Contact Us

Eric M. Steven, P.S.
Attorney at Law
1403 West Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99201
Phone: 509-590-4870
Toll Free: 888-742-9107
Fax:509-444-1111
Map and Directions

Problem Tenants

Dedicated Attorney Dealing With Your Problem Tenants

As a landlord, it is your job to maintain a healthy business and a safe environment for your tenants. When problem tenants fail to pay rent or engage in behavior that endangers your property and other tenants, it is your responsibility to take action.

I am attorney Eric Steven. With over 19 years of experience helping Spokane area landlords, I can help you by effectively deal with problem tenants and assist you quickly by taking a case through the eviction process. By devoting my practice entirely to landlord/tenant law, I am able to offer exceptional landlord rights legal services.

Contact My Firm to Speak with my Staff about retaining my services and Immediately Discuss Your Landlord/Tenant Issues

  • Local: 509-590-4870
  • Toll Free: 888-742-9107

My firm provides same or next day service.

Cause for Eviction

Washington state housing laws and statutes allow landlords to terminate the tenancy of problem residents who have broken the terms of their lease or violated statutory duties. These infractions include:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Criminal activity resulting in arrest, including assault, drug activity, noise disturbances and threats
  • Destruction of property
  • Breach of tenant lease or statutory duties

I handle residential, commercial, and mobile home evictions in every Washington County east of the Cascades with skillful precision.

In order to evict your problem tenants as quickly and efficiently as possible, I will examine your lease and discuss what conduct the tenant has engaged in. During this process, any information you can provide — such as an arrest warrant — would be extremely helpful.

Abandonment

The Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act at RCW 59.18.310 defines abandonment as non-payment of rent and the tenant's relinquishment of possession of the Real Property at issue. Washington Case Law further requires that the landlord provide clear and convincing evidence of the tenant's intent to relinquish possession by words or actions of the tenant indicating the lack of intent to return to the property. Abandonment is almost always a loaded factual question which requires the landlord to collect and preserve evidence indicating the tenants intent not to return to the Real Property. We recommend that you issue a 48 Hour Notice of Intent to Enter Property. When you enter the property, please take a camera with you to collect and preserve evidence that you see. Your entry should be limited to the extent necessary to ascertain whether or not someone is still residing at the property. Use the camera to photo to photograph all areas of the premises to show why you believed the tenant had abandon occupancy. Your photos should show the living room areas are empty of furniture; the kitchen is empty of cookware, dishware, cutlery, and edible food; the bedroom should show a lack of bedding and clothes; and the bathroom should show a lack of toiletries and personal items. If the rooms are not empty and have the personal items necessary to sustain ones needs and the facts may dictate the case as not one of abandonment. Mr. Steven does not believe that incarceration or temporary lapses from occupancy necessarily constitute abandonment. Once again, it is up to you as the property owner and/or manager to preserve evidence that would suggest abandonment. Finally, it is recommended that you interview neighbors to ascertain if the occupants have indicated there intent to abandon the leasehold. Preserve any notes or documents provided to the owner which would tend to indicate that the tenant has relinquished possession of the property without an intent to return. If it is apparent that the tenant does intend to return, then you do not have an abandonment situation and you may not change locks or deprive the tenant from the right to occupy the leasehold. Upon determining abandonment, it is necessary to for the landlord to store any remaining personal property left at the leasehold consistent with RCW 59.18.310 and the landlord needs to send a deposit disposition letter advising the tenant why the landlord will be holding onto a portion or all of the tenants deposit consistent with RCW 59.18.280.

Contact my firm to discuss your problem tenants. I offer free initial consultations. My office, located near the Spokane courthouse, is open weekdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm.