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WashingtonLawHelp.orgWashington LawHelp

City of Burien: Protections and Rights for Tenants

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded
Read this in:
Spanish / Español

If you live in Burien, read on to find about specific tenant protections available to Burien tenants. #6348EN


Please Note:

  • Read this only if you live in Washington State.
  • The eviction moratorium in Washington State ended June 30, 2021. But certain federal and state protections remain for people with unpaid rent due to COVID-19. Read about the latest changes to the law at WashingtonLawHelp.org/resource/eviction

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Tenants in Burien: Read this +

Burien has an eviction moratorium until January 15, 2022. Between now and then, your landlord can only evict you if any of these are true:

  1. You are a risk to the safety or property of others; or
  2. The landlord wants to sell the rental you live in; or
  3. The landlord wants to move into the rental you live in.

If your landlord tries to evict you for other reasons before January 15, you may have a legal defense to the eviction.

After January 15, state law limits the legal reasons landlords can terminate (end) your tenancy or evict you. Read New Washington State Law: Landlords must give a “good” reason to end a tenancy or not renew a lease (short version).

Burien also has its own laws about what is a “good” (legal) reason for ending a tenancy or evicting a tenant. If you have a question about your own situation, try to talk to a lawyer. See Get Legal Help, below.

What laws do landlords have to follow in Burien? +

A landlord must give you copies of documents that tell you about fair housing laws, including legal reasons for eviction. The landlord must give you these documents when you start renting and with any eviction notices they give you.

My landlord says they are going to evict me because I committed a crime. Can they do this? +

Maybe. Your landlord can evict you if you are taking part in drug-related crimes on the property. A landlord can also evict you if you are dangerous to the safety of other tenants or the landlord. The landlord must put in any notice they give you specific details about your behavior they claim is dangerous.

My landlord says they want to evict me because they want to renovate or move into the place I rent. Can they do this? +

Yes. If the landlord wants to tear down (demolish), remodel, or change your rental unit, they can evict you. Before they can do this, they must first get a permit required for the project. Then they must give you a written 120-Day Notice. 

If the landlord or their family member wants to move into your unit, they can only evict you if no other units like yours are available. The landlord must also give you a written 90-Day Notice. If you move out, and then your landlord or their family member don’t move in, or only move in for a short time, you may have a case for wrongful eviction.

  • *None of the required notices we mention here have to be notarized.
  • *Notice by email, voicemail, or text does not count to start an eviction lawsuit.

I am behind in rent because of COVID-19. Can I get rental assistance? +

If you need money to help pay rent, you can apply for local rent assistance if all of these are true:

  • You live in King County
  • You have a lease or proof of rent payments
  • Your household is low-income, and
  • Your difficulty paying rent is related to COVID-19

Rent assistance is meant to help everyone, no matter what your citizenship or immigration status. Applying for rent assistance will not harm any immigration application you file.

You can apply for King County rent assistance here.

You can apply for Burien rent assistance through Multi-Service Center here.

Get Legal Help

Visit Northwest Justice Project to find out how to get legal help. 

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Last Review and Update: Nov 18, 2021