59.18.640  <<  59.18.650 >>   59.18.660

Eviction of tenant, refusal to continue tenancy, end of periodic tenancyCauseNoticePenalties.

(1)(a) A landlord may not evict a tenant, refuse to continue a tenancy, or end a periodic tenancy except for the causes enumerated in subsection (2) of this section and as otherwise provided in this subsection.
(b) If a landlord and tenant enter into a rental agreement that provides for the tenancy to continue for an indefinite period on a month-to-month or periodic basis after the agreement expires, the landlord may not end the tenancy except for the causes enumerated in subsection (2) of this section; however, a landlord may end such a tenancy at the end of the initial period of the rental agreement without cause only if:
(i) At the inception of the tenancy, the landlord and tenant entered into a rental agreement between six and 12 months; and
(ii) The landlord has provided the tenant before the end of the initial lease period at least 60 days' advance written notice ending the tenancy, served in a manner consistent with RCW 59.12.040.
(c) If a landlord and tenant enter into a rental agreement for a specified period in which the tenancy by the terms of the rental agreement does not continue for an indefinite period on a month-to-month or periodic basis after the end of the specified period, the landlord may end such a tenancy without cause upon expiration of the specified period only if:
(i) At the inception of the tenancy, the landlord and tenant entered into a rental agreement of 12 months or more for a specified period, or the landlord and tenant have continuously and without interruption entered into successive rental agreements of six months or more for a specified period since the inception of the tenancy;
(ii) The landlord has provided the tenant before the end of the specified period at least 60 days' advance written notice that the tenancy will be deemed expired at the end of such specified period, served in a manner consistent with RCW 59.12.040; and
(iii) The tenancy has not been for an indefinite period on a month-to-month or periodic basis at any point since the inception of the tenancy. However, for any tenancy of an indefinite period in existence as of May 10, 2021, if the landlord and tenant enter into a rental agreement between May 10, 2021, and three months following the expiration of the governor's proclamation 20-19.6 or any extensions thereof, the landlord may exercise rights under this subsection (1)(c) as if the rental agreement was entered into at the inception of the tenancy provided that the rental agreement is otherwise in accordance with this subsection (1)(c).
(d) For all other tenancies of a specified period not covered under (b) or (c) of this subsection, and for tenancies of an indefinite period on a month-to-month or periodic basis, a landlord may not end the tenancy except for the causes enumerated in subsection (2) of this section. Upon the end date of the tenancy of a specified period, the tenancy becomes a month-to-month tenancy.
(e) Nothing prohibits a landlord and tenant from entering into subsequent lease agreements that are in compliance with the requirements in subsection (2) of this section.
(f) A tenant may end a tenancy for a specified time by providing notice in writing not less than 20 days prior to the ending date of the specified time.
(2) The following reasons listed in this subsection constitute cause pursuant to subsection (1) of this section:
(a) The tenant continues in possession in person or by subtenant after a default in the payment of rent, and after written notice requiring, in the alternative, the payment of the rent or the surrender of the detained premises has remained uncomplied with for the period set forth in RCW 59.12.030(3) for tenants subject to this chapter. The written notice may be served at any time after the rent becomes due;
(b) The tenant continues in possession after substantial breach of a material program requirement of subsidized housing, material term subscribed to by the tenant within the lease or rental agreement, or a tenant obligation imposed by law, other than one for monetary damages, and after the landlord has served written notice specifying the acts or omissions constituting the breach and requiring, in the alternative, that the breach be remedied or the rental agreement will end, and the breach has not been adequately remedied by the date specified in the notice, which date must be at least 10 days after service of the notice;
(c) The tenant continues in possession after having received at least three days' advance written notice to quit after he or she commits or permits waste or nuisance upon the premises, unlawful activity that affects the use and enjoyment of the premises, or other substantial or repeated and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the premises by the landlord or neighbors of the tenant;
(d) The tenant continues in possession after the landlord of a dwelling unit in good faith seeks possession so that the owner or his or her immediate family may occupy the unit as that person's principal residence and no substantially equivalent unit is vacant and available to house the owner or his or her immediate family in the same building, and the owner has provided at least 90 days' advance written notice of the date the tenant's possession is to end. There is a rebuttable presumption that the owner did not act in good faith if the owner or immediate family fails to occupy the unit as a principal residence for at least 60 consecutive days during the 90 days immediately after the tenant vacated the unit pursuant to a notice to vacate using this subsection (2)(d) as the cause for the lease ending;
(e) The tenant continues in possession after the owner elects to sell a single-family residence and the landlord has provided at least 90 days' advance written notice of the date the tenant's possession is to end. For the purposes of this subsection (2)(e), an owner "elects to sell" when the owner makes reasonable attempts to sell the dwelling within 30 days after the tenant has vacated, including, at a minimum, listing it for sale at a reasonable price with a realty agency or advertising it for sale at a reasonable price by listing it on the real estate multiple listing service. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the owner did not intend to sell the unit if:
(i) Within 30 days after the tenant has vacated, the owner does not list the single-family dwelling unit for sale at a reasonable price with a realty agency or advertise it for sale at a reasonable price by listing it on the real estate multiple listing service; or
(ii) Within 90 days after the date the tenant vacated or the date the property was listed for sale, whichever is later, the owner withdraws the rental unit from the market, the landlord rents the unit to someone other than the former tenant, or the landlord otherwise indicates that the owner does not intend to sell the unit;
(f) The tenant continues in possession of the premises after the landlord serves the tenant with advance written notice pursuant to RCW 59.18.200(2)(c);
(g) The tenant continues in possession after the owner elects to withdraw the premises to pursue a conversion pursuant to RCW 64.34.440 or 64.90.655;
(h) The tenant continues in possession, after the landlord has provided at least 30 days' advance written notice to vacate that: (i) The premises has been certified or condemned as uninhabitable by a local agency charged with the authority to issue such an order; and (ii) continued habitation of the premises would subject the landlord to civil or criminal penalties. However, if the terms of the local agency's order do not allow the landlord to provide at least 30 days' advance written notice, the landlord must provide as much advance written notice as is possible and still comply with the order;
(i) The tenant continues in possession after an owner or lessor, with whom the tenant shares the dwelling unit or access to a common kitchen or bathroom area, has served at least 20 days' advance written notice to vacate prior to the end of the rental term or, if a periodic tenancy, the end of the rental period;
(j) The tenant continues in possession of a dwelling unit in transitional housing after having received at least 30 days' advance written notice to vacate in advance of the expiration of the transitional housing program, the tenant has aged out of the transitional housing program, or the tenant has completed an educational or training or service program and is no longer eligible to participate in the transitional housing program. Nothing in this subsection (2)(j) prohibits the ending of a tenancy in transitional housing for any of the other causes specified in this subsection;
(k) The tenant continues in possession of a dwelling unit after the expiration of a rental agreement without signing a proposed new rental agreement proffered by the landlord; provided, that the landlord proffered the proposed new rental agreement at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the current rental agreement and that any new terms and conditions of the proposed new rental agreement are reasonable. This subsection (2)(k) does not apply to tenants whose tenancies are or have become periodic;
(l) The tenant continues in possession after having received at least 30 days' advance written notice to vacate due to intentional, knowing, and material misrepresentations or omissions made on the tenant's application at the inception of the tenancy that, had these misrepresentations or omissions not been made, would have resulted in the landlord requesting additional information or taking an adverse action;
(m) The tenant continues in possession after having received at least 60 days' advance written notice to vacate for other good cause prior to the end of the period or rental agreement and such cause constitutes a legitimate economic or business reason not covered or related to a basis for ending the lease as enumerated under this subsection (2). When the landlord relies on this basis for ending the tenancy, the court may stay any writ of restitution for up to 60 additional days for good cause shown, including difficulty procuring alternative housing. The court must condition such a stay upon the tenant's continued payment of rent during the stay period. Upon granting such a stay, the court must award court costs and fees as allowed under this chapter;
(n)(i) The tenant continues in possession after having received at least 60 days' written notice to vacate prior to the end of the period or rental agreement and the tenant has committed four or more of the following violations, other than ones for monetary damages, within the preceding 12-month period, the tenant has remedied or cured the violation, and the landlord has provided the tenant a written warning notice at the time of each violation: A substantial breach of a material program requirement of subsidized housing, a substantial breach of a material term subscribed to by the tenant within the lease or rental agreement, or a substantial breach of a tenant obligation imposed by law;
(ii) Each written warning notice must:
(A) Specify the violation;
(B) Provide the tenant an opportunity to cure the violation;
(C) State that the landlord may choose to end the tenancy at the end of the rental term if there are four violations within a 12-month period preceding the end of the term; and
(D) State that correcting the fourth or subsequent violation is not a defense to the ending of the lease under this subsection;
(iii) The 60-day notice to vacate must:
(A) State that the rental agreement will end upon the specified ending date for the rental term or upon a designated date not less than 60 days after the delivery of the notice, whichever is later;
(B) Specify the reason for ending the lease and supporting facts; and
(C) Be served to the tenant concurrent with or after the fourth or subsequent written warning notice;
(iv) The notice under this subsection must include all notices supporting the basis of ending the lease;
(v) Any notices asserted under this subsection must pertain to four or more separate incidents or occurrences; and
(vi) This subsection (2)(n) does not absolve a landlord from demonstrating by admissible evidence that the four or more violations constituted breaches under (b) of this subsection at the time of the violation had the tenant not remedied or cured the violation;
(o) The tenant continues in possession after having received at least 60 days' advance written notice to vacate prior to the end of the rental period or rental agreement if the tenant is required to register as a sex offender during the tenancy, or failed to disclose a requirement to register as a sex offender when required in the rental application or otherwise known to the property owner at the beginning of the tenancy;
(p) The tenant continues in possession after having received at least 20 days' advance written notice to vacate prior to the end of the rental period or rental agreement if the tenant has made unwanted sexual advances or other acts of sexual harassment directed at the property owner, property manager, property employee, or another tenant based on the person's race, gender, or other protected status in violation of any covenant or term in the lease.
(3) When a tenant has permanently vacated due to voluntary or involuntary events, other than by the ending of the tenancy by the landlord, a landlord must serve a notice to any remaining occupants who had coresided with the tenant at least six months prior to and up to the time the tenant permanently vacated, requiring the occupants to either apply to become a party to the rental agreement or vacate within 30 days of service of such notice. In processing any application from a remaining occupant under this subsection, the landlord may require the occupant to meet the same screening, background, and financial criteria as would any other prospective tenant to continue the tenancy. If the occupant fails to apply within 30 days of receipt of the notice in this subsection, or the application is denied for failure to meet the criteria, the landlord may commence an unlawful detainer action under this chapter. If an occupant becomes a party to the tenancy pursuant to this subsection, a landlord may not end the tenancy except as provided under subsection (2) of this section. This subsection does not apply to tenants residing in subsidized housing.
(4) A landlord who removes a tenant or causes a tenant to be removed from a dwelling in any way in violation of this section is liable to the tenant for wrongful eviction, and the tenant prevailing in such an action is entitled to the greater of their economic and noneconomic damages or three times the monthly rent of the dwelling at issue, and reasonable attorneys' fees and court costs.
(5) Nothing in subsection (2)(d), (e), or (f) of this section permits a landlord to end a tenancy for a specified period before the completion of the term unless the landlord and the tenant mutually consent, in writing, to ending the tenancy early and the tenant is afforded at least 60 days to vacate.
(6) All written notices required under subsection (2) of this section must:
(a) Be served in a manner consistent with RCW 59.12.040; and
(b) Identify the facts and circumstances known and available to the landlord at the time of the issuance of the notice that support the cause or causes with enough specificity so as to enable the tenant to respond and prepare a defense to any incidents alleged. The landlord may present additional facts and circumstances regarding the allegations within the notice if such evidence was unknown or unavailable at the time of the issuance of the notice.

NOTES:

Effective date2021 c 212: See note following RCW 59.18.030.
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