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WashingtonLawHelp.orgWashington LawHelp

My Landlord Just Gave Me a 30-Day Notice

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project
Read this in:
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Why did your landlord give you this notice? Is it legal? What should you do now? Read this to learn more. #6358EN


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 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.


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 30-Day Notice? +

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


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

  • Your lease is ending (expiring). The 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. That person moves out. You are still living there. The landlord can ask you to fill out a rental application same as any other applicant.  The landlord may give you a 30-Day Notice to apply to keep living there. If you don’t fill out the rental application, the landlord can start an eviction court case (unlawful detainer) against you. They can try to say that you are an unauthorized occupant.

  • Your rental unit has been condemned (officially declared uninhabitable by a local agency). If this happens to you, the landlord may have to pay you to help you move. Sometimes the landlord can give you less than a 30-Day Notice, but they still have to try to give you notice as soon as possible. Read Tenants’ Rights: My Place has been condemned to learn more.

  • The 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.

*Transitional housingmeans rental units owned or operated by a nonprofit organization or government agency that provides support services to people who have been homeless or formerly incarcerated.  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.


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 30-Day Notice is one type of notice.


If you are still living in the place after 30 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 30-Day Notice. It says I lied on my rental application. But I didn’t! 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.



I was living with a family member. They were the only person on the lease. Now I got a 30-Day Notice. What can I do? +

If you want to stay in the rental, the landlord should give you the option to fill out an application. If you have been paying rent and the 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 +

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


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Last Review and Update: Aug 19, 2021