There are many reasons why you might have served a 30-day notice. In many month-to-month rental situations, this notice is how you let the renters know that you're going to move on and do something new with this property. You may have no complaints but need to sell the property, for example.
However, in many cases, the 30-day notice is the start of the eviction process. This occurs when a renter has stopped paying rent, committed a lease violation, or had various other issues. You can follow the legal process to successfully remove renters when necessary.
During the 30 Days, See the Renter Leaving as a Success
The 30-day letter gets its name because you haven't truly evicted the person yet. You're giving them the chance to resolve the issue or leave on their own within thirty days. If they do, even without paying back rent, you're likely to come out ahead. This is true because court costs and lawyer fees tend to make the actual eviction process an expensive one.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue the removal process if a renter doesn't make the situation right or move out on their own within the designated timeframe. It's much more expensive to have a long-term person who isn't paying rent in your rental!
However, it's worth reframing a renter moving out during the notice period as a win. You'll find that this eviction notice letter, accompanied by a clear explanation of what comes next, can help you part ways and move on.
If Your Renter Doesn't Leave, File the Eviction Lawsuit
If your renter hasn't left or made things right after 30 days, you'll want to file the official eviction in court.
Sending the 30-day notice and then not following through can give you a reputation for threatening eviction without really doing it. This can harm relationships with your renters and even be perceived as discriminatory if you eventually file evictions with some folks and not others.
During the last few days of the 30 days, prepare for the removal process by gathering all the documentation you have of what your renters have done to violate the lease agreement and how you've communicated with them in the past to try to resolve it without an eviction. Then, after the 30 days ends, file the eviction lawsuit.
Work with Your Attorney To Present All Paperwork and Evidence
Your eviction lawyer will be helpful at this point, helping you recognize what is relevant and not relevant to the eviction case. They can also help you make a clear statement about why the renters need to leave. If you don't already have access to an eviction lawyer, working with Seattle property managers can help you find legal help in your time of need.
Prepare for the Possibility of a Countersuit
Some renters may respond to the lawsuit you initiate. Savvy renters sometimes called "professional tenants," are people who know Seattle real estate and tenant rights in such a way that they try to game the system and stay in rental units without ever paying rent.
Still, even a first-time evictee could file a countersuit, so be prepared for this possibility as soon as you file the eviction notice letter. You're pursuing eviction because you have evidence that your renter has violated the lease, so be ready to respond to any claims they have as well.
Attend the Court Hearing and Proceed as the Judge Decides
When it's time for the court hearing, attend with your attorney or property managers. After that, follow court procedures and await the verdict.
Being at your hearing on time, being respectful, and coming prepared can help you make the best possible presentation alongside your various pieces of evidence. When the court decides the renter must leave, work with local law enforcement to endure a safe and timely property recovery.
A Seattle Property Management Team Helps You Through the Eviction Process
While the eviction process can feel confusing and even frustrating, the goal is simple: you want your rental back so that you can get a renter who will respect the lease and the property. When the eviction goes through, you get the opportunity to start again.
Having a great Seattle property management team really helps. Real Property Associates will help you improve your renter screening process so that you market well and narrow down to the right renters, reducing potential evictions in the future. We also help you in the rare cases where a removal needs to happen despite all your best screening efforts.
Our long track record and experience help us navigate evictions in a way that puts some distance between you and the process, which can alleviate your stress. Reach out to learn more about our property management services!
To learn more about what to expect during an eviction, download our free "Rental Property Owner's Tenant Eviction Checklist."