- Stay in your unit and don't move out. Support is available for landlords and tenants if renters are still living in the unit.
- You still must pay rent eventually. If you can afford your rent now, pay it. If you can't afford it, apply for rental assistance.
- Communicate with your landlord, property manager and utility company. Many have information for assistance.
If you’ve received a 14-day notice to vacate for nonpayment…
- Contact the Dispute Resolution Center immediately. You can reach an Eviction Resolution Specialist by phone or email: Eviction Resolution Program.
- You cannot be legally evicted for non-payment of rent without a court order, which requires first that the Center for Dispute Resolution issue a certificate to the court. It is imperative that you respond to all notices by their deadlines and respond to communication attempts from Center for Dispute Resolution.
- For nonpayment evictions, tenant must receive:
- 14-day pay or vacate notice; and
- Eviction Resolution Pilot Program Notice (ERPP notice must also be delivered to the Center for Dispute Resolution).
If you received an Evictions Summons and Complaint...
- Respond to Summons/Complaint; and
- Complete Tacomaprobono's online Client Intake Form.
If you received a Court Hearing...
- Complete Tacomaprobono's online Client Intake Form (if you have not already done so)
- Respond to the notice and show up at your court hearing. A legal representative from Tacomaprobono’s Housing Justice Project will be there to screen tenants who appear for their hearing without an attorney.
- Under a new state law, if you are low-income and facing eviction, you are eligible for free attorney representation in your eviction case by the Housing Justice Project. Fill out a client intake form at the Housing Justice Project website.
Additional Information for Tenants
- The Northwest Justice Project has created WashingtonLawHelp.org to help Washington citizens better understand laws, but also to help tenants and landlords alike know their legal rights and obligations of renting.
- Your landlord is allowed to raise your rent, but only if they send you a notice at least 60 days before the increase. The notice must be written on paper and cannot be an email, text or call. If a rent increase warning comes less than 60 days before the increase, talk to a lawyer immediately.
- Your landlord cannot raise your rent during a rental contract. They can only raise the rent after the contract is up, but are still required to give a notice of rent increase 60 days before.
- There is no rent control in Washington state, so landlords can raise your rent at their discretion.
- If your landlord increased your rent but you cannot afford it, there are a few things you can do. You can ask your landlord to change the date your rent is due. If you believe your landlord is increasing your rent to force you to move out, you can talk to a lawyer.
- A landlord can change terms in the tenancy, but only after giving written notice of the change 30 days in advance.
- Your landlord is not allowed to enter your apartment without at least one day’s notice, lock you out of your apartment, or take your personal belongings.
- Your landlord can only shut off your utilities to make repairs.
- If your landlord is selling the property you are renting and needs you to move out, they must give you a 90-day written notice.
- Your landlord cannot retaliate against you in, such as increasing rent prices or reducing services. If you believe your landlord is retaliating against a complaint or stating your rights, talk to a lawyer.
- After you move out, your landlord must give your deposit back within 21 days, or a letter stating why they are keeping any of it.
- A landlord must have a “good” and “legal” reason to ask you to move out or end a rental agreement.