Landlords in Washington have a litany of different rules, regulations, and laws they must follow in order to comply with state law. Making sure you follow each expectation can be difficult without help, especially when cities enact their own rules that change state law. The City of Vancouver has special rules for dealing with its tenants, and it is important to know the differences between Vancouver and state law.
If you are a landlord in the city of Vancouver, Washington, experienced landlord/tenant attorney Quinn Posner is here to protect your rights as a landlord.
60-Day Notice Rule
If you are a landlord in the city of Vancouver, you are subject to a special "60-Day Notice" ordinance for terminating a tenant's lease agreement.
In the state of Washington at large, if a landlord wants to end a tenant's lease agreement for a month-to-month tenancy, he or she is required to give the tenant a 20-day notice of intent to terminate the agreement. The landlord must give notice 20 days notice prior to the end of the monthly term. If the tenant does not move out after the 20 days, the landlord could file an eviction action to remove the tenant.
In Vancouver, a landlord must instead give a 60-day notice of intent to terminate the lease agreement for month-to-month tenants. The landlord must give notice 60 days notice prior to the end of the monthly term. This longer period must be strictly followed. Failure to follow the rule can result in a failure to evict a non-compliant tenant.
The ordinance only applies within the Vancouver city limits, so unincorporated Vancouver is not covered. Further, only landlords who own five or more rental units are subject to the 60-day notice requirement. Vancouver landlords with four or less units may still remove a month-to-month tenant with a 20-day notice.
Why the Longer Notice Requirement?
It is common for larger cities to enact more stringent protections for its tenants than the rest of the state. In the case of Vancouver, extremely low vacancy rates and high rent means it could be profitable for Vancouver landlords to evict lower paying tenants.
The city decided that to protect its citizens, a longer notice period could help ensure that landlords could not remove tenants as quickly and easily, and it allowed tenants a longer period of time to find new housing in a difficult housing market.
What if I Don't Give a 60-Day Notice?
If you fail to notify your tenant of your intent to end the month-to-month tenancy 60 days ahead of the end of the rental term, you will be unable to remove the tenant. For example, if you accidentally give the tenant the typical 20-day notice, you will be unable to evict the tenant after the 20-day period. If you attempt to evict through self-help means, you could face serious penalties.
Consult a Washington Eviction/Unlawful Detainer Attorney
There are specific steps that must be followed to successfully and legally remove a month-to-month tenant, but with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you can feel confident that your landlord rights are cared for.
Experienced eviction attorney Quinn Posner represents clients in Camas, Washougal, Vancouver, and the rest of Clark County. Contact Quinn Posner today to schedule a free consultation.