If you are being evicted from your home, house, or mobile home, or are under a threat of eviction, then time is of the essence for you to respond to your landlord and file paperwork with the court if you hope to contest the eviction, avert the eviction, or delay being evicted.
Landlords have strong property rights that courts readily enforce. However, a landlord must comply with the law prior to evicting a tenant. In such a situation, a tenant is well-advised to seek legal advice because an eviction can have serious impacts on a tenant's ability to find rental housing in the future. Depending on each individual's situation, and the relationship of the tenant and the landlord, each situation is unique and must be specifically addressed. In addition, tenants have powerful legal remedies if they are being unlawful evicted due to retaliation or other violations of law. Lastly, there are marked differences in statutory rights and remedies between counties, and between cities. Seattle, for example, has a robust tenant's rights code that can be leveraged if a tenant is being evicted without Just Cause.
Generally speaking, rent must be paid to the landlord, and if rent is not paid, the landlord has a right to evict the tenant and take physical possession of the property in question, with the help of the sheriff if need be. It is critical that you know your rights and obligations, and place yourself in as strong a position as possible if going to court or negotiating a settlement with the landlord.
If you are in need of assistance, do not wait to contact me, particularly if you have received a notice of eviction.
For free help and additional information, the King County Bar Association offers free legal advice to low-income clients if you need, either in downtown Seattle or Kent. Please click on the link below for more information on this free program.