Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Please contact an attorney for legal advice before taking any action.
Did your Washington tenant fail to pay the rent on time? If so, this article is for you.
Non-payment of rent is a serious violation of your rental agreement. While it most cases the tenant will end up paying the rent within a few days, there is a chance they won't. If that happens you want to be prepared.
The best way to be prepared is to exercise your rights as a landlord. This helps protect you in the event the tenant doesn't end up paying and you have to evict them.
In Washington there is a notice you can serve after the 1st at midnight. It is called a 14 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate the Premises (Prior to July of 2019 this was called a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate the Premises).
You may serve this notice in-person or by posting and mailing the notice.
Now, you may be asking yourself, where do you find the notice to use? You have a few options.
1. Contact a local landlord association and purchase the form. We recommend Multifamily NW.
2. Contact an attorney and have them prepare the form. If you are in Clark County we recommend contacting the law firm Greenspoon Marder.
3. You can look up the law and draft your own notice by viewing the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).
FYI: If you were working with Sleep Sound Property Management, Inc. to manage your Washington State rental property we would provide the notice and handle this process for you.
It's important to keep in mind that when drafting the notice, you only include rent. Do not include other monies owed.
Once you've served the notice you must wait for the 14 days to pass. In the event your tenant hasn't paid yet, then you will need to file a Summons and Complaint and pursue an eviction in court.
For the sake of the tenant and you, we hope it doesn't come to this, but if it does, you will be ready.