Federal Way Limits Landlords’ Eviction Remedies

The recently passed Federal Way “Stable Housing” initiative limits the grounds upon which landlords may evict tenants. These limits apply even if the tenant is month-to-month.

The eviction grounds include non-payment of rent and other breaches of the rental agreement, or the tenant commits waste or nuisance.

Some eviction grounds require 120-day notice. These grounds include 1) that the landlord or immediate family member intends to reside in the rental, 2) the landlord seeks to convert the property to a condominium, 3)  the landlord seeks to demolish or substantially rehabilitate the rental, 4) a governmental entity has prohibited rental to the tenant, and 5) the landlord intends to remove the property from the market for at least 24 months.

The landlord may terminate the tenancy with 30-days’ notice due to tenant “chronic, unexcused, and unjustified failure to pay rent” that causes the landlord to file numerous unlawful detainer actions over a twelve-month period.

If the landlord resides in the same dwelling and no longer wishes to cohabitate with the tenant the landlord may evict the tenant.

Landlords must give tenants the option to renew a lease. The renewal option must be served in the same manner as eviction notices under state law. The landlord must serve the renewal option between 60 to 90 days prior to the expiration of a lease. The landlord must give the tenant at least 30 days to respond. The landlord may refuse to renew for good cause but must give written notice of the good cause.

The law creates a rebuttable presumption if the landlord takes adverse action against a tenant within nine months of the tenant exercising any tenant-right or defense

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