My landlord just gave me a 30-Day Notice

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

Why did your landlord give you this notice? Is it legal? What should you do now? Read this to learn more. #6358EN

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, you should read this if you rent the place where you live and you just got a 30-Day Notice to terminate your tenancy, a 30-Day Notice to Vacate, or a 30-Day Notice to fill out a rental application.  

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.

No, if you live in a building in Washington State that has a government subsidy or a federally backed mortgage. Read When does my landlord have to give me a 30-day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate instead of a 14-day Notice? and talk to a lawyer right away. Contact information is below.

  • What this notice means

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

  • Where to get legal help

It is a notice from your landlord that they want you to move out. Here is when your landlord can give you a 30-Day Notice:

  • Your landlord finds out that you lied about or intentionally left out important information on your rental application.

  • Your lease is ending (is expiring). Your landlord offers you a new rental agreement at least 30 days before the end of your lease term, but you don't sign it. The terms of the new rental agreement must be "reasonable."

*This doesn't apply to you if you are already a month-to-month tenant.

  • Your name is not on the rental agreement. You have been living with someone who is on the lease for at least 6 months. That person moves out. You are still living there. Your landlord can ask you to fill out a rental application the same as any other applicant.  Your landlord may give you a 30-Day Notice to apply to keep living there. If you don't fill out the rental application, your landlord can start an eviction court case (called an unlawful detainer) against you. In the unlawful detainer case, the landlord can try to say that you are an unauthorized occupant.

Your landlord can only turn down (can only deny) your application if the landlord uses the same standards (the same criteria) that they do with every other applicant. For example, your landlord requires other applicants to make twice the amount of money as the rent amount. Your landlord cannot then require you to make three times the amount.

If the landlord denies your application, talk to a lawyer right away. Contact information is below.

  • Your rental unit has been officially declared uninhabitable by a local agency (it has been condemned). If this happens to you, your landlord may have to pay you to help you move. Sometimes the condemnation order says you must vacate sooner than 30 days.  In that case, your landlord can give you less than a 30-Day Notice, but they still must try to give you notice as soon as possible. Read Tenants' Rights: My place has been condemned to learn more.

  • Your landlord is a transitional housing program. The program can give you a30-Day Notice to Vacate if you no longer qualify for the program, or you have completed the training. Read What are my rights in transitional housing? to learn more. Transitional housing means rental units owned or operated by a nonprofit organization or government agency that provides support services to people who have been homeless or incarcerated (in jail or prison). There are often limits to how long you can live in the program's housing. These programs may have their own rules about who can live there. Examples: some are only for people below a certain age. Some have educational and training programs.

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 30-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 30-Day Notice is one type of notice.

If you are still living in the place after 30 days, your landlord may then start an eviction court case. 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 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.

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.

If you want to stay in the rental, your landlord should give you the option to fill out an application.

If you have been paying rent and your landlord knows you live there, you may already be a month-to-month tenant.

If you want to try to stay in the rental, talk to a lawyer right away. 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

If your landlord is threatening to evict you, call Eviction Defense line at 1-855-657-8387 or Apply Online.

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Last Review and Update: Mar 27, 2023
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