My Landlord Just Gave Me a 10-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, if you rent the place where you live and you just got a 10-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate from your landlord.

No, if you own the mobile home you live in, and rent the lot. Instead, read My manufactured/mobile home park landlord just gave me a 20-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate and talk to a lawyer right away. Contact information is below.

  • What this notice is
  • What to do if you get this notice from your landlord
  • Where to get legal help

It is a warning from your landlord. A landlord who believes you have broken (breached) a major (substantial) rule in your lease, other than not paying rent, may give you this type of notice.  

The notice should tell you exactly which important ("material") part of the rental agreement the landlord believes you are breaking. You then have 10 days from the date you got the notice to stop breaking the rules.

Example: Your lease states that people who are not listed on the lease cannot stay with you for more than one week. Your landlord might give you a 10-Day Notice, stating you have "unauthorized occupants." You then have 10 days for your unauthorized guest to leave, or your landlord may file an eviction lawsuit against you.

The landlord must win an eviction lawsuit against you and get a judge to sign an order directing the sheriff to evict you.

If you fix the problem within 10 days of getting the notice, your landlord should stop the eviction process.

A landlord may also give you a 10-Day Notice if you substantially violate a material requirement of a government (subsidized) housing program. If this happens to you, you may have more rights that we don't describe here. Read HUD Housing Evictions and/or Evictions from Public Housing (Housing Owned by a Housing Authority) to learn more.

Write the landlord a letter saying you disagree with (you dispute) the 10-Day Notice. Keep a copy of your letter. Try to get legal help. Contact information is below.

Yes. Your landlord (or their employee or another adult) can "personally serve" you at home by handing you the notice.

The landlord can also hand it to another adult or older teenager living with you. If your landlord does this "substitute service," your landlord must also send a copy of the notice to you.  

If the landlord tries but fails to have you personally served, the landlord can then "serve" the notices by taping them on your door, but then they must also mail a copy to you.

No. A 10-Day Notice that is sent by text, voicemail, email, or in person is not a proper notice. It does not start the eviction process.


No. Washington law does not let landlords evict tenants without following the proper court eviction process.

Your landlord must give you a proper written "termination" notice before starting an eviction lawsuit. The 10-Day Notice is one type of termination notice.

If you are still living in the place after 10 days, your landlord may can start an eviction lawsuit against you. The landlord does this by giving you official court papers called a "Summons" and "Complaint." These papers may require you to send a response to your landlord or their lawyer.

Your landlord must win an eviction lawsuit against you and get a judge to sign an order directing the sheriff to evict you. Only the sheriff can formally evict you or change the locks on the rental.

If you get 4 valid, properly served 10-Day Notices to Comply or Vacate within one year, the landlord can end your tenancy with a 60-Day Notice to Terminate before the end of the fixed rental term or period. The notices must all be about different incidents. Read My Landlord Just Gave Me a 60-Day Notice to learn more.

Get Legal Help

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

Download | Printer-friendly PDF

Last Review and Update: Apr 26, 2023
Was this information helpful?
Back to top