Q:

What are the tenant's rights during an eviction?

A:

Quick Answer

To evict a tenant, the landlord must serve a written notice to pay or vacate and then a notice to vacate or comply with the terms of the lease or rental agreement, according to the Tenants Union of Washington State. A landlord must then file a lawsuit to evict.

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Full Answer

Although a tenant's rights during eviction proceedings vary by state laws, in many cases tenants have three days to vacate or pay after served with a written notice and 10 days to comply with the lease agreement or vacate, according to the Tenants Union of Washington State. The tenant has the right to receive written notices before a landlord can begin court proceedings to serve an eviction lawsuit to the tenant.

Once a lawsuit is filed, the landlord must serve the tenant with a summons and complaint for eviction that details a court hearing date, according to Nolo. Tenants have the right to defend themselves and provide evidence of inhabitable conditions of the property, illegal behavior by the landlord and justifications for non-payment if applicable. If the landlord wins the eviction lawsuit, the tenant has the right to remain in the property for a designated time stipulated by the judge to pack and move without interference from the landlord. A sheriff's escort may be required if the tenant does not evacuate by the designated eviction date.

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