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WashingtonLawHelp.orgWashington LawHelp

My Landlord Just Gave Me a 3-Day Notice to Quit

Por: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded

If you rent the place where you live and you got a 3-Day Notice to Quit from your landlord, learn what that is and what you should do about it. #6352EN


Please Note:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

Yes, if you rent the place where you live and you just got a 3-Day Notice to Quit from your landlord.

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


What will I 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 3-Day Notice to Quit? +

It is a written demand from your landlord. A landlord can give you this type of notice for “creating a waste or nuisance.” A landlord will give you this notice if the landlord believes you are:


  • Severely damaging or destroying the property, or allowing someone else to do this
  • Committing crimes on the property
  • Engaging in gang-related activity
  • Interfering substantially and repeatedly with other tenants’ use of the property

*If you get this type of notice, you do not get a chance to fix the problem and stay. Try to get legal help right away if you get this type of notice. See contact information below.

What does “nuisance” mean? +

*The legal meaning of this word is different from its everyday use.

It is an unreasonable intrusion on someone else’s ability to use and enjoy the property. It could be a physical intrusion or something else that causes harm to the landlord or other person.

Your landlord should not send you a 3-Day Notice to Quit based on nuisance if you have broken a term of the lease that you can fix, such as no pets or no smoking. Breaking a rule on the lease is rarely a nuisance.

  • *Only a judge can decide what is a “nuisance” or “waste” and order an eviction. It depends on the specific situation.
  • *Talk to a lawyer right away about your case and what the 3-Day Notice claims you have done. It may not be enough to be legal nuisance or waste.


What does “waste” mean? +

This word also has a different legal meaning from its everyday use. A landlord can only evict a tenant because of “waste” if they have proof that the tenant significantly damaged the property. If the landlord says you damaged the property, they must also prove this damage has harmed the landlord.


Everyday or routine property damage, or damage from normal wear and tear, is not “waste.”

  • *Only a judge can decide what is a “nuisance” or “waste” and order an eviction. It depends on the specific situation.
  • *Talk to a lawyer right away about your case and what the 3-Day Notice claims you did. It may not be enough to be legal nuisance or waste.

My neighbor complained that my TV is too loud. Is this a nuisance? +

No. A nuisance must be unreasonable. This type of noise complaint is part of ordinary life. It would not seriously harm or injure someone else. It is not a nuisance. A situation must have the potential to put someone else’s safety or health at risk to be considered a nuisance. 

Does the Notice to Quit have to be delivered in a certain way? +

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

A 3-Day Notice that is sent by text, voicemail, email, or in person is not a proper notice. It does not start the eviction process.

*The notice does not have to be notarized.


Can my 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 3-Day Notice to Quit is one type of termination notice.


If you are still living in the place after 3 days, your landlord 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. The landlord needs to have these documents delivered to you if your landlord wants to have the case heard in court. 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.


My landlord gave me a 3-Day Notice to Quit. I did not do any of the things the notice says I did. +

Talk to a lawyer right away. If you want to fight the eviction case, you will need to have evidence proving what you are saying is true. Having witnesses who have personal knowledge about the facts testify for your case is very helpful.

Get Legal Help +

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

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Última revisión y actualización: Sep 30, 2021