy is available. Common examples are if a troublesome tenant commits an illegal act on the property or causes serious damage to the rental unit.

In these cases, the landlord can send an "unconditional quit notice." This simply gives them three days to vacate the premises.

Eviction Process

Once the landlord files the eviction lawsuit, a summons and complaint are sent to the tenant. They will have seven days to answer it, or they will lose the lawsuit by default.

The tenant's answer must contain all defenses against eviction and be delivered to the court, which will then set a day for a hearing. At the hearing, both parties must appear. A judge will hear both sides of the case and make a ruling.

If the judge rules in favor of the tenant, the case is dismissed. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue a "writ of restitution." This is the amount of rent money, late fees, court fees, and (sometimes) attorney fees that the tenant owes the defendant.

In these cases, the tenant still has some time before having to vacate. Within a few days, the sheriff will serve the tenant with the notice of eviction. They then have 72 hours to vacate, before it can be enforced.

Learn More About Eviction Protection Laws

Now that you understand eviction protection laws for tenants, you can proceed accordingly. An experienced property management company can further advise you on legal compliance with these and other rules.

SJC Management Group is a full-service real estate company specializing in residential rental properties in Puyallup and the surrounding areas. We offer a range of services, including marketing, tenant screening, rent collection, maintenance, eviction, and more. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.