Q: After given a 3 day to pay or vacate notice, how long do I actually have to vacate?
I saw on the "Tenates Rights" web pages that I actually have 21 days before the sheriff would come and start putting stuff out of the house. Is that correct?
It generally takes several weeks before the sheriff will come and actually evict / put you stuff out on the curb. The answer to your question is: it depends on several factors, one of which is which city / county you live in. While the laws that pertain to tenant evictions are set out in Washington state law, a few municipalities have made it even harder for landlords to actually evict a tenant for non payment of rent. If the tenant fights the eviction, then it takes even longer.
A word of warning to tenants that do not get out within the time frame allowed in the Notice to Vacate, and thereby force the landlord to file an eviction / unlawful detainer action in court - this will go on your record and you will then have a real hard time finding a place to rent in the future. Once this case is filed, it generally will not be removed from your record. Therefore, if you wait until you get served with an actual lawsuit, it may be too late. The eviction is already out there in the public records for all to see.
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