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Preserving a Tenant from Unlawful Detainer or Eviction

Just because a tenant fails to honor the lease agreement, it does not necessarily mean that you as the landlord want to evict. There are times where working through whatever issues have come up is the better course of action. This can be for a variety of reasons, but in any case, landlords have options to preserve a tenant rather than go through the eviction process.

If you are a landlord and are considering preserving your tenant, experienced Washington eviction/unlawful detainer attorney Quinn Posner can help you understand your options and will ensure you comply with all Washington laws while working with your tenant.

To Preserve or Evict?

Deciding whether to keep a tenant, despite violations of the lease agreement or to initiate an unlawful detainer action may revolve around a variety of factors. These factors may include the following.

  • Whether the violation of the lease agreement can be resolved.
  • The difficulty of finding a replacement tenant.
  • The lack of past violations.
  • Unique or emergency circumstances that make the violation understandable.

If a tenant has violated the terms of the lease agreement, you have the right to initiate an unlawful detainer action against them if you choose to. If instead you would prefer to keep your tenant, you have options.

Ways to Preserve a Tenant

As a result of a violation of the lease agreement, you may be considering whether to evict or preserve the tenant. If you would prefer to keep your tenant, you must work out whatever issue has arisen between the two of you. There are a few ways in which you can accomplish this goal.

Direct Negotiation

Under Washington law, you are allowed to negotiate directly with your tenant to attempt to resolve any issues. Direct negotiation is appropriate when you have a good relationship with the tenant, despite any of your other differences.

If you choose to work out any issues directly with your tenant, make sure to keep accurate written records of any agreements which are reached. Make sure that this written agreement is signed and dated by both parties. This will protect you from any disputes over the agreement should it become an issue at a later date.


Mediation is a legal process by which a neutral third party works with you and the tenant to work out your differences. Mediation often breaks up the impasse reached during direct negotiations and may repair broken landlord/tenant relationships.

An experienced unlawful detainer/eviction attorney can be the neutral third party in many cases. In other cases, you may be before another mediator, but your attorney can represent your interests at the mediation.

Consult a Washington Eviction/Unlawful Detainer Attorney

If you have a tenant who has violated the terms of the lease, you have rights that can and should be protected. You have the choice of whether to evict or preserve the tenant and with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you can effectively fix any issues while keeping a tenant in place.

Experienced eviction attorney Quinn Posner represents clients in Camas, Washougal, Vancouver, and the rest of Clark County. Contact Quinn Posner today to schedule a consultation.