How To Serve an Eviction Notice in Washington

How To Serve an Eviction Notice in Washington

Last Updated: March 5, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

In Washington, in order for the delivery of a lease termination or eviction notice to be legal, certain rules and procedures must be followed. If they are not and the case proceeds to court, the case may be postponed or dismissed by a judge.

Who Can Serve Eviction Notices in Washington?

In Washington, landlords can serve eviction notices and lease termination notices themselves. Landlords may choose to hire a sheriff, process server or independent party over eighteen (18) years old to serve an official notice, but they are not required to do so by law.

When Can Eviction Notices Be Served in Washington?

In Washington, lease termination and eviction notices can be served immediately on any day of the week and at any time of day.

For a 14 Day Notice to Quit, the eviction notice used for tenants that do not pay rent in full and on time, a landlord can serve notice the day after rent is due. There is no legal grace period for paying rent in Washington, rent is late starting the day after it’s due.

An Immediate Notice to Vacate is the eviction notice used for tenants that commit illegal activity on the premises. A landlord may choose to serve this notice on a judicial day, so they can go to the courthouse and begin eviction proceedings on the same day, but this is not required by law.

Acceptable Forms of Service in Washington

Washington landlords may deliver an eviction notice using any of these methods:

    1. Hand delivery to the tenant
    2. Only if the tenant is unavailable: Hand delivery to a person of suitable age who can accept the notice on behalf of the tenant, PLUS delivery by mail
    3. Only if the above forms of hand delivery are not possible: Posting the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises, PLUS delivery by mail, PLUS (if available) leaving a copy of the notice with a resident at the premises
    4. Service by electronic means, ONLY when this method of notice has been consented to for this purpose, in writing, by the receiving party

    Electronic service is not effective if the delivering party has reason to believe the receiving party did not receive the notice (such as an email that returns as undeliverable). Mailed notice extends the notice period by (1) calendar day, to account for variable delivery times.

    Obtaining Proof of Service in Washington

    A landlord can demonstrate proof that a notice was delivered through the following methods:

    • Hand Delivery – by completing a Declaration of Service at the time of delivery.
    • Certified or Registered Mail – via return receipt and by completing a Declaration of Service.
    • Posting at the Premises – by taking a photograph at the time of delivery and by completing a Declaration of Service.
    • Email / Online Tenant Portal – via electronic record and by completing a Declaration of Service.

    Washington Eviction & Lease Termination Notice Forms

    Notice Form Grounds
    14 Day Notice To Quit Eviction for Unpaid Rent
    10 Day Notice To Comply or Vacate Eviction for Lease Violation
    30 Day Notice To Comply or Vacate Eviction for Health / Safety Issue

    Minor Property Damage

    3 Day Notice To Vacate Eviction for Substantial Property Damage

    Eviction for Disturbing the Peace

    Immediate Notice To Vacate Eviction for Illegal Activity
    20 Day Notice To Quit Eviction for Unwanted Sexual Advances
    30 Day Notice To Quit Eviction for Overstayed Lease

    Eviction for Falsification of Rental Application

    60 Day Notice of Termination Eviction for Multiple Lease Violations
    60 Day Notice To Quit Eviction for Failure to Disclose Sex Offender Status

    Eviction for Failure to Register as Sex Offender

    20 Day Notice To Vacate Ending a Periodic or Fixed Term Lease

    Ending a Shared Dwelling Tenancy

    30 Day Notice To Vacate Rental Unit Uninhabitable

    Tenant Refused to Sign New Lease

    60 Day Notice To Vacate Landlord Financial / Business Reason
    60 Day Notice To Terminate Tenancy Ending a Fixed Term Lease

    (Without Cause)

    90 Day Notice To Vacate Sale of Rental Property

    Landlord / Owner Personal Use

    Landlord Change of Policy

    120 Day Notice To Vacate Demolition

    Substantial Rehabilitation

    Condo Conversion