Landlords and Power of Attorney


Corporations and LLCs when appearing in court must be represented by an attorney. “Washington law…requires individuals appearing before the court on behalf of another party to be licensed in the practice of law.” [1]  Accordingly, “corporations appearing in court proceedings must be represented by an attorney.”[2]  This is true even of single-member corporations and LLCs.[3]

Likewise, someone without a law license cannot represent another person in court. There is no exception for a power of attorney, or for paralegals.[4]

A person can represent themselves in court, but we do not recommend it. We frequently take calls from people whose eviction was dismissed, or reached a point in the process at which the landlord is lost and does not understand what to do next. When the landlord starts the process themselves it takes our firm more time – not less – because we have to review everything the landlord did up to that point. Often we have to tell them to back up, or even start over from scratch. It makes no difference if the landlord does not care about money and only wants the property back. The court process is the same. (Note that we are not talking about notices to pay rent or vacate, or similar notices, which are typically served by the landlord.)

Contact our eviction lawyer if are a landlord with landlord-tenant questions.

[1] Lloyd Enters., Inc. v. Longview Plumbing & Heating Co., 91 Wn. App. 697, 701, 958 P.2d 1035 (1998).

[2] Lloyd Enters., 91 Wn. App. at 701.

[3] Dutch Village Mall v. Pelletti, 162 Wn. App. 531, 256 P.3d 1251 (2011).

[4] State v. Hunt, 75 Wn.App. 795, 880 P.2d 96 (Wash.App. Div. 2 1994).