Evictions are time consuming and difficult, and very frustrating for a landlord to have a tenant in a property who isn’t paying rent or consenting to move out. Vancouver landlords must follow the proper guidelines to legally execute an eviction.
The first step is to file a Three-Day Notice. Be careful on how you serve this notice. You can do personal service directly to the tenant, or substitution of service, meaning you give the notice to another occupant or a child. Make sure the child is of proper age according to the state of Washington. You can also do alternate service, which means posting it at the property and then putting a copy in the U.S. mail. First class mail is the only requirement.
There’s a waiting period of three days for the tenant to pay or vacate. The day you post the notice doesn’t count, and the day that the notice period ends must be on a business day so the tenant can effectively pay the rent.
If the tenant does not pay and has not vacated the property after the three days, you must file an eviction. Then, you’ll have to wait again. The tenant has some time to respond to the eviction lawsuit. If they don’t answer, then it is a default judgment in your favor. If the tenant cannot be served, you must go back to the courts and have an alternate service method, which is generally posting the summons on the property.
Once you get a default judgment, you wait for the sheriff’s move out date. If the tenants did answer the lawsuit, or deposited money in the court registry, you’ll get a court date. If you are successful in getting the eviction on the day that you’re in court, you’ll have to wait for the sheriff to give you a Writ of Restitution. It will take a few days for the sheriff to deliver it, and then another few days for the tenant to vacate the property.
If the eviction is contested, and money is owed to the tenant or there is an inoperable item in the home which the tenant believes justifies a nonpayment of rent, the court case might be carried over to a trial. That will delay your eviction even further. Once you get the Writ of Possession, you need to wait for the right time for the sheriff to meet you at the property. Once you meet the sheriff there and it’s confirmed that the unit is empty, you have your Vancouver rental property back and you can change the locks. If the tenant is not there and has items left behind, you need to store those items. You are responsible for keeping them in a safe place.
The eviction process can be lengthy, and generally takes about 30 days. It’s important that you remain patient and lawful. If you have any questions about Vancouver property management, please contact us at SunWorld Group Property Management.