Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Washington

I am a landlord in King County, WA state and have a tenant that has not paid their rent since February & also owes for utilities, a return check fee & late charges. I served a 10 Day Notice to Comply or Vacate yesterday. My concern is that the tenant will just leave and I will not have a forwarding address to continue on with the process. I found that I can file for Small Claims and walk away today with the notice to try and have him served at his current address (my condo). Also, whether he leaves now or within 10 days, his lease is up on the 30th. I feel time is of the essence and he's liable to slip away, owing me thousands. So, is it illegal to file the small claims before the 10 Day Notice period is over?

Thanks in advance for your help!


Asked on 4/17/14, 2:26 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathan Baner Baner & Baner

At this point you have already (apparently) violated the statutory requirements as you notice is at least partially defective. Unpaid rent is a three day pay or vacate and that is what must be exactly served. Get that served, and then when it expires have the complaint served. So long as you get the complaint personally served the court has jurisdiction over the person.

Frequently tenants leave when given the notice to leave and there is nothing wrong with doing so.

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Answered on 4/17/14, 2:38 pm

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