Travis Scott Eller is an experienced real property and landlord attorney serving Seattle/King County, Tacoma/Pierce County, Everett/Snohomish County, and Olympia/Thurston County. He focuses much of his practice on real property and landlord-tenant law. Mr. Eller handles residential evictions and commercial evictions, post-foreclosure evictions, as well as real property disputes and litigation.
Residential tenants can get a free attorney in some counties, including King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County, and Thurston County. Commercial tenants do not qualify for a free attorney, but usually hire a private attorney. Often when an eviction goes wrong for the landlord it is a procedural misstep that an experienced landlord-tenant attorney might have helped the landlord avoid.
Travis Eller regularly handles a volume of landlord-tenant cases. Mr. Eller gives lectures at landlord-tenant seminars attended by rental property owners, property managers, and other attorneys. Mr. Eller is knowledgeable, experienced, well known by the courts and the sheriff’s civil units.
Use of the correct form, and correct use of the form, are essential for a successful eviction. Even if actually received by the tenant, a notice form or other eviction document not served correctly is not valid in court, and may lead to the eviction case being dismissed. Many eviction forms on this website come with instructions, but it is best to speak with an attorney before acting.
The eviction process
Self-help eviction is illegal in Washington. A landlord may not force a tenant out by changing locks, turning off utilities, or other strong-arm measures. This is true whether or not there was a written lease or rental agreement. The landlord is legally required to go through the unlawful detainer court process, even if the landlord just wants the property back and does not care about money owed.
Both residential evictions and commercial evictions usually involve an initial eviction notice–such as a notice to pay rent or vacate, notice to comply or vacate, or notice to terminate the tenancy. These initial eviction notices are not always required–for example, when a lease expires by its terms, or in post-foreclosure evictions. Post-foreclosure evictions, however, have additional requirements. Also, all LLCs and corporations must be represented by an attorney.
Next the landlord must have a third party serve the tenant with legal pleadings. Depending on the response of the tenant, eviction may require further court procedures. Eventually, if the tenant does not vacate the sheriff will post a writ on the property giving the tenant a statutory period in which to vacate. If the tenant still fails to vacate, the sheriff will ultimately physically evict the tenant.
In Seattle, a landlord in a residential eviction must also comply with the just cause eviction ordinance.
The commercial eviction process and the residential eviction process are similar, but not identical. In residential evictions in many Washington counties the tenant can have a free attorney. Free attorneys are available in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, and Thurston County for tenants in residential evictions.
Many of the same procedural defenses–such as the time and manner of service of eviction notices, for example–apply both in residential and commercial evictions. Some defenses that might apply in a residential eviction case–such as habitability–would not apply in a commercial eviction.
Retaining an attorney with the knowledge and experience to guide your case through the eviction process can save time and money.
Attorney Travis Scott Eller
Landlord attorney Travis Scott Eller often teaches landlord-tenant law to property managers and other attorneys at continuing legal education seminars. Mr. Eller is active in the public speaking educational organization Toastmasters, is a member of the high IQ society MENSA, and has achieved the “Advocate” designation with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
We post a lot of information about Washington landlord-tenant law as well as free eviction forms on this website. The information is general in nature and not advice for your particular circumstances. Use of the information or forms on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The eviction forms are intended for Washington and not for any other jurisdiction. Even in Washington the choice of a particular form or the manner in which it is used may not be correct for particular circumstances. For advice about your circumstances consult with a landlord-tenant attorney.
 Our rates are the same for all three counties. The sheriff fees varies from county to county.