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59.18.170  <<  59.18.180 >>   59.18.190

RCW 59.18.180

Tenant's failure to comply with statutory duties — Landlord to give tenant written notice of noncompliance — Landlord's remedies.

(1) If the tenant fails to comply with any portion of RCW 59.18.130 or 59.18.140, and such noncompliance can (a) substantially affect the health and safety of the tenant or other tenants, or substantially increase the hazards of fire or accident, and (b) be remedied by repair, replacement of a damaged item, or cleaning, the tenant shall comply within thirty days after written notice by the landlord specifying the noncompliance, or, in the case of emergency as promptly as conditions require. If the tenant fails to remedy the noncompliance within that period the landlord may enter the dwelling unit and cause the work to be done and submit an itemized bill of the actual and reasonable cost of repair, to be payable on the next date when periodic rent is due, or on terms mutually agreed to by the landlord and tenant, or immediately if the rental agreement has terminated. The tenant shall have a defense to an unlawful detainer action filed solely on this ground if it is determined at the hearing authorized under the provisions of chapter 59.12 RCW that the tenant is in substantial compliance with the provisions of this section, or if the tenant remedies the noncomplying condition within the thirty day period provided for above or any shorter period determined at the hearing to have been required because of an emergency: PROVIDED, That if the defective condition is remedied after the commencement of an unlawful detainer action, the tenant may be liable to the landlord for statutory costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.

     (2) Any other substantial noncompliance by the tenant of RCW 59.18.130 or 59.18.140 constitutes a ground for commencing an action in unlawful detainer in accordance with chapter 59.12 RCW. A landlord may commence such action at any time after written notice pursuant to chapter 59.12 RCW.

     (3) If drug-related activity is alleged to be a basis for termination of tenancy under RCW 59.18.130(6), 59.12.030(5), or59.20.140 (5), the compliance provisions of this section do not apply and the landlord may proceed directly to an unlawful detainer action.

     (4) If criminal activity on the premises as described in RCW 59.18.130(8) is alleged to be the basis for termination of the tenancy, and the tenant is arrested as a result of this activity, then the compliance provisions of this section do not apply and the landlord may proceed directly to an unlawful detainer action against the tenant who was arrested for this activity.

     (5) If gang-related activity, as prohibited under RCW 59.18.130(9), is alleged to be the basis for termination of the tenancy, then the compliance provisions of this section do not apply and the landlord may proceed directly to an unlawful detainer action in accordance with chapter 59.12 RCW, and a landlord may commence such an action at any time after written notice under chapter 59.12 RCW.

     (6) A landlord may not be held liable in any cause of action for bringing an unlawful detainer action against a tenant for drug-related activity, for creating an imminent hazard to the physical safety of others, or for engaging in gang-related activity that renders people in at least two or more dwelling units or residences insecure in life or the use of property or that injures or endangers the safety or health of people in at least two or more dwelling units or residences under this section, if the unlawful detainer action was brought in good faith. Nothing in this section shall affect a landlord's liability under RCW 59.18.380 to pay all damages sustained by the tenant should the writ of restitution be wrongfully sued out.

[2011 c 132 § 10; 1998 c 276 § 3; 1992 c 38 § 3; 1988 c 150 § 7; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 § 18.]

Notes:

     Intent -- Effective date -- 1992 c 38: See notes following RCW 59.18.352.

     Legislative findings -- Severability -- 1988 c 150: See notes following RCW 59.18.130.