Issuing Notices

When issuing a notice to your tenant be sure the notice is procedurally correct.  There are basic and technical requirements for issuing legal notices and if these are incorrect, your notice might be invalid.  Consult with a landlord association or an attorney to make sure your notices are proper. Service of notices is also important.  You must attempt to personally serve your tenant a notice.  If they are unavailable, you must then post the notice conspicuously (on their front door) and mail it by first class mail.  Allow an additional day for the mail to get to the tenant before the notice period expires. The following are some common notices.

Changing the terms of tenancy

  • If you want to change the provisions of a month to month rental agreement, you must provide the tenant with a minimum of 30 days advance written notice.  These changes can only become effective at the beginning of a rental period.  The 30 days cannot include the day you serve the notice.
  • Under a lease agreement, terms cannot be changed unless by mutual agreement between you and your tenant.  Be sure to record any agreed upon changes in writing and have both parties sign and date any changes to the lease. 

Ten Day notice to comply or vacate

  • A 10 day notice to comply or vacate is appropriate for any breach of the rental agreement.  It can also be used to collect late fees or notice fees. 

Fourteen Day notice to pay or vacate

  • A 14 day notice to pay or vacate is only appropriate for collecting late rent. Rent includes parking, utilities, storage and late installment payments of move-in costs. It does not include late fees, notice fees, etc. which may make the notice invalid if included.

Three day notice to quit for waste or nuisance

  • A 3 day notice for waste or nuisance is the most serious kind of notice to issue a tenant because it does not provide an opportunity to correct the violation.

Legal counsel is always recommended when you need to issue a notice.  For general guidance and information and referral you can call the Renting in Seattle Helpline at (206) 684-5700