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KimberlyLaw, Attorney and Real Estate Broker
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 4219
Experience:  13 years of real estate experience including foreclosures, landlord tenant matters, residential sales and condo/coop matters.
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Tenants have been sued and served a summons and complaint

Customer Question

Tenants have been sued and served a summons and complaint for unlawful detainer. They left me a phone message (nothing in writing) and also let me know in person that they are willing to work it out and offer to pay back due rent over time until it is
paid off. I am not interested in the terms they propose. They also have violated their rental agreement in several other ways, violations that had been included in the eviction complaint. They are on a one-year lease but I don't wish to keep them as tenants.
They have to respond to the summons and complaints by the 25th. Do I have to respond to their offer before that deadline? If so does it have to be in writing?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For Washington state.
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I am happy to assist you today. Thanks for requesting me.

No. You don't have to respond to the offer of settlement at all. You have no obligation to take the offer or respond. Something to keep in mind, though, is that the judge will be looking towards a settlement, including some sort of payment plan, if the only issue is non payment of rent.

In your case, if there are actually significant issues beyond the non payment of rent, that would give you grounds under the lease to ask them to leave even if they had paid their rent, then that is a different situation. If you have separate grounds for eviction beyond non payment of rent, then you have an even stronger position against settlement, because your goal is to get them to leave the property AND pay what they owe, not simply pay what they owe and stay.

I think you are in good shape. Maybe they won't respond to the Complaint at all, and then you should ask for a default judgment.

Best of luck,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome. Feel free to request me again in the future. I am online most days.

If you are all set, please don't forget to close out the question with a 4 or 5 rating. Otherwise, the system may keep your money and I won't get paid for my work with you.

Take care,

Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 1 year ago.


I haven't heard back from you and I need to close out this question. You might not be aware of this, but if you don't close the question (with a 4 or 5 rating), the system may keep your money and I won't get paid for my work with you.

This is my full time job, so I appreciate you taking care of this.

Take care,