Residential Leasing

When the need arises for enforcement of a tenant’s obligations under a rental agreement or under State law, we have the experience and professional skill to help resolve the matter in as quick and efficient manner possible.  Our goal is to remove the stress as much as possible and get things back to where you want them.

We can provide a full range of advice for evictions, including the preparation and service of the necessary notices and the proper procedures for an efficient legal proceeding (unlawful detainer) where necessary.

We understand the law and are continually updated on any changes to the law to ensure that our clients are in compliance. As a landlord and attorney, we understand how important it is for a landlord to comply with the Washington Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.

If you’re a tenant, we can help you receive the protections and benefits of State laws and local ordinances.

To start an unlawful detainer action, we will need the following information, if available:

•           A copy of the Application

•           A copy of the Rental Agreement and any amendments;

•           A copy of the Notice you served (if any);

•           The name of the legal owner of the property;

•           The tenant’s social security number and date of birth, if you have it; and

•           A deposit for court costs and our services; this deposit is determined on a case-by-case basis depending upon the type and complexity of the eviction.

Once these items are received, our office will prepare the Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer and have them served on the tenant via a process server.  A response date on the front page of the Summons which is not less than seven days from the date of service, not including the date of service or legal holidays, means this proceeding moves promptly through the court system.

The tenant has until close of business on the date indicated on the Summons to respond to the Complaint.  If we are unable to obtain personal service on the tenant, we may be able to serve by posting and mailing.  Service must be attempted three times before we may obtain an order from the court allowing posting and mailing of the Summons and Complaint.  If the tenant does not respond within the time limit, a default order may be obtained from the court directing the Sheriff to remove the tenants from the premises within ten days.

In the event the tenant does respond by the deadline a hearing will be set.  After the hearing, and if the court finds in the landlord’s favor, a Judgment and a Writ of Restitution will be entered.  Once the Judgment and Writ of Restitution are received, they are then taken to the Sheriff’s Office, and the Sheriff will then execute the Writ of Restitution upon the premises.  This will give the tenant about three days to vacate.  Once the Writ of Restitution is entered and provided to the Sheriff, the landlord coordinates the physical eviction with the Sheriff if the tenant has not vacated the premises by the deadline.

Need a lease with an option to purchase?  Whether landlord or tenant, we can guide you through the process. Will a credit toward the purchase price be given for a portion of the lease payments? What’s reasonable as an option payment or security deposit? Can the tenant be responsible for all repairs and maintenance? Will the requirements of your lease comply with the Washington Residential Landlord-Tenant Act? Call on us to be sure.

Mr. Butterworth has been a member of the Benton Franklin Rental Owners Association since 1987 and has given numerous classes and presentations to landlords and tenants concerning the Washington Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.