WELCOME LETTER

Thank you for contacting Seattle Evictions Services regarding your eviction.   I would like to describe the five steps of the eviction process.  An eviction typically lasts four to six weeks.

STEP 1:  EVICTION NOTICE

The Eviction process begins with service of an eviction Notice.   The type of Notice will depend on how the tenant has defaulted on their rental agreement.  For instance, if the tenant is behind in rent, the eviction process would start with a 3 day notice to pay rent or vacate.   If the tenant is on a month to month agreement, you can serve him a twenty day notice to vacate at the end of the month.

You can prepare the notice on their own.  You can also serve this notice on you own.  However, if you choose to prepare and serve the notice, it must be done correctly in order to move forward.  If you are unsure of which type of notice to use or the correct procedure, I recommend that I do this step for you. 

If our firm prepares a 14 day notice for rent, please be aware that this notice must be signed by the landlord. I can also prepare a letter to be served along with the eviction notice, introducing myself as your attorney. I would then retain a process server to serve the notice and letter on the tenant.

STEP 2:  LAWSUIT

If the tenant does not comply with the eviction notice within the specified time, we would begin the lawsuit.   This starts by serving the tenant a Summons and Complaint.   The documents must be personally served (handed) to the tenant or adult occupants.  I would hire a process server to serve. Once the tenants have been served, they will have a deadline for which to respond to the lawsuit, a minimum of seven days.  If the tenant is evading service, and personal service cannot be achieved, we may need an Order of Alternative Service.  This allows us to serve the tenants by posting and mail.   

STEP 3: FILING CASE

If the tenant fails to respond to the lawsuit, then they are in default.  This means that we can motion the court for an Order of Default and Writ of Restitution to evict immediately and without a court hearing.  However, if the tenants do respond to the lawsuit, we will need to schedule a show cause hearing, (court date).  The court will order that both parties attend this hearing.  The court date must be scheduled on ten days notice to the defendant.

 

STEP 4: COURT HEARING (Only if tenants responded to the lawsuit)

At the hearing, we would ask the commissioner to sign an Eviction Order and Writ of Restitution.  The Tenants can raise any defenses they may have.  The Tenants would be able to meet with a free attorney , who would try to negotiate on the Tenant's behalf.  Oftentimes, an agreement is entered right at the courthouse, prior to the hearing.  If the tenants fail to appear at the hearing, they are in default.  We can then request an Order of Default and Writ of Restitution to evict immediately without further court hearing.

STEP 5:  SHERIFF DOES EVICTION

After the commissioner has signed an Eviction Order, the clerk’s office would issue the Writ of Restitution.  The Writ of Restitution is what the Sheriff’s office needs to conduct the eviction.  The County sheriff’s office are the only ones authorized to evict your tenant.  The sheriff goes out twice.  The first time, they post the Writ on the door, giving the tenant one last chance to vacate voluntarily.  They give the tenants 3 days to move voluntarily.

 If the tenants have not vacated on their own, the landlord would call the sheriff's office and speak to the detective assigned to the case.   You would schedule a time to meet the detective on the property, and the physical eviction would be done at that time.   You will need to provide the labor and materials to change the locks and secure the building, and move out items.  If the tenants fill out a storage of property request, their property must be stored.

CLOSING REMARKS

Not every case makes it through all five steps.  Oftentimes, the tenant will vacate voluntarily during the process.  Other times, we can enter into a Stipulated Agreement with the tenant and avoid the time and expense of court.  Throughout the process, the attorney will contact the client to explain the next step and discuss all available options.  The attorney will need the client’s authorization before proceeding to the next step.

If the eviction notice has already been served, you can email it or fax it to me.  You will also need to fill out a Declaration of Service for those notice.  It would also be helpful to provide a copy of your rental agreement, a tenant ledger for monies owed, and any other documents related to your case (police reports, housing assistance contracts, violations).  Please give me a call to discuss any questions you may have.   Sincerely,


Keon Knutson, Esq., WSBA #38858

506 Second Avenue, Suite 1400, Seattle, WA, 98104

Ph: (206) 240-3611    Fax: (206) 299-3763   Eml: Keonesq@gmail.com