Real Property Attorney Travis Scott Eller
Real property attorney Travis Scott Eller focuses much of his practice on real property law. Travis Eller provides eviction service, handles landlord-tenant litigation, and helps landlords defend civil rights and fair housing complaints.
Experience and credentials.
Travis Eller has decades of litigation experience, including quiet title actions, earnest money agreement disputes,disputes involving homeowners associations, and ejectment actions. The National Institute for Trial Advocacy awarded Travis Eller its "Advocate" designation. Mr. Eller gives lectures at landlord-tenant seminars attended by rental property owners, property managers, and other attorneys.
Mr. Eller handles residential evictions, commercial evictions, and post-foreclosure evictions. Mr. Eller handles evictions in Seattle, Tacoma , Everett, Olympia, and all of King County, Pierce County Snohomish County, and Thurston County. While most eviction cases are resolved in a matter of weeks, some eviction cases are set for trial, and a few reach the appellate courts. Mr. Eller has successfully litigated landlord-tenant cases through trial and appeal.
Mr. Eller has tried many real property cases, and represented landlords in federal court and the Washington Court of Appeals.
Fair Housing Complaints.
Travis Scott Eller has successfully defended fair housing complaints.
Call 206-801-1188 or 425-641-8010
We provide start to finish eviction service. An experienced attorney will personally handle your eviction case at a competitive rate.
Our landlord attorney has been handling eviction cases on a volume basis for decades.
Real Property Litigation
Real property litigation springs from many types of real property disputes including HOA (homeowners association) disputes, construction disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, and real estate transaction (earnest money agreement) disputes.
Travis Scott Eller has experience in litigation, arbitration, and mediation. He has achieved "Advocate" designation with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
Ask for an initial consultation about navigating through the litigation process.
Civil Rights Complaints
Sometimes landlords may find themselves defending against a civil rights complaint, even though the landlord genuinely believes they did nothing wrong. Fair housing and civil rights complaints are serious legal matters, and can lead to imposition of heavy fines, penalties, and court costs on landlords.
We can help.
Attention Tacoma Landlords.
A new tenants rights went into effect February 1. The new law requires landlords to allow move-in costs in installments; give informational packets to all tenants (including current tenants); include a Resource Summary when serving a pay rent or vacate notice, comply or vacate notice, and similar pre-eviction notices; give 60 days notice of rent increases; and give 60 days notice of termination of month-to-month tenancies.
If you are a Tacoma residential landlord, contact our office for a free consultation on the new Tacoma tenants rights laws.
Recent Changes in Tacoma Landlord-Tenant Law
New Tenants Rights Laws.
There are many new legal requirements for landlords of Tacoma residential rental properties. The new laws require landlords to
- give all tenants a City-drafted landlord-tenant law summary
- give at least 60 days notice to end a month-to-month tenancy
- serve a City-drafted resource summary when serving a tenant an eviction notice
- accept security deposits and move-in costs in installments
There are many other new rules. Tacoma landlords should contact our office with any questions.
Recent Changes in Seattle Landlord-Tenant Law
New Seattle residential landlord-tenant laws.
Seattle has enacted many new residential landlord tenant laws, including
- first-in-time rule ordinance
- limits on security deposits and move-in fees
- residential rental property registration
Failure to comply with Seattle landlord-tenant laws may affect the landlord’s right to seek eviction of the tenant.
Seattle landlords should contact our office for a free consultation.
Recent Changes in Landlord-Tenant Law Statewide
There have been many important changes in landlord-tenant law at the federal and Washington state levels in the past few years.
Washington has passed a law requiring residential landlords to accept essentially all sources of income, including public and private benefits and subsidies.
Landlords may not refuse to rent based on source of income, charge more rent or fees, or otherwise discriminate based on source of income.
Tenant criminal background checks.
Under federal HUD guidelines issued in 2016, landlords may face fair-housing liability if the landlord imposes a blanket rule regarding screening potential residential tenants for criminal history.
Note that this is a federal guideline, so it applies even outside of Seattle.
The Eviction Process
Court action is required to evict any tenant.
A landlord is always required to go through the eviction process in court for any tenant who refuses to leave. A landlord must go through the eviction process even if the landlord just wants the property back, the tenant is clearly in violation of the lease, or there never was a written rental agreement. 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. The eviction process is also known as an unlawful detainer action.
Residential tenants can get a free attorney in many Washington counties. Commercial tenants usually hire a private landlord-tenant attorney.
Landlord-tenant law is rapidly changing.
While state law sets out the basic framework of the eviction process, local laws often change this basic framework in important ways. A wave of new local landlord-tenant laws in Seattle, Tacoma, and many other locations in recent years complicates the eviction process.
This year there are numerous proposals to fundamentally change Washington landlord-tenant laws. These proposals are directed towards making it more difficult for landlords to evict tenants.
If a landlord is not aware of eviction laws and procedures, the landlord may miss an important element of the eviction process, and might have to start over. 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.
An eviction attorney can help.
Hiring a landlord-tenant attorney with the knowledge and experience to guide your case through the eviction process can save time and money. We have been there before. If you need to evict a problem tenant, contact our office.
I emailed the 3-day/10-day/20-day notice. I know the tenant got the notice. That counts as service of the notice in court, right?
Proper service of an eviction notice requires someone to go to the rental property and knock on the door. There are detailed instructions on serving eviction notices on this website, and our downloadable eviction notice forms come with a page of instructions.
No, for now.
The Seattle First-in-Time ordinance required landlords of residential properties in Seattle to accept the first financially qualified tenant, leaving no discretion to the landlord.
This law was ruled unconstitutional by a local judge.
An appeal with the Washington State Supreme Court is pending.
I own a motel/hotel/or etc. A guest refuses to leave, or has not paid. He says he is a tenant and has rights, and that I have to evict him. Is that true.
Usually transient lodging guests do not have to be evicted through a court process. The owner can simply kick them out.
However, under some circumstances the transient lodging guest may be considered a tenant. For more see our page about transient lodging or contact us.
Probably not if they can be said to live in your place. A court order is required to remove someone who has established residency. This normally means an eviction lawsuit.
The various notices (3-day, 10-day, 20-day) are NOT steps in a progression. These are all different notices for different situations. If a landlord serves one notice (say a 3-day) then after that notice period expires serves another (say, a 20-day) a court may rule that the landlord waived the first notice (the 3-day). If the landlord serves a 20-day after the previous notice expires the landlord is starting over from scratch.
The landlord may serve multiple notices at the same time, if applicable. But, the landlord should NOT serve new notices after previous notices have expired.
The next step in the eviction process is serving a summons and complaint, NOT new notices.