Tacoma, WA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Washington

Q: My stepfather owns his home, but the electric bill is in my mother's name, she also pays the electric bill, and has been

staying their for a year and three months now, do he have the rights to call the police and have them to put her out even without an eviction notice?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark David Nusz
Mark David Nusz
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: No. If she's there and has utilities in her name then she probably had a right to be there at some point. She would have to be removed with proper notice and due process.

Additionally, if your mother has any ownership rights to the house, it is unlikely that she could be removed at all (i.e. if they were or are married). Just because only one spouse has their name on the deed to the home, the other spouse may still be considered to own an interest in the property under Washington community property law. Lots of factors to consider here.

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