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When do I have to vacate the premises after being served a 3 day pay or vacate notice

Vancouver, WA |

Month to month lease at an apartment

Attorney Answers 4


  1. If you are choosing to leave then contact your landlord to make an agreement. You should schedule a move out inspection and agree on the application of your deposit. This is a bad situation but open communication and a written termination and check list will help you get some certainty. Otherwise the landlord has to proceed with a formal eviction to order you out.
    Good Luck

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  2. If you do not leave or pay by the time the deadline is up, the landlord would have a legal basis to file an unlawful detainer complaint against you.

    If the landlord does everything as fast as the statutes allow, there will be a hearing in court in 8 days after the landlord file the complaint and have you served with the summons and complaint.

    Unless you have a valid defense, the court will sign the orders for the court clerk to issue to the landlord a writ of restitution. The writ will authorize the sheriff to forcibly, if needed, remove you, any other occupant, and all belongings from the premises.

    Upon receiving the writ, the sheriff will be by the premises to post the writ. The writ will have a date after which the sheriff will return to forcibly, if needed, remove you, any other occupant, and all belongings from the premises.

    Given that you are a month-to-month tenant, the sheriff needs to wait only three days to come back.

    Only the sheriff and the landlord will know when the sheriff will return, but the time likely will be within a week of the date on the writ.

    If the landlord does not contact the sheriff to tell the sheriff that you have left or you have an agreement to stay, the sheriff will return to the premises. The sheriff does not physically move any belonging and is there only to keep the peace by arresting you if you do not leave. The landlord is supposed to have enough helpers to remove your belongings either into storage or to the public streets. You are supposed to have received a document from the landlord to choose whether your belongings go to the storage or the streets.

    Once there is a history of an unlawful detainer complaint filed against you, you will have troubles finding another rental, regardless of the actual outcome of the proceeding.

    If you will be renting in the next few years, you should leave before the deadline of the 3-day notice if you in fact owe rent. Otherwise, you must come to an agreement with the landlord to not file the complaint.

    There are volunteer groups that help tenants. How much help you will get depends on whether you actually owe rent. A tenant who owes rent likely cannot put off an eviction unless the premises are in violation of the housing codes.


  3. I agree with the others. I want to emphasize how dangerous the situation is with a valid 3-day notice. On the 4th day after the notice is served, your landlord can file an unlawful detainer (eviction) suit against you. He doesn't have to negotiate or notify you further. Once the UD is filed the filing is on you record EVEN IF IT IS LATER DISMISSED AFTER NETOTIATION OR EVEN IF YOU EVENTUALLY WIN IN COURT OR IF THE SHERIFF IS NOT NEEDED TO REMOVE YOU. Many landlords do not look any further than the fact that the UD was filed. If you are truly being evicted wrongly then you can fight it. If you owe the money, either pay up or be out within three days of service of the 3-day notice.

    My comments are general statements of the law in Washington and are not meant to be legal advice. Specific legal advice requires an in-depth interview, review of past or ongoing court or agency actions or cases, and an evaluation of the special circumstances of each case.


  4. If you are planning to vacate, inform the landlord, so you will not be responsible for legal fees to evict you. Schedule a walk through when you vacate Andalusia arrangements for payment of back rent so you can salvage your credit.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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