Evictions in Tacoma, WA: What Landlords Need to Know

Evictions in Tacoma, WA: What Landlords Need to Know

Evicting a tenant can be a stressful process for landlords, especially individual investor landlords who make up a significant portion of property owners in the United States. There are as many as 11 million individual investor landlords in the country, many of whom may not be familiar with the eviction process.

If you're a landlord in Tacoma, WA, understanding the local laws and procedures is crucial. In this handy guide, we will walk you through the steps you need to take to evict a tenant legally and smoothly in Tacoma. Let's get started.

Common Reasons for Eviction

Before starting an eviction, ensure you have a valid reason. Common reasons include non-payment of rent, lease violations, end of the lease term, and property damage. Non-payment of rent is one of the most common reasons for eviction and is relatively straightforward.

Lease violations can include issues like unauthorized pets, illegal activities, or exceeding the number of allowed occupants. If the lease term has ended and the tenant has not moved out, this is also a valid reason for eviction. Significant damage to the property by the tenant can warrant an eviction as well.

Legal Grounds and Notice Requirements

Here in Tacoma, landlords must follow strict legal procedures. The first step is to provide the tenant with a written notice. For non-payment of rent, a 14-day notice is required. For lease violations, a 10-day notice is appropriate.

For month-to-month tenancies or lease end, a 20-day notice is necessary. The notice must be served properly, which can be done in person, by mail, or by posting on the property.

After serving the notice, landlords must wait for the specified notice period to allow the tenant to correct the issue or move out.

Filing an Eviction Lawsuit

If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the next step is to file a summons and complaint with the local court. There is a filing fee involved.

The tenant must then be served with the court documents, which can be done by a professional process server or a law enforcement officer. This step ensures that the tenant is officially informed about the eviction proceedings.

Court Proceedings

The landlord must attend the court hearing and present their case to a judge. It is important to bring all relevant documents, such as the lease agreement, payment records, and the notice served to the tenant.

The judge will review the evidence and make a decision. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue a writ of restitution. This document allows the landlord to reclaim possession of the property.

Your Guide to Evictions in Tacoma, WA

The bottom line is that evicting a tenant is never pleasant, but knowing the correct procedures can make it less stressful. By following Tacoma's legal requirements, landlords can ensure a smoother process.

To learn more about evictions and the eviction process, speak to our team at PMI South Sound. As a full-service property management company in Tacoma, we are here to assist landlords with every facet of the job. Get in touch here.