My landlord threatened to evict me

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project

If you rent the place where you live and your landlord just threatened to evict you, read this to learn what to do. #6349EN

Get Legal Help

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, if you rent the place where you live in Washington State and you just got a verbal threat, text message, or written eviction notice from your landlord. 

No, if you live in a mobile home park and own your home but rent the lot. In that case, read My landlord threatened to evict me from my manufactured/mobile home park and see "Get Legal Help" above.


No. Washington state does not let landlords evict tenants without first following the proper court eviction process. Your landlord must win an eviction lawsuit against you and then get a judge to sign an order directing the sheriff to evict you. 

Your landlord can start an eviction lawsuit only for certain good reasons. Some examples of good reasons are if you get behind on rent, break (breach) other parts of the lease agreement, or your landlord wants to sell the home you live in or move into your rental unit. Read Landlords must give a "good" reason to end certain tenancies to learn more.

Your landlord must give you a proper and written "termination notice" before starting an eviction lawsuit. Verbal threats, phone calls, voicemails, emails, and text messages are not proper termination notices.

It depends on why the landlord is trying to evict you. We list just a few examples here.

These "termination notices" are warnings from the landlord. If you ignore them, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit against you and it can go on your record. You can read about all the different types of legal notices.

In all these cases, you should try to get legal help right away. See contact information at the end of this fact sheet.

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 termination notice that is sent by text, voicemail, email, or in person is not a proper notice. It does not start the eviction process. 


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Last Review and Update: Feb 22, 2023
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