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Can I change a month to month rental agreement to require only cash payments and no dangerous dogs?

Bellingham, WA |

I have a bad tenant who bounces checks and replaces them later, effectively giving me rent 20 days late. The lease calls for a penalty, but she does not pay it. Her dog kills chickens and bites people. She had a one year lease, but is now month to month. I don't want to evict her until better weather, to avoid a vacancy now when it will be difficult to fill, but don't want to put up with the bounced checks and her dog. Can I give 20 days' notice to change the terms?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    You have to give 30 day's notice to change terms, and the 30 days has to coincide with the day rent is due. So you could give notice December 1 to be effective December 31. It has to be in writing.

    If you know that this dog is killing chickens and biting people, have you advised Animal Control? They have a strict protocol for dealing with dangerous dogs.

    Elizabeth Powell

    Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.


  2. I agree with Ms. Powell and the lack f control of her dog maybe be a liability for you and take all steps necessary to protect yourself and hopefully your lease has a nusiance provision and you can give her notice to cure the problem or end the lease.
    Good Luck

    Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes


  3. Having a vacant house sometimes is better than having a bad tenant, especially one that is not paying rent on time and has a dog that "kills chickens and bites people". One or more of the victims may sue and name you as a defendant.

    Sure, if you go through the statutory steps, you can require the tenant to pay by cash or cash-equivalent and get rid of her dog. However, she may just move out. If you accept payment in cash, you will need to give the tenant a receipt for the cash.

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