Real estate can often be a solid financial investment but truly benefiting from property ownership requires successful relationships with your tenants. At Leavy Schultz Davis we provide landlords throughout the Tri-Cities area with the support they need to gain the maximum financial benefit from their real estate investments.
With any business transaction, it is extremely important to ensure that the contracts you use are both legally sound and protect your rights as a property owner. At Leavy Schultz Davis we provide experienced legal representation to landlords throughout the Tri-Cities area. We can assist you with:
- Lease Negotiation and Drafting
- Review and Negotiation of Management Agreements
- Work Orders and Contracts with Builders and Contractors
Terminating Rental Relationships
Whether you own or manage residential or commercial property, terminating rental relationships can be complicated and difficult. Our experienced landlord tenant attorneys can help you understand your options when a rental relationship goes sour.
If a tenant fails to live up to his or her obligations under a lease, you may have the option to terminate the lease and pursue an eviction action against the defaulting tenant. In Washington State, landlords must comply with specific rules and regulations when pursuing an eviction. As a result, working with an experienced landlord/tenant attorney can help you understand your rights and the restrictions the law puts on you as a property owner.
If a tenant fails to comply with the terms of the lease or fails to pay rent in a timely manner, you may be able to evict the tenant without pursuing a formal legal eviction. Pre-litigation eviction notices are required before a legal complaint can be filed against a tenant. This requirement gives the tenant a final opportunity to repair the rental relationship, it also gives you, the landlord, an opportunity to remove a tenant from your property without the time and expense associated with a formal eviction proceeding. If the tenant is unable to repair the rental relationship by paying outstanding rents or complying with other lease terms, you may be able to pursue a formal legal eviction.
In Washington State, formal eviction is a multi-part process.
Notice—Beyond the pre-litigation notice, you must provide the tenant with notice that an eviction action is proceeding against him/her. The formal notice, called a summons will provide the tenant with information on the action you are pursuing and the court process.
Eviction Complaint and Summons—The writ of restitution does not address the financial losses associated with a non-compliant tenant. Filing an eviction complaint allows you to attempt to recover the money you lost as a result of evicting the tenant including back rent, costs and other fees.
Court Hearing—Both you and your tenant will have the opportunity to share your side of the story with the judge in an eviction hearing. If the judge agrees with you, the landlord, you will then be able to regain control of the property by removing the tenant.
Writ of Restitution—A writ of restitution, if it is approved by a judge, allows the sheriff to enter your property to return the property back to your control. Like any legal process, there are formal filing and notification processes that must be followed in order to obtain a writ of restitution.
Removing Tenant and Belongings—After you have received the writ of execution, the tenant has 3 days to voluntarily remove his or her personal items from your property. If they fail to do so, you may ask the sheriff to enter the property and keep the peace but they will not remove the tenant’s personal items from the property. The tenant can remove the items, request that you store them or if neither has occurred, you may move the tenant’s personal items to the nearest public place.
As you can see, a formal eviction is often a time consuming and difficult process. At Leavy Schultz Davis we represent landlords and provide support on all aspects of the landlord/tenant relationship. From lease negotiation to formal evictions, we can help you with all of your property related needs. Call our office today to get answers to your questions and the legal support you deserve.