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WashingtonLawHelp.orgWashington LawHelp

My landlord just gave me a 120-Day Notice

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project
Read this in:
Spanish / EspaƱol

Why did your landlord give you this notice? Is it legal? What should you do now? Read this to learn more. #6359EN

Contents

Please Note:

*Read this only if you live in the state of Washington. The law may be different in other states.

*Eviction law continues to change. Read about the latest changes to eviction laws.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I live in the state of Washington, should I read this? +

Yes, if you rent the place where you live and you just got a 120-Day Notice to Terminate (end) your tenancy (or a 120-Day Notice to Vacate).  

No, if you own the mobile home you live in, and rent the lot. Read My Landlord Just Threatened to Evict Me from my Manufactured/Mobile Home Park and talk to a lawyer right away. Contact information is below.

What will you learn by reading this? +

  • What this notice is

  • What to do if you get this notice from your landlord

  • Where to get legal help

What is a 120-Day Notice? +

It is a warning from your landlord that they want you to move out. Here is when your landlord can give you this type of notice:

Your landlord wants to substantially remodel or tear down (demolish) the unit. If the landlord ends the tenancy with this type of notice, but then does not rehabilitate or demolish the place, you may have a case for wrongful eviction.

Your landlord wants to convert the unit into a condominium. If the landlord ends the tenancy with this type of notice, but then does not convert the place into a condo, you may have a case for wrongful eviction.

Does the termination notice have to be delivered in a certain way? +

Yes. The 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. The landlord can also tape it on your door, but then they must also mail a copy to you.

*The notice does not have to be notarized.

Can the landlord evict me just by giving me this notice? +

No. Washington law does not let landlords evict tenants without following the proper court eviction process. The landlord must give you a proper written “termination” notice before starting an eviction lawsuit. The 120-Day Notice is one type of this notice.

If you are still living in the place after 120 days, the landlord may then start an eviction court case.

The landlord must win that court case 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.

I got a 120-Day Notice. The landlord put in it that they aretearing the place down. But I saw the landlord post on online that they actually plan to keep renting it. The landlord just wants me to move so they can raise the rent on the next tenant! What can I do? +

If you want to fight the eviction court case, talk to a lawyer right away. You will need to be able to prove your case in court. This means giving the court evidence proving you did not purposely lie on your rental application. It can also mean having witnesses with personal knowledge about the facts testify. A lawyer can help you with these things. See contact information below.

*Read Getting Ready for a Court Hearing or Trial to get an idea of what you will need to do to fight the eviction in court.

Get Legal Help +

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

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Last Review and Update: Aug 24, 2021