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How long does it take to evict a tenant if a landlord has to go through the entire process?

Woodland, WA |

If a tenant is unwilling to move out with a 3 day notice, given by the landlord, how long will it take in order to have the tenant leave if the landlord has to serve papers and go to court?

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Attorney answers 2


The 3-day is a predicate notice only. If the tenant fails to comply with the notice, the landlord can then file and have the summons and complaint served. The landlord's attorney can (and should) set up the show cause hearing for seven days later. A normal, civil summons has to allow the defendant twenty days to respond, so seven is a very abbreviated time line.
At the show cause hearing, if the tenant owes rent, the court is likely (IF the landlord has done everything correctly) to sign an order for the clerk to issue a writ directing the sheriff to hand the possessory interest in the property back to the landlord. The writ will be posted the day after the hearing, but it has to "sit" for three judicial days. After that, the landlord advises the sheriff if the tenant is still there, and if so the landlord and the sheriff set up the physical eviction.

No part of this process allows the landlord to engage in self-help. You need a judge and then a sheriff. It takes about three weeks. This is not self-help law. In order to get it done efficiently you are well served to employ a local, skilled landlord/tenant attorney who routinely does evictions, not a lawyer who dabbles in evictions once in a while.

Elizabeth Powell

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I agree with Ms. Powell and you are well served to hire a lawyer sooner rather than later. Sometimes a conversation with the tenant telling them that you can spend a little time and money helping them move or money on a lawyer and the choice is theirs. I have had good results with landlords who help a tenant move rather than money forcing them out. Just make certian everything is in writing
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