Shane Yelish

Landlord’s responsibilities when sheriff executes a writ of restitution in an unlawful detainer action

The landlord must provide all necessary manpower and materials to complete the eviction as expeditiously as possible including boxes, large plastic garbage bags, and rolls of plastic sheeting to cover furniture which need to be provided by landlord.

The landlord must store the property if the tenant has served the landlord a written request to store the property not later than three (3) days after service of the writ. The sheriff serves the tenant with the proper form when the eviction occurs.

If the landlord knows the tenant has a disability which prevents or impairs the tenant from requesting storage it is presume the tenant has requested storage unless a written objection from the tenant is made.

The landlord may store the property in “any reasonably secure place” (including the premises) and may sell and dispose of the as provided in RCW 59.18.312.

RCW 59.18.312 requires:

A landlord shall take possession of any property of the tenant found on the premises.

If the total value of the property is less than $100.00, the landlord may sell or dispose of the property except for personal papers, family pictures, and keepsakes after seven days notice to the tenant. The notice shall either be mailed to the tenant’s last known address or personally delivered to the tenant. After seven days from the date the notice is mailed or delivered to the tenant, the landlord may sell or dispose of the property After 30 days from the notice, you can sell or dispose of the personal papers, family pictures, and keepsakes.

If the total value of the property exceeds $100.00, the landlord needs to notify the tenant thirty days before the sale date by mailing or personally delivering the notice to the tenant’s last known address. The landlord may sell property, personal papers, family pictures, and keepsakes, and dispose of any property not sold

The landlord may apply any income derived from the sale of the tenant’s property against moneys due the landlord for drayage and storage of the property. The amount of sale proceeds that the landlord may apply towards such costs may not exceed the actual or reasonable costs for drayage and storage of the property, whichever is less.

Any excess income derived from the sale of such property shall be held by the landlord for the benefit of the tenant for a period of one year from the date of the sale. If no claim is made or action commenced by the tenant for the recovery of the excess income prior to the expiration of that period of time, then the balance shall be treated as abandoned property and deposited by the landlord with the department of revenue pursuant to chapter 63.29 RCW

Property stored shall be returned to the tenant after the tenant has paid the actual or reasonable drayage and storage costs, whichever is less, or until it is sold or disposed of by the landlord

The landlord may remove the tenant’s property to the nearest public property if the tenant has not served the landlord with a written request to store the property within 3 days of service of the writ.

Vehicles left by the tenant must be removed as a private impound with towing and storage arrangements made by the landlord.

Animals are impounded by the Human Society and held pending later release to the tenant or adoption.