My landlord just gave me a 14-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate

Please Note:

  • Read this only if you live in the state of Washington.
  • Eviction law continues to change. Read about the latest changes to the law on our eviction page.
  • Renters with low incomes are entitled to a lawyer free of charge before a court may proceed with an eviction. Call our Eviction Defense Screening line at 1-855-657-8387 or apply online if you think you may qualify.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, if you rent the place where you live and you just got a 14-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate, saying you owe rent and must pay what you owe within 14 days or move out.

No, if you own the mobile home you live in, and rent the lot. Read My Manufactured/Mobile Home Park Landlord Just Gave Me a 14-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. If you fall behind in rent and/or your deposit installment plan with the landlord, the landlord may give you this type of notice.

This notice has to tell you exactly how much you owe. You must then pay what you owe by the end of the 14 days. If you do not, the landlord may start an eviction court case against you.

In many cases, your landlord is supposed to offer you a reasonable rent repayment plan before starting an eviction for unpaid rent. You also should get a notice about any Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) in your county.

You can visit Resolution Washington to check if your county has one of these ERPs, or check's Eviction Help page to find out about rent assistance and other help available in each county.

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.

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 14-day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate is one type of termination notice.

If you are still living in the place after 14 days, and the landlord believes you are still behind in rent, the landlord may then start an eviction lawsuit.

The landlord must win an eviction lawsuit 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 want to fight the eviction lawsuit, 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 do not owe the rent. 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.

You may be able to get help paying rent:

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Get Legal Help

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

Last Review and Update: Mar 15, 2022
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