This page is updated as emergency procedures are modified, extended, or terminated.

Statewide "Bridge" Proclamation

 

Beginning July 1, 2021, housing providers can issue all notices related to management of their properties. Pay or vacate notices are the only notice which contains any restrictions.

For rent owed from between February 29, 2020, and July 31, 2021, housing providers may only issue a pay or vacate notice if both:

  1. A rental assistance program and Eviction Resolution Program have been implemented and are operational in the county in which the rental property is located AND

  2. The housing provider served the tenant with notices offering an opportunity to participate in an operational rental assistance program and the Eviction Resolution Program and the resident rejected or failed to respond within 14 days.

 

For rent due from August 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021, housing providers may issue a pay or vacate notice unless:

  1. the resident made full payment of August and/or September rent;

  2. the resident made a partial payment which the housing provider agreed to accept;

  3. the resident applied for rental assistance; or

  4. the county where the property is located is not currently accepting applications for rental assistance.

 

Housing providers are prohibited from treating any debt accrued between February 29, 2021, and September 30, 2021, as an enforceable debt, including referring the debt to collections or withholding a security deposit until the tenant has been provided with an opportunity to participate in an operational rental assistance program and the Eviction Resolution Program.

The required notices regarding the Eviction Resolution Program and have not yet been created by the applicable government entities; until they are created, the proclamation effectively prohibits all pay or vacate notices.

The order does not contain any restrictions on actions which are unrelated to non-payment of rent. For example, housing providers may issue a 60 day notice of non-renewal or other notice permitted by Washington's for-cause termination law (HB 1236) except a pay or vacate notice. Housing providers may also issues a notice of rent increase.

 

Remember that it is unlawful retaliation to make any housing decision based on a tenant's late payment or non-payment of rent accrued between February 29, 2020, and December 31, 2021, except to offer a payment plan or issue a pay or vacate notice (when permitted).

Threatening to take any prohibited action or retaliating against a tenant for exercising his or her rights under the proclamation is also prohibited.

CDC Eviction Moratorium

 

The Center for Disease Control issued a nationwide moratorium on non-payment of rent evictions of residential tenants through July 31, 2021. The July 31 extension is "intended to be the final 30 day-period." To receive the protections, each adult occupant of a unit must delver a declaration to the landlord that he or she: (1) has made best efforts to obtain rent assistance; (2) will earn less than $99,000.00 (or double for married couples) in 2020; (3) is unable to pay the full rent; (4) is making best efforts to pay as much he/she can each month; (5) would likely become homeless if evicted; (6) understands the rent is still due; and (7) understands he/she may be evicted when the moratorium expires.

This federal action does not waive rent, prohibit late fees, prohibit interest, or restrict any action by landlords other than eviction for non-payment of rent. The only action the order prevents is physically removing the tenant; a court can order eviction provided the physical removal does not occur until after July 31, 2021. Under the federal moratorium tenants can still be evicted for any other cause permitted by the rental agreement.

CARES Act Eviction Moratorium​

 

The CARES Act eviction moratorium expired on July 25, 2020. After July 25, tenants of "covered properties" must receive 30 days' notice of any action that could terminate their tenancies (for example, a 30 day notice to pay rent or vacate).

In general, "covered properties" include almost all income-based rental programs, including Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties and tenants with Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8). The federal moratorium also covers any property that has a federally backed mortgage loan.

The broader moratorium continues to apply to multifamily properties that received a mortgage forbearance under the act. For these properties, the following following actions regarding residential tenants continue until your mortgage forbearance ends:

  • Filing evictions for non-payment of rent;

  • Charging late fees; and

  • Issuing notices of termination of tenancy.

City of Auburn

Into the Woods

In Auburn, landlords are required to offer residential tenants a repayment plan for any debt accrued from February 29, 2020, until the governor terminates Governor's Proclamation 20-05 if the non-payment was a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The payment plan that is reasonable based on the individual financial, health, and other circumstances of the tenant. Unless the landlord offers a reasonable repayment plan and the tenant either refuses or fails to comply with it, the landlord is prohibited from:

  • Attempting to collect the debt;

  • Threatening to collect the debt;

  • Sending the debt to collections;

  • Filing an unlawful detainer or other legal action for the debt;

  • Withholding any portion of a security deposit for payment of the debt;

  • Billing or invoicing for the debt;

  • Reporting the debt to a credit agency; and

  • Attempting to collect the debt by any other means.

The burden is on the landlord to prove the plan was reasonable.

City of Burien

Into the Woods

Burien Ordinance 773 prohibits the following actions regarding residential tenants until September 30, 2021:

  • Issue any notice unless the termination is related to the protection of life and safety, an owner's intent to personally occupy the premises, or an owner's intent to sell the premises;

  • Take any action in court that would result in eviction of a tenant; and

  • Charging late fees due to late payment of rent.

In addition, the court may continue any existing case until the ban is terminated.

After the public health emergency expires, any notice to pay or vacate must include the following language in underlined, 12 point font: “You may not be evicted for rent that became due during the Governor’s State of Emergency if your lease lapsed or expired, or the rent was unpaid because of a substantial reduction in household income or a substantial increase in expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This does not relieve you of the obligation to pay back rent in the future.”

 

The ordinance permanently prohibits eviction for non-payment of rent that came due between February 29, 2021, and September 30, 2021, as well as enforcing the end date of a lease that expired during that time.

City of Kenmore

Flower Plant

Kenmore Ordinance 21-0525 prohibits the following actions regarding residential tenants until September 30, 2021:

  • Issue any notice unless the termination is related to the protection of life and safety, an owner's intent to personally occupy the premises, or an owner's intent to sell the premises;

  • Take any action in court that would result in eviction of a tenant; and

  • Charging late fees due to late payment of rent.

After the public health emergency expires, any notice to pay or vacate must include the following language in bold, underlined, 12 point font: “You may not be evicted for rent that became due during the public health emergency if the rent was unpaid because of a substantial reduction in household income or a substantial increase in expenses related to the Coronavirus pandemic. This does not relieve you of the obligation to pay back rent in the future.”

The ordinance permanently prohibits eviction for non-payment of rent that came due between February 29, 2021, and September 30, 2021.

For small businesses and nonprofits, some additional requirements are imposed on the landlord-tenant relationship through June 30, 2021:

  • Landlords are prohibited from taking any action to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent;

  • Landlords are required to "endeavor to enter into a repayment plan, discount to rent, or other agreement to assist the distressed small business or nonprofit in rent"; and

  • No late fee may be charged for non-payment of rent.

King County

Police Cars

In unincorporated King County only, landlords are required to offer residential tenants and small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic a reasonable payment plan for any unpaid rent due between March 1, 2020, and March 1, 2021, and cannot charge late fees during that period. In an eviction based on non-payment or repeated late payment of rent, the court may order a payment plan or other relief after taking the landlord's and tenant's circumstances into account.

King County Superior Court requires the landlord to file and serve a special declaration with all unlawful detainer cases and is conducting all eviction hearings by phone. The court is also participating in the pilot Eviction Resolution Program. The program covers non-payment of rent cases only and requires landlords to include a notice of early resolution and resource information to tenants with any notice to pay or vacate and again prior to serving a summons and complaint and to notify the Volunteers of America how to contact the tenant. Participation is optional during the various eviction moratoria and mandatory after each moratorium expires.

The King County Sheriff is enforcing writs of restitution on a case by case basis. If the court issues a writ, the sheriff will conduct a review to confirm the case meets the requirements of the governor's moratorium to permit law enforcement to act.

City of Kirkland

Men on Beach

Kirkland Ordinance O-4759 prohibits the following actions regarding residential tenants until September 30, 2021:

  • Issue any notice unless the termination is related to the protection of life and safety, an owner's intent to personally occupy the premises, or an owner's intent to sell the premises;

  • Take any action in court that would result in eviction of a tenant; and

  • Charging late fees due to late payment of rent.

In addition, the court may continue any existing case until the ban is terminated.

After the public health emergency expires, any notice to pay or vacate must include the following language in bold, underlined, 12 point font: "You may not be evicted for rent that became due during the City of Kirkland's Proclamation of  Emergency if your rent was unpaid because of a substantial reduction in household income or a substantial increase in expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This does not relieve you of the obligation to pay back rent in the future. For more information for renters or landlords, call (425) 587-3326 or go to housinghelp@kirklandwa.gov.”

The ordinance permanently prohibits eviction for non-payment of rent that came due between February 29, 2021, and September 30, 2021.

City of Seattle

Cargo Ship at the Port

In Seattle, the following actions regarding residential tenants and small commercial businesses/non-profits are prohibited until September 30, 2021, by Civil Emergency Order:

  • Issue any notice unless there is an "imminent threat to the health or safety";

  • Taking any legal action in an eviction case unless there is an " imminent threat to the health or safety" including acting on expiration of a fixed-term lease; and

  • Charging late fees or other fees due to non-payment of rent.

 

In addition, the court may continue any existing case until the ban is terminated.

Seattle has also passed multiple ordinances addressing unlawful detainers after the city's state of emergency ends. Those restrictions do not take effect until the emergency moratorium ends; they will be summarized in a separate update.

*All information displayed on the LT Services website is informational and shall not be deemed as legal advice.  If you would like legal representation or advice, please contact us through e-mail or by phone.  Until an attorney-client relationship has been established, no information you provide is privileged or confidential.