How do I evict a tenant who has not taken care of the property?
The applicable Washington statutes are as follows:
RCW 59.18.020 Rights and remedies — Obligation of good faith imposed.
Every duty under this chapter and every act which must be performed as a
condition precedent to the exercise of a right or remedy under this chapter
imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance or enforcement.
RCW 59.18.130 Duties of tenant.
Each tenant shall pay the rental amount at such times and in such amounts
as provided for in the rental agreement or as otherwise provided by law and
comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions
of all municipal, county, and state codes, statutes, ordinances, and
regulations, and in addition shall:
(1) Keep that part of the premises which he or she occupies and uses as
clean and sanitary as the conditions of the premises permit;
(2) Properly dispose from his or her dwelling unit all rubbish, garbage,
and other organic or flammable waste, in a clean and sanitary manner at
reasonable and regular intervals, and assume all costs of extermination and
fumigation for infestation caused by the tenant;
(3) Properly use and operate all electrical, gas, heating, plumbing and
other fixtures and appliances supplied by the landlord;
(4) Not intentionally or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or
remove any part of the structure or dwelling, with the appurtenances
thereto, including the facilities, equipment, furniture, furnishings, and
appliances, or permit any member of his or her family, invitee, licensee,
or any person acting under his or her control to do so. Violations may be
prosecuted under chapter 9A.48 RCW if the destruction is intentional and
(5) Not permit a nuisance or common waste;
(6) Not engage in drug-related activity at the rental premises, or allow
a subtenant, sublessee, resident, or anyone else to engage in drug-related
activity at the rental premises with the knowledge or consent of the
tenant. "Drug-related activity" means that activity which constitutes a
violation of chapter 69.41, 69.50, or 69.52 RCW;
(7) Maintain the smoke detection device in accordance with the
manufacturer's recommendations, including the replacement of batteries
where required for the proper operation of the smoke detection device, as
required in RCW 48.48.140(3);[fn*]
(8) Not engage in any activity at the rental premises that is:
(a) Imminently hazardous to the physical safety of other persons on the
(b)(i) Entails physical assaults upon another person which result in an
(ii) Entails the unlawful use of a firearm or other deadly weapon as
defined in RCW 9A.04.110 which results in an arrest, including threatening
another tenant or the landlord with a firearm or other deadly weapon under
RCW 59.18.352. Nothing in this subsection (8) shall authorize the
termination of tenancy and eviction of the victim of a physical assault or
the victim of the use or threatened use of a firearm or other deadly
(9) Not engage in any gang-related activity at the premises, as defined
in RCW 59.18.030, or allow another to engage in such activity at the
premises, that renders people in at least two or more dwelling units or
residences insecure in life or the use of property or that injures or
endangers the safety or health of people in at least two or more dwelling
units or residences. In determining whether a tenant is engaged in
gang-related activity, a court should consider the totality of the
circumstances, including factors such as whether there have been a
significant number of complaints to the landlord about the tenant's
activities at the property, damages done by the tenant to the property,
including the property of other tenants or neighbors, harassment or threats
made by the tenant to other tenants or neighbors that have been reported to
law enforcement agencies, any police incident reports involving the tenant,
and the tenant's criminal history; and
(10) Upon termination and vacation, restore the premises to their initial
condition except for reasonable wear and tear or conditions caused by
failure of the landlord to comply with his or her obligations under this
chapter: PROVIDED, That the tenant shall not be charged for normal cleaning
if he or she has paid a nonrefundable cleaning fee.
[fn*] RCW 48.48.140 was recodified as RCW 43.44.110 pursuant to 2006 c
25 § 13.
RCW 59.18.160 Landlord's remedies if tenant fails to remedy defective
If, after receipt of written notice, as provided in RCW 59.18.170, the
tenant fails to remedy the defective condition within a reasonable time,
the landlord may:
(1) Bring an action in an appropriate court, or at arbitration if so
agreed for any remedy provided under this chapter or otherwise provided by
(2) Pursue other remedies available under this chapter.
RCW 59.18.170 Landlord to give notice if tenant fails to carry out duties.
If at any time during the tenancy the tenant fails to carry out the
duties required by RCW 59.18.130 or 59.18.140, the landlord may, in
addition to pursuit of remedies otherwise provided by law, give written
notice to the tenant of said failure, which notice shall specify the nature
of the failure.
RCW 59.18.180 Tenant's failure to comply with statutory duties — Landlord
to give tenant written notice of noncompliance — Landlord's remedies.
(1) If the tenant fails to comply with any portion of RCW 59.18.130 or
59.18.140, and such noncompliance can substantially affect the health and
safety of the tenant or other tenants, or substantially increase the
hazards of fire or accident that can be remedied by repair, replacement of
a damaged item, or cleaning, the tenant shall comply within thirty days
after written notice by the landlord specifying the noncompliance, or, in
the case of emergency as promptly as conditions require. If the tenant
fails to remedy the noncompliance within that period the landlord may enter
the dwelling unit and cause the work to be done and submit an itemized bill
of the actual and reasonable cost of repair, to be payable on the next date
when periodic rent is due, or on terms mutually agreed to by the landlord
and tenant, or immediately if the rental agreement has terminated. Any
substantial noncompliance by the tenant of RCW 59.18.130 or 59.18.140 shall
constitute a ground for commencing an action in unlawful detainer in
accordance with the provisions of chapter 59.12 RCW, and a landlord may
commence such action at any time after written notice pursuant to such
chapter. The tenant shall have a defense to an unlawful detainer action
filed solely on this ground if it is determined at the hearing authorized
under the provisions of chapter 59.12 RCW that the tenant is in substantial
compliance with the provisions of this section, or if the tenant remedies
the noncomplying condition within the thirty day period provided for above
or any shorter period determined at the hearing to have been required
because of an emergency: PROVIDED, That if the defective condition is
remedied after the commencement of an unlawful detainer action, the tenant
may be liable to the landlord for statutory costs and reasonable attorney's
(2) If drug-related activity is alleged to be a basis for termination of
tenancy under RCW 59.18.130(6), 59.12.030(5), or 59.20.140(5), the
compliance provisions of this section do not apply and the landlord may
proceed directly to an unlawful detainer action.
(3) If activity on the premises that creates an imminent hazard to the
physical safety of other persons on the premises as defined in RCW
59.18.130(8) is alleged to be the basis for termination of the tenancy, and
the tenant is arrested as a result of this activity, then the compliance
provisions of this section do not apply and the landlord may proceed
directly to an unlawful detainer action against the tenant who was arrested
for this activity.
(4) If gang-related activity, as prohibited under RCW 59.18.130(9), is
alleged to be the basis for termination of the tenancy, then the compliance
provisions of this section do not apply and the landlord may proceed
directly to an unlawful detainer action in accordance with chapter 59.12
RCW, and a landlord may commence such an action at any time after written
notice under chapter 59.12 RCW.
(5) A landlord may not be held liable in any cause of action for bringing
an unlawful detainer action against a tenant for drug-related activity, for
creating an imminent hazard to the physical safety of others, or for
engaging in gang-related activity that renders people in at least two or
more dwelling units or residences insecure in life or the use of property
or that injures or endangers the safety or health of people in at least two
or more dwelling units or residences under this section, if the unlawful
detainer action was brought in good faith. Nothing in this section shall
affect a landlord's liability under RCW 59.18.380 to pay all damages
sustained by the tenant should the writ of restitution be wrongfully sued
[1998 c 276 § 3; 1992 c 38 § 3; 1988 c 150 § 7; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 § 18.]
RCW 59.18.190 Notice to tenant to remedy nonconformance.
Whenever the landlord learns of a breach of RCW 59.18.130 or has accepted
performance by the tenant which is at variance with the terms of the rental
agreement or rules enforceable after the commencement of the tenancy, he
may immediately give notice to the tenant to remedy the nonconformance.
Said notice shall expire after sixty days unless the landlord pursues any
remedy under this chapter.
RCW 59.18.200 Tenancy from month to month or for rental period —
Termination — Armed Forces exception — Exclusion of children or conversion
to condominium — Notice.
(1)(a) When premises are rented for an indefinite time, with monthly or
other periodic rent reserved, such tenancy shall be construed to be a
tenancy from month to month, or from period to period on which rent is
payable, and shall be terminated by written notice of twenty days or more,
preceding the end of any of the months or periods of tenancy, given by
either party to the other.
(b) Any tenant who is a member of the armed forces, including the
national guard and armed forces reserves, or that tenant's spouse or
dependant, may terminate a rental agreement with less than twenty days'
notice if the tenant receives reassignment or deployment orders that do not
allow a twenty-day notice.
(2) Whenever a landlord plans to change any apartment or apartments to a
condominium form of ownership or plans to change to a policy of excluding
children, the landlord shall give a written notice to a tenant at least
ninety days before termination of the tenancy to effectuate such change in
policy. Such ninety-day notice shall be in lieu of the notice required by
subsection (1) of this section. However, if after giving the ninety-day
notice the change in policy is delayed, the notice requirements of
subsection (1) of this section shall apply unless waived by the tenant.
[2003 c 7 § 1; 1979 ex.s. c 70 § 1; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 § 20.]
RCW 59.18.253 Deposit to secure occupancy by tenant — Landlord's duties —
(1) It shall be unlawful for a landlord to require a fee from a
prospective tenant for the privilege of being placed on a waiting list to
be considered as a tenant for a dwelling unit.
(2) A landlord who charges a prospective tenant a fee or deposit to
secure that the prospective tenant will move into a dwelling unit, after
the dwelling unit has been offered to the prospective tenant, must provide
the prospective tenant with a receipt for the fee or deposit, together with
a written statement of the conditions, if any, under which the fee or
deposit is refundable. If the prospective tenant does occupy the dwelling
unit, then the landlord must credit the amount of the fee or deposit to the
tenant's first month's rent or to the tenant's security deposit. If the
prospective tenant does not occupy the dwelling unit, then the landlord may
keep up to the full amount of any fee or deposit that was paid by the
prospective tenant to secure the tenancy, so long as it is in accordance
with the written statement of conditions furnished to the prospective
tenant at the time the fee or deposit was charged. A fee charged to secure
a tenancy under this subsection does not include any cost charged by a
landlord to use a tenant screening service or obtain background information
on a prospective tenant.
(3) In any action brought for a violation of this section a landlord may
be liable for the amount of the fee or deposit charged. In addition, any
landlord who violates this section may be liable to the prospective tenant
for an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars. The prevailing party may
also recover court costs and a reasonable attorneys' fee.
RCW 59.18.260 Moneys paid as deposit or security for performance by tenant
— Written rental agreement to specify terms and conditions for retention by
landlord — Written checklist required.
If any moneys are paid to the landlord by the tenant as a deposit or as
security for performance of the tenant's obligations in a lease or rental
agreement, the lease or rental agreement shall be in writing and shall
include the terms and conditions under which the deposit or portion thereof
may be withheld by the landlord upon termination of the lease or rental
agreement. If all or part of the deposit may be withheld to indemnify the
landlord for damages to the premises for which the tenant is responsible,
the rental agreement shall be in writing and shall so specify. No deposit
may be collected by a landlord unless the rental agreement is in writing
and a written checklist or statement specifically describing the condition
and cleanliness of or existing damages to the premises and furnishings,
including, but not limited to, walls, floors, countertops, carpets, drapes,
furniture, and appliances, is provided by the landlord to the tenant at the
commencement of the tenancy. The checklist or statement shall be signed and
dated by the landlord and the tenant, and the tenant shall be provided with
a copy of the signed checklist or statement. No such deposit shall be
withheld on account of normal wear and tear resulting from ordinary use of
RCW 59.18.300 Termination of tenant's utility services — Tenant causing
loss of landlord provided utility services.
It shall be unlawful for a landlord to intentionally cause termination of
any of his tenant's utility services, including water, heat, electricity,
or gas, except for an interruption of utility services for a reasonable
time in order to make necessary repairs. Any landlord who violates this
section may be liable to such tenant for his actual damages sustained by
him, and up to one hundred dollars for each day or part thereof the tenant
is thereby deprived of any utility service, and the prevailing party may
recover his costs of suit or arbitration and a reasonable attorney's fee.
It shall be unlawful for a tenant to intentionally cause the loss of
utility services provided by the landlord, including water, heat,
electricity or gas, excepting as resulting from the normal occupancy of the