Steven Law Office

Dedicated to landlord tenant relations

Problem Tenants

Dedicated Attorneys 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.

Steven Law Office can help you by effectively deal with problem tenants and assist you quickly by taking a case through the eviction process. By devoting our practice entirely to landlord/tenant law, we are able to offer exceptional landlord rights legal services.

Cause for Eviction

 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

We 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, we 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 notice — would be extremely helpful.

Contact Steven Law Office

  • Local: 509-325-8777
  • Fax: 509-444-1111

Steven Law Office does not provide free consultations.


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. Steven Law Office does not offer free consultations. Steven Law office is open Monday – Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Download Eviction Forms and Notices from our library.

Steven Law Office

1319 W. Dean Avenue,
Spokane, WA 99201
Map & directions

Phone: 509-325-8777
Fax: 509-444-1111

Steven Law Office provides experienced legal representation to landlords in Spokane, Cheney, Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Grand Coulee, Yakima, Kennewick, Moses Lake, Pasco, Pullman, Richland, Sunnyside, Walla Walla, Spokane County, Yakima County, Chelan County, Kittitas County, Grant County, Benton County, Franklin County, Walla Walla County, Whitman County Washington and all other counties east of the Cascade Mountains.