Property Management Blog

What Do I Do if My Tenant Stops Paying Rent? Edmonds Eviction Process Explained

System - Monday, September 11, 2017


Chasing tenants who are behind with their rental payments is never fun, and today we’re joined by Jim Henderson of Landlord Solutions, who is going to help us understand the process when a tenant is late with rent.

Notice to Pay or Vacate

First, serve your Notice to Pay or Vacate. Be sure to do this as soon as rent is late. You want to treat every tenant the same, so follow a consistent process for serving this notice to vacate. Whether you have a single family home or a multi-family unit, serving a notice immediately when rent is late will keep you compliant with fair housing laws. It also demonstrates to your tenant that you are enforcing your rental agreement and you expect payments to be made on time. It will also let you know that if there has been a major tenant life event and they cannot catch up with the rent, you’ll need to move forward with the eviction. Your lease should be pretty standard about the process. You might send delinquency letters or make phone calls when rent is late, but don’t delay the process. Serve the notice immediately and once the notice expires, start the eviction process.

Serving a Notice to Vacate

After you have served the Three Day Pay or Vacate notice, you have to wait for the time to elapse. Then, you can move forward to an Eviction Summons and Complaint. This will need to be personally served to your tenants by a third party. They will have 10 days to give a written response if the eviction will be contested. If the tenants won’t be fighting the eviction, you can file for possession. Otherwise, there will be a court hearing. The last step is for the Sheriff to go out and remove the tenants from the property.

In an uncontested eviction, you can expect the process to take three weeks from the service of the eviction notice letter. If it’s contested, it will be about six weeks. If you have any questions about starting the eviction process or you need eviction help, please contact us at Miller Laine Property Management.