How do Commercial Evictions Differ from Residential in Washington State?
In Washington State, unlawful detainers in the commercial and residential context bear striking similarities. But, there are some differences you should know about with regard to commercial unlawful detainers (also called an “eviction.”).
Writ of restitution - pre-trial possession
The biggest distinction is that a commercial landlord may obtain a writ of restitution, whereby a judge orders restoration of possession of the property back to the landlord before the commencement of trial. However, the landlord is required to post a bond to obtain a pre-trial writ, making this option less appealing to commercial landlords already losing money.
Commercial landlords may get double rent at the time of judgment. Typically, the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act affords only tenants the right to double damages.
collectibility and insolvency
This is always a concern for landlords, commercial or otherwise. However, since the parties are typically more sophisticated in the commercial context, tenant bankruptcies are more common. This can create innumerable headaches for a commercial landlord, who is then faced with an automatic stay and additional attorney’s fees and costs (not to mention lost rent) after a tenant files for bankruptcy. post-bankruptcy petition.
Commercial landlords are required to pay higher filing fees with the Court Clerk and to pay a bond to the Sheriff’s office is many cases.
About The Mayo Law Group PLLC, a Spokane-based Landlord law firm
MLG is a full-service law firm operated by Mack and Katie Mayo, a husband-and-wife lawyer and paralegal team with exceptional knowledge of law and business.
Katie Mayo, the managing paralegal, has her B.A. in history and criminal justice from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and her Master’s Degree from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. She has owned and operated several highly successful businesses in the region. Before going into the law, she successfully ran a business as a professional horse trainer, owned and operated several investment properties, and served as a licensed counselor to underprivileged youth facing substance abuse issues.
Mack Mayo, the managing attorney, obtained his B.A. in English literature from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and his J.D. from Charleston School of Law before settling in Spokane, Washington to be a litigator. He has been selected as a Washington State Super Lawyer Rising Star and “Top Spokane Lawyer” for seven straight years for Business & Corporate Law and Class Actions & Mass Torts.
MLG has successfully performed hundreds of commercial and residential evictions; overseen complex secured transactions and business-to-business sales; prepared promissory notes, mortgages, and deeds of trusts for the purchase and sale of real estate (residential and commercial); tried cases to verdict, including obtaining a $850,000.00 verdict against the State of Washington for wrongful conviction; and successfully argued before the Washington Supreme Court. Currently, MLG represents dozens of businesses, including real estate owners, landlords, and property managers, in litigation and transactional matters, and as their general outside counsel.