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Tips on Eviction with Guest Speaker Attorney Jared Hawkins

Tips on Eviction with Guest Speaker Attorney Jared Hawkins

This workshop was 2 hours and covered items required in a typical eviction process for the State of WA. Introduction and handout from Blue Mountain Rentals on basic tips began the workshop. The bulk of the workshop and handouts of slides presented by Jared Hawkins, Attorney with Virtual In-house Counsel took up the rest of our time. Basic questions such as "Should the landlord pay the city utilities that were in the tenants name if a shut off notice is received?" Answer, no. As long as the lease states that the tenant was responsible for all utilities. "If water is on a well system and the pump goes out during an eviction do I have to replace it?" Yes, you are required to maintain the premises in accordance with the WA State Landlord Tenant Act... I hope you enjoy and this topic will be presented again.


Blue Mountain Rentals

February 12, 2014


  1. TIPS ON THE EVICTION PROCESS Presented by: Lori Hartjoy, Owner

    Guest Speaker – Attorney Jared Hawkins Virtual In-house Counsel Wednesday February 12, 2014 DISCLAIMER: Any information presented or that you choose to use is at your own risk. All details and facts are informational only. You are strongly encouraged to seek legal or financial counsel before making decisions regarding your investment rental properties.

    Landlord friendly pet Tips + Service/Companion Animal Info Dates to be announced: 1. Advertising - How and Where & Scam Listings 2. ROI—Incentives/Concessions - Are they good? 3. 3rd Party Resources—WWRPA, WW Crime Free Housing 4. Advertising, Where & How + Search tips & Spotting Fraud Listings 5. Renter Topic: Plan your move—Must have vs. wants—Budgeting 6. Prepare for the initial in person meeting Visit our website at: www.bluemtnrentals.com Or call us at: (509) 240-3325 For personalized assistance UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

    OF LEASED REAL PROPERTY FROM TENANTS WHO DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE. Landlords – 1. Reduce Risk by conducting background checks. 2. Help good tenants leave early to cut losses. A broken lease is better than an eviction for them. 3. Start the eviction process ASAP 4. Be wary in taking payments 5. Do not shut off utilities or change locks 6. Consult an attorney if you have ANY questions! Renters – 1. Communicate any issues up front 2. Try to offer solutions if you will have problems – Move early, forfeit deposit, etc. 3. Cannot withhold payment for items not repaired. Use the Landlord Tenant Act process 4. DSHS, Helpline, Salvation Army, Blue Mountain Action Council, St. Vincent and E. WA Catholic Charities all assist with rent & utilities. 5. Breaking a lease is less detrimental than an eviction if you ever need to rent again.
  4. Washington Residential Eviction Process Virtual In-House Counsel, PLLC Jared N.

    Hawkins, Attorney at Law www.virtualinhouse.biz
  5. 5 Overview • Background • Applicable Scenarios • Tenant Duties

    • Notices of Violation • Unlawful Detainer Action
  6. 6 My Background • Air Force Judge Advocate, 2005 -

    2011 • Virtual In-House Counsel, 2011 – Present – Landlord/tenant issues; evictions – General litigation – Business & employment law – Real property/water law – Estate planning
  7. 7 Disclaimer • This presentation is intended to provide general

    information about the residential eviction process in Washington. • Attending this presentation does not create an attorney/client relationship and information provided is not intended as legal advice.
  8. RCW 59.18.040 8 Residential Eviction Process: What Scenarios Apply? •

    Applies: – Residences, not commercial leases • Does not Apply: – Mobile homes (renting lot) (RCW 59.20) – Nursing homes – Hotel, motel, transient lodging – Some houses on leased farm land – Prison
  9. RCW 59.18.130 9 Tenant Duties • Tenant Must: – Pay

    the rent! – Keep place clean! – Dispose of garbage – Properly use electrical, gas, heating, plumbing and other fixtures – Not intentionally / negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, remove, etc. any part of the dwelling
  10. RCW 59.18.130 10 Tenant Duties • Tenant Must (continued): –

    Maintain smoke detection devices – NOT engage in drug-related activity on premises (or allow others to engage in such activity) • Possession of limited quantities of useable marijuana and marijuana-infused products, see RCW 69.50.4013
  11. RCW 59.18.130 11 Tenant Duties • Tenant Must (continued): –

    Not engage in any activity on the premises that: • Is imminently hazardous to others; • Entails physical assaults upon others; • Or entails unlawful use of a firearm – Not engage in any gang-related activity on the premises, or allow others to do so – Upon termination, restore the premises to its initial condition (except for normal wear and tear)
  12. RCW 59.18.170 12 Notice of Violation • Notice: – If

    Tenant (T) fails to fulfill duties, Landlord (L) may provide written notice to T – Notice must state the specific nature of the failure
  13. RCW 59.18.140 13 Notice of Violation • Notice—How Served: –

    Deliver copy to Tenant (1 copy for each T) personally; OR – If T is absent from the premises, leaving a copy, with some person of suitable age and discretion, and sending a copy through the mail addressed to T at T’s residence; OR – If a person of suitable age and discretion cannot be found, by affixing a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place at the premises, and also sending a copy through the mail addressed to T at the premises
  14. RCW 59.12.130 14 Notice of Violation • Waiting Period Following

    Notice: – Pay or vacate notice: 3 days – Comply or Vacate (failure to comply with conditions of lease): 10 days – Other scenarios: other timelines may apply
  15. RCW 59.18.160, .290, .300 15 Notice of Violation • Notice

    (continued): – If T fails to remedy condition or move within required time: • Bring an action in appropriate court • Pursue other remedies available under RLTA – L must NOT: • Remove or exclude T from residence without proper court order • Intentionally cause termination of T’s utility services
  16. RCW 59.12.070, .080; 59.18.365 16 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction) •

    How Commenced: – Prepare Summons (S) & Complaint (C) • Summons: Directs the defendant (T) to respond to the Complaint within a stated period (7-30 days) • Complaint: Identifies the parties, states the relevant facts and legal justification for the lawsuit, and requests a remedy – Necessary documents • Lease • Notice(s) (and other relevant communications) • Summary of amount(s) due, damages
  17. RCW 59.12.120, .170; RCW 59.18.370; CR 3, 4 17 Unlawful

    Detainer Action (Eviction) • How Commenced (continued): – Serve or file S & C • Personal service by non-party; or • Filed in Walla Walla Superior Court ($85-197) – Strategy options: • Informal: Landlord (or attorney) explains in person or in writing the consequences of failure to move (e.g., legal costs, eviction record in landlord database) and convinces T to move • Formal 1—Serve S & C but don’t file – File S & C ($85) and move for default if no response • Formal 2—File and serve S & C and seek show cause hearing ($197)
  18. RCW 59.18.370 18 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction) • Show Cause

    Hearing: – How obtained: • File S, C, and Motion for Order to Show Cause • Request that Judge sign Order to Show Cause • Set date for Show Cause Hearing on motion docket • Serve T with S,C, Order, and notice of hearing – When: • Generally on a Monday at 9:30 a.m. • At least 7 days after T is served with required documents
  19. RCW 59.18.380 19 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction) • Show Cause

    Hearing (continued): – What happens: • Wait for turn on docket • When case called, attorney (or L) steps forward and explains L is seeking Writ of Restitution: – Writ of Restitution = Order given to Sheriff authorizing Sheriff to remove T and property from residence • T, if present, has burden of “showing cause” why Judge should not issue Writ of Restitution • If T doesn’t meet burden, Judge signs order authorizing Writ of Restitution • ** If T meets burden, case set for trial within 30 days
  20. RCW 59.18.390 20 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction) • After the

    Show Cause Hearing: – Get Writ of Restitution (County Clerk’s Office) – Deliver Writ to Sheriff (civil division) • Along with Request for Storage & Order to Break and Enter – Sheriff serves Writ on T • Once served, T has 3 (business) days to move voluntarily • Sheriff has 10 days to execute the Writ (i.e., move out T) – L (or attorney) sets up move out appointment with Sheriff’s Office
  21. RCW 59.18.312 21 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction) • Move Out

    Day: – L meets Sheriff deputy at residence – If T has moved, L celebrates! – If T has not moved, L responsible  to move out T’s belongings – L may place belongings on tarp on closest public property (or store them, w/o objection) – If T has requested storage: • L must store T’s belongings • T cannot get belongings back until T pays for storage and move-out costs
  22. 22 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction) • Move Out Day (continued):

    – Sheriff deputy’s role: Keep the peace (and charge you for it ) – Sheriff takes pictures of residence after belongings removed
  23. 23 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction) • Questions after Move Out:

    – Who pays for damages? – Who pays for overdue rent and late fees? – Who pays for legal costs and attorney fees?
  24. RCW 59.18.290 24 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction): Collection • Basis

    for Collection: – Lease: • May provide for an award of legal costs and attorney fees (does yours?) • May specify retention of deposit to cover damages (does yours?) – Statute: • If L prevails, L may be awarded (opposite is also true for T): – Actual damages sustained – Costs of suit & reasonable attorney’s fees
  25. 25 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction): Collection • Should I Get

    a Judgment? – Pros: • Can be used to garnish wages, bank accounts, etc. • Serves as a lien against real property in the County – Cons: • May get some money back from T but not enough to justify additional collection costs • T may be “judgment proof,” after all T couldn’t pay rent • Or, should I just turn account over to collections? – Judgment may be helpful in collections as well, but not always necessary
  26. 26 Unlawful Detainer Action (Eviction): Timing of Collection • Seek

    Judgment at Show Cause Hearing? – Total up known damages at the time – Seek a judgment as well as the Order authorizing the Writ – Advantage: Only 1 court appearance may be necessary – Disadvantage: All costs and fees not fully known (so Judgment will not reflect all of L’s damages) • Seek Judgment after Tenant Removed? – Assess damage to residence – Calculate total rent, late fees, legal costs, and attorney fees – Advantage: More likely to capture majority of damages – Disadvantage: May require additional court appearance
  27. 27 Questions? Jared N. Hawkins (509) 529-5175 2225 Isaacs Ave,

    Suite A jared@virtualinhouse.biz www.virtualinhouse.biz