Cost of an Eviction in Washington

Cost of an Eviction in Washington

Last Updated: April 17, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

The cost of an eviction in Washington for all filing, court, and service fees can vary heavily based on service and execution fees. For cases filed in Superior Court, [ttip number=’1′ icon=’popover-balance’] the average cost is $120.

These filing, court, and service fees do not include outside costs such as legal fees or post-eviction fees (i.e., locksmith fees, storage costs for a tenant’s abandoned property, cleaning service fees, repair costs, or advertising costs for a vacant dwelling unit).

1. Initial Court Filing Fee

In Washington, if the eviction notice expires and the tenant remains on the property without correcting the issue, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit (“Unlawful Detainer”) with the court the following business day.

The filing fee for an initial Unlawful Detainer is $45[ttip number=’2′ icon=’popover-balance’] which shall be paid to the court clerk.

2. Summons Service Fee

Once a Complaint is filed in Washington, the court will issue a Summons. The Summons is the tenant’s official notice of an eviction lawsuit and contains important information (i.e., when and where to appear in court). The landlord must arrange for a process server to deliver the Summons to the tenant.

The Summons service fee varies by process server. For example, a sheriff can charge $20, plus a mileage fee [ttip number=’3′ icon=’popover-balance’] for delivering a Summons; however, a registered private process server may charge more.

3. Answer Filing Fee

A Washington tenant can file a written Answer with the court as long as it is submitted on or before the court hearing. If the tenant serves or files an Answer, the landlord must pay a filing fee of $112. [ttip number=’4′ icon=’popover-balance’]

4. Writ of Restitution Service Fee

In Washington, if the court rules in favor of the landlord, the court shall issue a Writ of Restitution. The writ is the tenant’s final notice to vacate the premises.

A Washington sheriff must serve the Writ of Restitution to the tenant. They can charge a service fee of $25, plus mileage [ttip number=’5′ icon=’popover-balance’](without the aid of the county) or $40 plus $30 for each hour after the first hour (with the aid of the county). [ttip number=’6′ icon=’popover-balance’]

5. Writ of Restitution Execution Fee

In Washington, if a tenant remains at the premises after the writ expires, a sheriff shall execute the writ by removing the tenant from the premises.

They can charge $30 per hour [ttip number=’7′ icon=’popover-balance’] to execute the writ. Once the writ is executed, the sheriff shall legally restore possession of the property to the landlord.