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State of Washington Eviction Law

CHAPTER 59.04 RCW

TENANCIES

Sections

59.04.010 Tenancies from year to year abolished except under
written contract.
59.04.020 Tenancy from month to month--Termination.
59.04.030 Tenancy for specified time--Termination.
59.04.040 Ten day notice to pay rent or quit premises.
59.04.050 Tenancy by sufferance--Termination.
59.04.900 Chapter inapplicable to rental agreements under
landlord-tenant act.



RCW 59.04.010 Tenancies from year to year abolished except
under written contract. Tenancies from year to year are hereby
abolished except when the same are created by express written
contract. Leases may be in writing or print, or partly in writing
and partly in print, and shall be legal and valid for any term or
period not exceeding one year, without acknowledgment, witnesses or
seals. [Code 1881 2053; 1867 p 101 1; RRS 10619.]


RCW 59.04.020 Tenancy from month to month--Termination. When
premises are rented for an indefinite time, with monthly or other
periodic rent reserved, such tenancy shall be construed to be a
tenancy from month to month, or from period to period on which rent
is payable, and shall be terminated by written notice of thirty
days or more, preceding the end of any of said months or periods,
given by either party to the other. [Code 1881 2054; 1867 p 101
2; RRS 10619. Prior: 1866 p 78 1.]

NOTES:

Unlawful detainer, notice requirement: RCW 59.12.030(2).


RCW 59.04.030 Tenancy for specified time--Termination. In
all cases where premises are rented for a specified time, by
express or implied contract, the tenancy shall be deemed terminated
at the end of such specified time. [Code 1881 2055; 1867 p 101
3; RRS 10620.]


RCW 59.04.040 Ten day notice to pay rent or quit premises. 
When a tenant fails to pay rent when the same is due, and the
landlord notifies him to pay said rent or quit the premises within
ten days, unless the rent is paid within said ten days, the tenancy
shall be forfeited at the end of said ten days. [Code 1881 2056;
1867 p 101 4; no RRS.]


RCW 59.04.050 Tenancy by sufferance--Termination. Whenever
any person obtains possession of premises without the consent of
the owner or other person having the right to give said possession,
he shall be deemed a tenant by sufferance merely, and shall be
liable to pay reasonable rent for the actual time he occupied the
premises, and shall forthwith on demand surrender his said
possession to the owner or person who had the right of possession
before said entry, and all his right to possession of said premises
shall terminate immediately upon said demand. [Code 1881 2057;
1867 p 101 5; RRS 10621.]


RCW 59.04.900 Chapter inapplicable to rental agreements under
landlord-tenant act. This chapter does not apply to any rental
agreement included under the provisions of chapter 59.18 RCW. 
[1973 1st ex.s. c 207 45.]



CHAPTER 59.12 RCW

FORCIBLE ENTRY AND FORCIBLE AND UNLAWFUL DETAINER

Sections

59.12.010 Forcible entry defined.
59.12.020 Forcible detainer defined.
59.12.030 Unlawful detainer defined.
59.12.035 Holding over on agricultural land, effect of.
59.12.040 Service of notice--Proof of service.
59.12.050 Jurisdiction of proceedings.
59.12.060 Parties defendant.
59.12.070 Complaint--Summons.
59.12.080 Summons--Contents--Service.
59.12.090 Writ of restitution--Bond.
59.12.091 Writ of restitution under landlord-tenant act--RCW
59.12.090, 59.12.100, 59.12.121, and 59.12.170
inapplicable.
59.12.100 Service of writ--Bond to stay writ.
59.12.110 Modification of bond.
59.12.120 Judgment by default.
59.12.121 Pleading by defendant.
59.12.130 Jury--Actions given preference.
59.12.140 Proof in forcible entry and detainer.
59.12.150 Amendment to conform to proof.
59.12.160 Amendments.
59.12.170 Judgment--Execution.
59.12.180 Rules of practice.
59.12.190 Relief against forfeiture.
59.12.200 Appellate review--Stay bond.
59.12.210 Effect of stay bond.
59.12.220 Writ of restitution suspended pending appeal.
59.12.230 Forcible entry and detainer--Penalty.

NOTES:

Joint tenancies: Chapter 64.28 RCW.

Tenant's violation of duty under landlord-tenant act grounds for
unlawful detainer action: RCW 59.18.180.


RCW 59.12.010 Forcible entry defined. Every person is guilty
of a forcible entry who either--(1) By breaking open windows, doors
or other parts of a house, or by fraud, intimidation or stealth, or
by any kind of violence or circumstance of terror, enters upon or
into any real property; or--(2) Who, after entering peaceably upon
real property, turns out by force, threats or menacing conduct the
party in actual possession. [1891 c 96 1; RRS 810. Prior: 
1890 p 73 1.]


RCW 59.12.020 Forcible detainer defined. Every person is
guilty of a forcible detainer who either--(1) By force, or by
menaces and threats of violence, unlawfully holds and keeps the
possession of any real property, whether the same was acquired
peaceably or otherwise; or--(2) Who in the nighttime, or during the
absence of the occupant of any real property, enters thereon, and
who, after demand made for the surrender thereof, refuses for the
period of three days to surrender the same to such former occupant. 
The occupant of real property within the meaning of this
subdivision is one who for the five days next preceding such
unlawful entry was in the peaceable and undisturbed possession of
such real property. [1891 c 96 2; RRS 811. Prior: 1890 p 73
2.]


RCW 59.12.030 Unlawful detainer defined. A tenant of real
property for a term less than life is guilty of unlawful detainer
either:
(1) When he holds over or continues in possession, in person
or by subtenant, of the property or any part thereof after the
expiration of the term for which it is let to him. When real
property is leased for a specified term or period by express or
implied contract, whether written or oral, the tenancy shall be
terminated without notice at the expiration of the specified term
or period;
(2) When he, having leased property for an indefinite time
with monthly or other periodic rent reserved, continues in
possession thereof, in person or by subtenant, after the end of any
such month or period, when the landlord, more than twenty days
prior to the end of such month or period, has served notice (in
manner in RCW 59.12.040 provided) requiring him to quit the
premises at the expiration of such month or period;
(3) When he continues in possession in person or by subtenant
after a default in the payment of rent, and after notice in writing
requiring in the alternative the payment of the rent or the
surrender of the detained premises, served (in manner in RCW
59.12.040 provided) in behalf of the person entitled to the rent
upon the person owing it, has remained uncomplied with for the
period of three days after service thereof. The notice may be
served at any time after the rent becomes due;
(4) When he continues in possession in person or by subtenant
after a neglect or failure to keep or perform any other condition
or covenant of the lease or agreement under which the property is
held, including any covenant not to assign or sublet, than one for
the payment of rent, and after notice in writing requiring in the
alternative the performance of such condition or covenant or the
surrender of the property, served (in manner in RCW 59.12.040
provided) upon him, and if there is a subtenant in actual
possession of the premises, also upon such subtenant, shall remain
uncomplied with for ten days after service thereof. Within ten
days after the service of such notice the tenant, or any subtenant
in actual occupation of the premises, or any mortgagee of the term,
or other person interested in its continuance, may perform such
condition or covenant and thereby save the lease from such
forfeiture;
(5) When he commits or permits waste upon the demised
premises, or when he sets up or carries on thereon any unlawful
business, or when he erects, suffers, permits, or maintains on or
about the premises any nuisance, and remains in possession after
the service (in manner in RCW 59.12.040 provided) upon him of three
days' notice to quit; or
(6) A person who, without the permission of the owner and
without having color of title thereto, enters upon land of another
and who fails or refuses to remove therefrom after three days'
notice, in writing and served upon him in the manner provided in
RCW 59.12.040. Such person may also be subject to the criminal
provisions of chapter 9A.52 RCW. [1983 c 264 1; 1953 c 106 1. 
Prior: 1905 c 86 1; 1891 c 96 3; 1890 p 73 3; RRS 812.]

NOTES:

Termination of month to month tenancy: RCW 59.04.020, 59.18.200.

Unlawful detainer defined: RCW 59.16.010.


RCW 59.12.035 Holding over on agricultural land, effect of. 
In all cases of tenancy upon agricultural lands, where the tenant
has held over and retained possession for more than sixty days
after the expiration of his term without any demand or notice to
quit by his landlord or the successor in estate of his landlord, if
any there be, he shall be deemed to be holding by permission of his
landlord or the successor in estate of his landlord, if any there
be, and shall be entitled to hold under the terms of the lease for
another full year, and shall not be guilty of an unlawful detainer
during said year, and such holding over for the period aforesaid
shall be taken and construed as a consent on the part of a tenant
to hold for another year. [1891 c 96 4; RRS 813. Formerly RCW
59.04.060.]


RCW 59.12.040 Service of notice--Proof of service. Any
notice provided for in this chapter shall be served either (1) by
delivering a copy personally to the person entitled thereto; or (2)
if he be absent from the premises unlawfully held, by leaving there
a copy, with some person of suitable age and discretion, and
sending a copy through the mail addressed to the person entitled
thereto at his place of residence; or (3) if the person to be
notified be a tenant, or an unlawful holder of premises, and his
place of residence is not known, or if a person of suitable age and
discretion there cannot be found then by affixing a copy of the
notice in a conspicuous place on the premises unlawfully held, and
also delivering a copy to a person there residing, if such a person
can be found, and also sending a copy through the mail addressed to
the tenant, or unlawful occupant, at the place where the premises
unlawfully held are situated. Service upon a subtenant may be made
in the same manner: PROVIDED, That in cases where the tenant or
unlawful occupant, shall be conducting a hotel, inn, lodging house,
boarding house, or shall be renting rooms while still retaining
control of the premises as a whole, that the guests, lodgers,
boarders or persons renting such rooms shall not be considered as
subtenants within the meaning of this chapter, but all such persons
may be served by affixing a copy of the notice to be served in two
conspicuous places upon the premises unlawfully held; and such
persons shall not be necessary parties defendant in an action to
recover possession of said premises. Service of any notice
provided for in this chapter may be had upon a corporation by
delivering a copy thereof to any officer, agent or person having
charge of the business of such corporation, at the premises
unlawfully held, and in case no such officer, agent or person can
be found upon such premises, then service may be had by affixing a
copy of such notice in a conspicuous place upon said premises and
by sending a copy through the mail addressed to such corporation at
the place where said premises are situated. Proof of any service
under this section may be made by the affidavit of the person
making the same in like manner and with like effect as the proof of
service of summons in civil actions. When a copy of notice is sent
through the mail, as provided in this section, service shall be
deemed complete when such copy is deposited in the United States
mail in the county in which the property is situated properly
addressed with postage prepaid: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That when
service is made by mail one additional day shall be allowed before
the commencement of an action based upon such notice. RCW
59.18.375 may also apply to notice given under this chapter. [1983
c 264 2; 1911 c 26 1; 1905 c 86 2; 1891 c 96 5; RRS 814. 
Prior: 1890 p 75 4.]


RCW 59.12.050 Jurisdiction of proceedings. The superior
court of the county in which the property or some part of it is
situated shall have jurisdiction of proceedings under this chapter. 
[1891 c 96 6; RRS 815. Prior: 1890 p 75 5.]

NOTES:

Venue and jurisdiction, generally: RCW 2.08.010 and chapter 4.12
RCW.


RCW 59.12.060 Parties defendant. No person other than the
tenant of the premises, and subtenant, if there be one, in the
actual occupation of the premises when the complaint is filed, need
be made parties defendant in any proceeding under this chapter, nor
shall any proceeding abate, nor the plaintiff be nonsuited, for the
nonjoinder of any person who might have been made party defendant;
but when it appears that any of the parties served with process, or
appearing in the proceeding, are guilty of the offense charged,
judgment must be rendered against him. In case a person has become
a subtenant of the premises in controversy after the service of any
notice in this chapter provided for, the fact that such notice was
not served on such subtenant shall constitute no defense to the
action. All persons who enter the premises under the tenant, after
the commencement of the action hereunder, shall be bound by the
judgment the same as if they had been made parties to the action. 
[1891 c 96 7; RRS 816. Prior: 1890 p 75 6.]


RCW 59.12.070 Complaint--Summons. The plaintiff in his
complaint, which shall be in writing, must set forth the facts on
which he seeks to recover, and describe the premises with
reasonable certainty, and may set forth therein any circumstances
of fraud, force or violence, which may have accompanied the said
forcible entry or forcible or unlawful detainer, and claim damages
therefor, or compensation for the occupation of the premises, or
both; in case the unlawful detainer charged be after default in the
payment of rent, the complaint must state the amount of such rent. 
A summons must be issued as in other cases, returnable at a day
designated therein, which shall not be less than six nor more than
twelve days from the date of service, except in cases where the
publication of summons is necessary, in which case the court or
judge thereof may order that the summons be made returnable at such
time as may be deemed proper, and the summons shall specify the
return day so fixed. [1927 c 123 1; 1891 c 96 8; RRS 817. 
Prior: 1890 p 75 7.]


RCW 59.12.080 Summons--Contents--Service. The summons must
state the names of the parties to the proceeding, the court in
which the same is brought, the nature of the action, in concise
terms, and the relief sought, and also the return day; and must
notify the defendant to appear and answer within the time
designated or that the relief sought will be taken against him. 
The summons must be directed to the defendant, and in case of
summons by publication, be served at least five days before the
return day designated therein. The summons must be served and
returned in the same manner as summons in other actions is served
and returned. [1927 c 123 2; 1891 c 96 9; RRS 818. Prior: 
1890 p 76 8.]

NOTES:

Summons, generally: RCW 4.28.080 through 4.28.110.


RCW 59.12.090 Writ of restitution--Bond. The plaintiff at
the time of commencing an action of forcible entry or detainer or
unlawful detainer, or at any time afterwards, may apply to the
judge of the court in which the action is pending for a writ of
restitution restoring to the plaintiff the property in the
complaint described, and the judge shall order a writ of
restitution to issue. The writ shall be issued by the clerk of the
superior court in which the action is pending, and be returnable in
twenty days after its date; but before any writ shall issue prior
to judgment the plaintiff shall execute to the defendant and file
in court a bond in such sum as the court or judge may order, with
sufficient surety to be approved by the clerk, conditioned that the
plaintiff will prosecute his action without delay, and will pay all
costs that may be adjudged to the defendant, and all damages which
he may sustain by reason of the writ of restitution having been
issued, should the same be wrongfully sued out. [1927 c 123 3;
1891 c 96 10; RRS 819. Prior: 1890 p 77 9.]


RCW 59.12.091 Writ of restitution under landlord-tenant act--
RCW 59.12.090, 59.12.100, 59.12.121, and 59.12.170 inapplicable. 
See RCW 59.18.420.


RCW 59.12.100 Service of writ--Bond to stay writ. The
sheriff shall, upon receiving the writ of restitution, forthwith
serve a copy thereof upon the defendant, his agent or attorney, or
a person in possession of the premises, and shall not execute the
same for three days thereafter, nor until after the defendant has
been served with summons in the action as hereinabove provided, and
the defendant, or person in possession of the premises within three
days after the service of the writ of restitution may execute to
the plaintiff a bond to be filed with and approved by the clerk of
the court in such sum as may be fixed by the judge, with sufficient
surety to be approved by the clerk of said court, conditioned that
they will pay to the plaintiff such sum as the plaintiff may
recover for the use and occupation of the said premises, or any
rent found due, together with all damages the plaintiff may sustain
by reason of the defendant occupying or keeping possession of said
premises, and also all the costs of the action. The plaintiff, his
agent or attorneys, shall have notice of the time and place where
the court or judge thereof shall fix the amount of the defendant's
bond, and shall have notice and a reasonable opportunity to examine
into the qualification and sufficiency of the sureties upon said
bond before said bond shall be approved by the clerk. The writ may
be served by the sheriff, in the event he shall be unable to find
the defendant, an agent or attorney, or a person in possession of
the premises, by affixing a copy of said writ in a conspicuous
place upon the premises. [1927 c 123 4; 1905 c 86 3; 1891 c 96
11; RRS 820. Prior: 1890 p 77 10.]


RCW 59.12.110 Modification of bond. The plaintiff or
defendant at any time, upon two days' notice to the adverse party,
may apply to the court or any judge thereof for an order raising or
lowering the amount of any bond in this chapter provided for. 
Either party may, upon like notice, apply to the court or any judge
thereof for an order requiring additional or other surety or
sureties upon any such bond. Upon the hearing or any application
made under the provisions of this section evidence may be given. 
The judge after hearing any such application shall make such an
order as shall be just in the premises. The bondsmen may be
required to be present at such hearing if so required in the notice
thereof, and shall answer under oath all questions that may be
asked them touching their qualifications as bondsmen, and in the
event the bondsmen shall fail or refuse to appear at such hearing
and so answer such questions the bond shall be stricken. In the
event the court shall order a new or additional bond to be
furnished by defendant, and the same shall not be given within
twenty-four hours, the court shall order the sheriff to forthwith
execute the writ. In the event the defendant shall file a second
or additional bond and it shall also be found insufficient after
hearing, as above provided, the right to retain the premises by
bond shall be lost and the sheriff shall forthwith put the
plaintiff in possession of the premises. [1905 c 86 4; 1891 c 96
12; RRS 821. Prior: 1890 p 78 11.]


RCW 59.12.120 Judgment by default. If on the date appointed
in the summons the defendant does not appear or answer, the court
shall render judgment in favor of the plaintiff as prayed for in
the complaint. [1989 c 342 2; 1891 c 96 13; RRS 822. FORMER
PART OF SECTION: 1891 c 96 14 now codified as RCW 59.12.121.]

NOTES:

Severability--Effective date--1989 c 342: See RCW 59.18.910
and 59.18.911.


RCW 59.12.121 Pleading by defendant. On or before the day
fixed for his appearance the defendant may appear and answer or
demur. [1891 c 96 14; RRS 823. Formerly RCW 59.12.120, part.]


RCW 59.12.130 Jury--Actions given preference. Whenever an
issue of fact is presented by the pleadings it must be tried by a
jury, unless such a jury be waived as in other cases. The jury
shall be formed in the same manner as other trial juries in the
court in which the action is pending; and in all cases actions
under this chapter shall take precedence of all other civil
actions. [1891 c 96 15; RRS 824. Prior: 1890 p 79 15.]


RCW 59.12.140 Proof in forcible entry and detainer. On the
trial of any proceeding for any forcible entry or forcible detainer
the plaintiff shall only be required to show, in addition to a
forcible entry complained of, that he was peaceably in the actual
possession at the time of the forcible entry; or, in addition to a
forcible detainer complained of, that he was entitled to the
possession at the time of the forcible detainer. [1891 c 96 16;
RRS 825. Prior: 1890 p 79 16.]


RCW 59.12.150 Amendment to conform to proof. When upon the
trial of any proceeding under this chapter it appears from the
evidence that the defendant has been guilty of either a forcible
entry or a forcible or unlawful detainer, in respect of the
premises described in the complaint, and other than the offense
charged in the complaint, the judge must order that such complaint
be forthwith amended to conform to such proofs; such amendment must
be made without any imposition of terms. No continuance shall be
permitted on account of such amendment unless the defendant shows
to the satisfaction of the court good cause therefor. [1891 c 96
17; RRS 826. Prior: 1890 p 79 17.]


RCW 59.12.160 Amendments. Amendments may be allowed by the
court at any time before final judgment, upon such terms as to the
court may appear just, in the same cases and manner and to the same
extent as in civil actions. [1891 c 96 19; RRS 828. Prior: 
1890 p 80 20.]


RCW 59.12.170 Judgment--Execution. If upon the trial the
verdict of the jury or, if the case be tried without a jury, the
finding of the court be in favor of the plaintiff and against the
defendant, judgment shall be entered for the restitution of the
premises; and if the proceeding be for unlawful detainer after
neglect or failure to perform any condition or covenant of a lease
or agreement under which the property is held, or after default in
the payment of rent, the judgment shall also declare the forfeiture
of the lease, agreement or tenancy. The jury, or the court, if the
proceedings be tried without a jury, shall also assess the damages
occasioned to the plaintiff by any forcible entry, or by any
forcible or unlawful detainer, alleged in the complaint and proved
on the trial, and, if the alleged unlawful detainer be after
default in the payment of rent, find the amount of any rent due,
and the judgment shall be rendered against the defendant guilty of
the forcible entry, forcible detainer or unlawful detainer for
twice the amount of damages thus assessed and of the rent, if any,
found due. When the proceeding is for an unlawful detainer after
default in the payment of rent, and the lease or agreement under
which the rent is payable has not by its terms expired, execution
upon the judgment shall not be issued until the expiration of five
days after the entry of the judgment, within which time the tenant
or any subtenant, or any mortgagee of the term, or other party
interested in its continuance, may pay into court for the landlord
the amount of the judgment and costs, and thereupon the judgment
shall be satisfied and the tenant restored to his estate; but if
payment, as herein provided, be not made within five days the
judgment may be enforced for its full amount and for the possession
of the premises. In all other cases the judgment may be enforced
immediately. If writ of restitution shall have been executed prior
to judgment no further writ or execution for the premises shall be
required. [1891 c 96 18; RRS 827. Prior: 1890 p 80 18.]


RCW 59.12.180 Rules of practice. Except as otherwise
provided in this chapter, the provisions of the laws of this state
with reference to practice in civil actions are applicable to, and
constitute the rules of practice in the proceedings mentioned in
this chapter; and the provisions of such laws relative to new
trials and appeals, except so far as they are inconsistent with the
provisions of this chapter, shall be held to apply to the
proceedings mentioned in this chapter. [1891 c 96 20; RRS 829. 
Prior: 1890 p 80 21.]


RCW 59.12.190 Relief against forfeiture. The court may
relieve a tenant against a forfeiture of a lease and restore him to
his former estate, as in other cases provided by law, where
application for such relief is made within thirty days after the
forfeiture is declared by the judgment of the court, as provided in
this chapter. The application may be made by a tenant or
subtenant, or a mortgagee of the term, or any person interested in
the continuance of the term. It must be made upon petition,
setting forth the facts upon which the relief is sought, and be
verified by the applicant. Notice of the application, with a copy
of the petition, must be served on the plaintiff in the judgment,
who may appear and contest the application. In no case shall the
application be granted except on condition that full payment of
rent due, or full performance of conditions of covenants
stipulated, so far as the same is practicable, be first made. 
[1891 c 96 21; RRS 830. Prior: 1890 p 80 22.]


RCW 59.12.200 Appellate review--Stay bond. A party aggrieved
by the judgment may seek appellate review of the judgment as in
other civil actions: PROVIDED, That if the defendant appealing
desires a stay of proceedings pending review, the defendant shall
execute and file a bond, with two or more sufficient sureties to be
approved by the judge, conditioned to abide the order of the court,
and to pay all rents and other damages justly accruing to the
plaintiff during the pendency of the proceeding. [1988 c 202 55;
1971 c 81 128; 1891 c 96 22; RRS 831. Prior: 1890 p 80
23.]

NOTES:

Severability--1988 c 202: See note following RCW 2.24.050.


RCW 59.12.210 Effect of stay bond. When the defendant shall
appeal, and shall file a bond as provided in RCW 59.12.200, all
further proceedings in the case shall be stayed until the
determination of said appeal and the same has been remanded to the
superior court for further proceedings therein. [1891 c 96 23;
RRS 832. Prior: 1890 p 80 24.]


RCW 59.12.220 Writ of restitution suspended pending appeal. 
If a writ of restitution has been issued previous to the taking of
an appeal by the defendant, and said defendant shall execute and
file a bond as provided in this chapter, the clerk of the court,
under the direction of the judge, shall forthwith give the
appellant a certificate of the allowance of such appeal; and upon
the service of such certificate upon the officer having such writ
of restitution the said officer shall forthwith cease all further
proceedings by virtue of such writ; and if such writ has been
completely executed the defendant shall be restored to the
possession of the premises, and shall remain in possession thereof
until the appeal is determined. [1891 c 96 24; RRS 833. 
Prior: 1890 p 81 25.]


RCW 59.12.230 Forcible entry and detainer--Penalty. Every
person who shall unlawfully use, or encourage or assist another in
unlawfully using, any force or violence in entering upon or
detaining any lands or other possessions of another; and every
person who, having removed or been removed therefrom pursuant to
the order or direction of any court, tribunal or officer, shall
afterwards return to settle or reside unlawfully upon, or take
possession of, such lands or possessions, shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor. [1909 c 249 306; RRS 2558. Prior: Code 1881
858; 1873 p 195 66; 1854 p 86 60.]




CHAPTER 59.18 RCW

RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD-TENANT ACT



RCW 59.18.055 Notice--Alternative procedure--Court's
jurisdiction limited. When the plaintiff, after the exercise of
due diligence, is unable to personally serve the summons on the
defendant, the court may authorize the alternative means of service
described herein. Upon filing of an affidavit from the person or
persons attempting service describing those attempts, and the
filing of an affidavit from the plaintiff, plaintiff's agent, or
plaintiff's attorney stating the belief that the defendant cannot
be found, the court may enter an order authorizing service of the
summons as follows:
(1) The summons and complaint shall be posted in a conspicuous
place on the premises unlawfully held, not less than nine days from
the return date stated in the summons; and
(2) Copies of the summons and compliant [complaint] shall be
deposited in the mail, postage prepaid, by both regular mail and
certified mail directed to the defendant's or defendants' last
known address not less than nine days from the return date stated
in the summons.
When service on the defendant or defendants is accomplished by
this alternative procedure, the court's jurisdiction is limited to
restoring possession of the premises to the plaintiff and no money
judgment may be entered against the defendant or defendants until
such time as jurisdiction over the defendant or defendants is
obtained. [1989 c 342 14.]


RCW 59.18.200 Tenancy from month to month or for rental
period--Termination--Exclusion of children or conversion to
condominium--Notice. (1) When premises are rented for an
indefinite time, with monthly or other periodic rent reserved, such
tenancy shall be construed to be a tenancy from month to month, or
from period to period on which rent is payable, and shall be
terminated by written notice of twenty days or more, preceding the
end of any of said months or periods, given by either party to the
other.
(2) Whenever a landlord plans to change any apartment or
apartments to a condominium form of ownership or plans to change to
a policy of excluding children, the landlord shall give a written
notice to a tenant at least ninety days before termination of the
tenancy to effectuate such change in policy. Such ninety-day
notice shall be in lieu of the notice required by subsection (1) of
this section: PROVIDED, That if after giving the ninety-day notice
the change in policy is delayed, the notice requirements of
subsection (1) of this section shall apply unless waived by the
tenant. [1979 ex.s. c 70 1; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 20.]


RCW 59.18.365 Unlawful detainer action--Summons--Form. The
summons for unlawful detainer actions for tenancies covered by this
chapter shall be substantially in the following form. In unlawful
detainer actions based on nonpayment of rent, the summons may
contain the provisions authorized by RCW 59.18.375.

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF
WASHINGTON IN AND FOR . . . . . . COUNTY

*
Plaintiff, * NO.
*
vs. * EVICTION SUMMONS
* (Residential)
Defendant. *
*

THIS IS NOTICE OF A LAWSUIT TO EVICT YOU.
PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.
THE DEADLINE FOR YOUR WRITTEN
RESPONSE IS:
5:00 p.m., on . . . . . . . . . 

TO: . . . . . . . . . . . . (Name)
. . . . . . . . . . . . (Address)

This is notice of a lawsuit to evict you from the property
which you are renting. Your landlord is asking the court to
terminate your tenancy, direct the sheriff to remove you and your
belongings from the property, enter a money judgment against you
for unpaid rent and/or damages for your use of the property, and
for court costs and attorneys' fees.
If you want to defend yourself in this lawsuit, you must
respond to the eviction complaint in writing on or before the
deadline stated above. You must respond in writing even if no case
number has been assigned by the court yet.
You can respond to the complaint in writing by delivering a
copy of a notice of appearance or answer to your landlord's
attorney (or your landlord if there is no attorney) to be received
no later than the deadline stated above.
The notice of appearance or answer must include the name of
this case (plaintiff(s) and defendant(s)), your name, the street
address where further legal papers may be sent, your telephone
number (if any), and your signature.
If there is a number on the upper right side of the eviction
summons and complaint, you must also file your original notice of
appearance or answer with the court clerk by the deadline for your
written response.
You may demand that the plaintiff file this lawsuit with the
court. If you do so, the demand must be in writing and must be
served upon the person signing the summons. Within fourteen days
after you serve the demand, the plaintiff must file this lawsuit
with the court, or the service on you of this summons and complaint
will be void.
If you wish to seek the advice of an attorney in this matter,
you should do so promptly so that your written response, if any,
may be served on time.
You may also be instructed in a separate order to appear for
a court hearing on your eviction. If you receive an order to show
cause you must personally appear at the hearing on the date
indicated in the order to show cause in addition to delivering and
filing your notice of appearance or answer by the deadline stated
above.

IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO THE COMPLAINT IN WRITING BY THE
DEADLINE STATED ABOVE YOU WILL LOSE BY DEFAULT. YOUR
LANDLORD MAY PROCEED WITH THE LAWSUIT, EVEN IF YOU HAVE
MOVED OUT OF THE PROPERTY.

The notice of appearance or answer must be delivered to:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Name
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Address
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Telephone Number


[1989 c 342 15.]


RCW 59.18.370 Forcible entry or detainer or unlawful detainer
actions--Writ of restitution--Application--Order--Hearing. The
plaintiff, at the time of commencing an action of forcible entry or
detainer or unlawful detainer, or at any time afterwards, upon
filing the complaint, may apply to the superior court in which the
action is pending for an order directing the defendant to appear
and show cause, if any he has, why a writ of restitution should not
issue restoring to the plaintiff possession of the property in the
complaint described, and the judge shall by order fix a time and
place for a hearing of said motion, which shall not be less than
six nor more than twelve days from the date of service of said
order upon defendant. A copy of said order, together with a copy
of the summons and complaint if not previously served upon the
defendant, shall be served upon the defendant. Said order shall
notify the defendant that if he fails to appear and show cause at
the time and place specified by the order the court may order the
sheriff to restore possession of the property to the plaintiff and
may grant such other relief as may be prayed for in the complaint
and provided by this chapter. [1973 1st ex.s. c 207 38.]


RCW 59.18.375 Forcible entry or detainer or unlawful detainer
actions--Payment of rent into court registry--Writ of restitution--
Notice. (1) The remedies provided by this section are in addition
to other remedies provided by this chapter.
(2) In an action of forcible entry, detainer, or unlawful
detainer, commenced under this chapter which is based upon
nonpayment of rent as provided in RCW 59.12.030(3), the defendant
shall pay into the court registry the amount alleged due in the
complaint and continue to pay into the court registry the monthly
rent as it becomes due under the terms of the rental agreement
while the action is pending. If the defendant submits to the court
a written statement signed and sworn under penalty of perjury
denying that the rent alleged due in the complaint is owing based
upon a legal or equitable defense or set-off arising out of the
tenancy, such payment shall not be required.
(3) A defendant must comply with subsection (2) of this
section within seven days after completed service of a filed
summons and complaint or, in the case of service of an unfiled
summons and complaint, seven days after delivering written notice
to the defendant, in the manner provided in RCW 59.12.040, advising
the defendant of the date of filing, the cause number for the
action, and the date by which the defendant must comply with this
section to avoid the immediate issuance of a writ of restitution. 
Failure of the defendant to comply with this section shall be
grounds for the immediate issuance of a writ of restitution without
bond directing the sheriff to deliver possession of the premises to
the plaintiff. Issuance of a writ of restitution under this
section shall not affect the defendant's right to a hearing to
contest the amount of rent alleged to be due.
(4) The defendant shall send written notice that the rent has
been paid into the court registry or send a copy of the sworn
statement referred to in subsection (2) of this section to the
address of the person whose name is signed on the unlawful detainer
summons.
(5) Before applying to the court for a writ of restitution
under this section, the plaintiff must check with the clerk of the
court to determine if the defendant has complied with subsection
(2) of this section.
(6) If the plaintiff intends to use the procedures in this
section, the summons must contain notice to the defendant of the
payment requirements of this section and be substantially in the
following form:

NOTICE

This unlawful detainer action is based upon nonpayment of rent in
an amount alleged to be $. . . . . . The plaintiff is entitled to
an order from the court directing the sheriff to evict you without
a hearing unless you pay into the court registry the amount of
delinquent rent alleged to be due in the complaint and continue
paying into the court registry the monthly rent as it becomes due
while this lawsuit is pending. If you deny that you owe the rent
claimed to be due and you do not want to be evicted immediately
without a hearing, you must file with the clerk of the court a
written statement signed and sworn under penalty of perjury setting
forth why you do not owe the amount claimed in the complaint to be
due. The sworn statement must be filed IN ADDITION TO your written
answer to the complaint.
Payment or the sworn statement must be submitted to the clerk
of the superior court within seven days after you have been served
with this summons or, if the summons has not yet been filed, within
seven days after service of written notice that the lawsuit has
been filed.
This complaint:

( ) is filed with the superior court;
( ) is not filed. The plaintiff must notify you in writing when it
is filed.

IMPORTANT

If you intend to contest this action, you must also file a
written answer as indicated above on this summons. 

[1983 c 264 13.]


RCW 59.18.380 Forcible entry or detainer or unlawful detainer
actions--Writ of restitution--Answer--Order--Stay--Bond. At the
time and place fixed for the hearing of plaintiff's motion for a
writ of restitution, the defendant, or any person in possession or
claiming possession of the property, may answer, orally or in
writing, and assert any legal or equitable defense or set-off
arising out of the tenancy. If the answer is oral the substance
thereof shall be endorsed on the complaint by the court. The court
shall examine the parties and witnesses orally to ascertain the
merits of the complaint and answer, and if it shall appear that the
plaintiff has the right to be restored to possession of the
property, the court shall enter an order directing the issuance of
a writ of restitution, returnable ten days after its date,
restoring to the plaintiff possession of the property and if it
shall appear to the court that there is no substantial issue of
material fact of the right of the plaintiff to be granted other
relief as prayed for in the complaint and provided for in this
chapter, the court may enter an order and judgment granting so much
of such relief as may be sustained by the proof, and the court may
grant such other relief as may be prayed for in the plaintiff's
complaint and provided for in this chapter, then the court shall
enter an order denying any relief sought by the plaintiff for which
the court has determined that the plaintiff has no right as a
matter of law: PROVIDED, That within three days after the service
of the writ of restitution the defendant, or person in possession
of the property, may, in any action for the recovery of possession
of the property for failure to pay rent, stay the execution of the
writ pending final judgment by paying into court or to the
plaintiff, as the court directs, all rent found to be due and all
the costs of the action, and in addition by paying, on a monthly
basis pending final judgment, an amount equal to the monthly rent
called for by the lease or rental agreement at the time the
complaint was filed: PROVIDED FURTHER, That before any writ shall
issue prior to final judgment the plaintiff shall execute to the
defendant and file in the court a bond in such sum as the court may
order, with sufficient surety to be approved by the clerk,
conditioned that the plaintiff will prosecute his action without
delay, and will pay all costs that may be adjudged to the
defendant, and all damages which he may sustain by reason of the
writ of restitution having been issued, should the same be
wrongfully sued out. The court shall also enter an order directing
the parties to proceed to trial on the complaint and answer in the
usual manner.
If it appears to the court that the plaintiff should not be
restored to possession of the property, the court shall deny
plaintiff's motion for a writ of restitution and enter an order
directing the parties to proceed to trial within thirty days on the
complaint and answer. If it appears to the court that there is a
substantial issue of material fact as to whether or not the
plaintiff is entitled to other relief as is prayed for in
plaintiff's complaint and provided for in this chapter, or that
there is a genuine issue of a material fact pertaining to a legal
or equitable defense or set-off raised in the defendant's answer,
the court shall grant or deny so much of plaintiff's other relief
sought and so much of defendant's defenses or set-off claimed, as
may be proper. [1973 1st ex.s. c 207 39.]


RCW 59.18.390 Forcible entry or detainer or unlawful detainer
actions--Writ of restitution--Service--Defendant's bond. The
sheriff shall, upon receiving the writ of restitution, forthwith
serve a copy thereof upon the defendant, his agent, or attorney, or
a person in possession of the premises, and shall not execute the
same for three days thereafter, and the defendant, or person in
possession of the premises within three days after the service of
the writ of restitution may execute to the plaintiff a bond to be
filed with and approved by the clerk of the court in such sum as
may be fixed by the judge, with sufficient surety to be approved by
the clerk of said court, conditioned that they will pay to the
plaintiff such sum as the plaintiff may recover for the use and
occupation of the said premises, or any rent found due, together
with all damages the plaintiff may sustain by reason of the
defendant occupying or keeping possession of said premises,
together with all damages which the court theretofore has awarded
to the plaintiff as provided in this chapter, and also all the
costs of the action. The plaintiff, his agent or attorneys, shall
have notice of the time and place where the court or judge thereof
shall fix the amount of the defendant's bond, and shall have notice
and a reasonable opportunity to examine into the qualification and
sufficiency of the sureties upon said bond before said bond shall
be approved by the clerk. If the writ of restitution has been
based upon a finding by the court that the tenant, subtenant,
sublessee, or a person residing at the rental premises has engaged
in drug-related activity or has allowed any other person to engage
in drug-related activity at those premises with his or her
knowledge or approval, neither the tenant, the defendant, nor a
person in possession of the premises shall be entitled to post a
bond in order to retain possession of the premises. The writ may
be served by the sheriff, in the event he shall be unable to find
the defendant, an agent or attorney, or a person in possession of
the premises, by affixing a copy of said writ in a conspicuous
place upon the premises: PROVIDED, That the sheriff shall not
require any bond for the service or execution of the writ. The
sheriff shall be immune from all civil liability for serving and
enforcing writs of restitution unless the sheriff is grossly
negligent in carrying out his or her duty. [1989 c 342 11; 1988
c 150 3; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 40.]

NOTES:

Legislative findings--Severability--1988 c 150: See notes
following RCW 59.18.130.


RCW 59.18.400 Forcible entry or detainer or unlawful detainer
actions--Writ of restitution--Answer of defendant. On or before
the day fixed for his appearance the defendant may appear and
answer. The defendant in his answer may assert any legal or
equitable defense or set-off arising out of the tenancy. If the
complaint alleges that the tenancy should be terminated because the
defendant tenant, subtenant, sublessee, or resident engaged in
drug-related activity, or allowed any other person to engage in
drug-related activity at the rental premises with his or her
knowledge or consent, no set-off shall be allowed as a defense to
the complaint. [1988 c 150 4; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 41.]

NOTES:

Legislative findings--Severability--1988 c 150: See notes
following RCW 59.18.130.


RCW 59.18.410 Forcible entry or detainer or unlawful detainer
actions--Writ of restitution--Judgment--Execution. If upon the
trial the verdict of the jury or, if the case be tried without a
jury, the finding of the court be in favor of the plaintiff and
against the defendant, judgment shall be entered for the
restitution of the premises; and if the proceeding be for unlawful
detainer after neglect or failure to perform any condition or
covenant of a lease or agreement under which the property is held,
or after default in the payment of rent, the judgment shall also
declare the forfeiture of the lease, agreement or tenancy. The
jury, or the court, if the proceedings be tried without a jury,
shall also assess the damages arising out of the tenancy occasioned
to the plaintiff by any forcible entry, or by any forcible or
unlawful detainer, alleged in the complaint and proved on the
trial, and, if the alleged unlawful detainer be after default in
the payment of rent, find the amount of any rent due, and the
judgment shall be rendered against the defendant guilty of the
forcible entry, forcible detainer or unlawful detainer for the
amount of damages thus assessed and for the rent, if any, found
due, and the court may award statutory costs and reasonable
attorney's fees. When the proceeding is for an unlawful detainer
after default in the payment of rent, and the lease or agreement
under which the rent is payable has not by its terms expired,
execution upon the judgment shall not be issued until the
expiration of five days after the entry of the judgment, within
which time the tenant or any subtenant, or any mortgagee of the
term, or other party interested in the continuance of the tenancy,
may pay into court for the landlord the amount of the judgment and
costs, and thereupon the judgment shall be satisfied and the tenant
restored to his tenancy; but if payment, as herein provided, be not
made within five days the judgment may be enforced for its full
amount and for the possession of the premises. In all other cases
the judgment may be enforced immediately. If writ of restitution
shall have been executed prior to judgment no further writ or
execution for the premises shall be required. [1973 1st ex.s. c
207 42.]


RCW 59.18.415 Applicability to certain single family dwelling
leases. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any
lease of a single family dwelling for a period of a year or more or
to any lease of a single family dwelling containing a bona fide
option to purchase by the tenant: PROVIDED, That an attorney for
the tenant must approve on the face of the agreement any lease
exempted from the provisions of this chapter as provided for in
this section. [1989 c 342 12; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 43.]


RCW 59.18.420 RCW 59.12.090, 59.12.100, 59.12.121, and
59.12.170 inapplicable. The provisions of RCW 59.12.090,
59.12.100, 59.12.121, and 59.12.170 shall not apply to any rental
agreement included under the provisions of chapter 59.18 RCW. 
[1973 1st ex.s. c 207 44.]