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

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If you rent the place where you live and you got a 14-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate from your landlord, learn what that is and what you should do about it. #6353EN

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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.

You will learn:

  • 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 must 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.

Your county has set up an Eviction Resolution Pilot Program (ERPP) that requires landlords and tenants to work together to resolve cases about unpaid rent before going to court.

Your landlord must give you a written notice inviting you to take part in the ERPP. If you get an ERPP notice, respond within 14 days. If you don't, your landlord can send you a 14-day Pay or Vacate Notice.

You may want to contact Housing Justice Project (King County Bar) for legal advice first.

You can read the state law about this at RCW 59.18.660(3) to find out exactly what information needs to be in this other notice.  If the notice is missing some of the required information, it could be a defense to an eviction lawsuit.

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

The landlord can also hand them 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 notices 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 14-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.

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.

And if the landlord wants to evict you for not paying rent, the landlord must give you a 14-Day Notice plus an ERPP notice. If the landlord gives you one but not the other, this could be a defense to an eviction lawsuit.

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

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. 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.

Maybe. Visit our Eviction Help page to find organizations near you that might have rental assistance.

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Last Review and Update: Feb 07, 2023
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