This page is updated as emergency procedures are modified, extended, or terminated.
Statewide Housing Practices Proclamation
The following actions regarding residential tenants are prohibited through June 30, 2021, by Governor Inslee in Proclamation 20-19.6:
Issuing any notice that could lead to eviction unless the landlord includes a sworn statement that the action is necessary to respond to a significant and immediate risk to the health, safety, or property of others;
Issuing a notice of termination of tenancy unless the landlord both provides 60 days' advance notice of termination and a sworn statement that the purposes of the termination is either for the owner to personally occupy the unit as a primary residents or for sale of the unit;
Taking any action to obtain possession of residential property, including enforcing a requirement to vacate at the end of an expired lease term;
Charging rent or other amounts for any period that the resident could not access the dwelling as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, including closed seasonal or student housing and units where the tenant could not move in because of COVID-19;
Charging late fees that accrued between February 29 and the end of the moratorium;
Increasing the rent or security deposit; and
Making any communication asserting that rent is due where the non-payment was a result of COVID-19 and occurred on or after February 29, 2020, including bringing any action in court, notifying the credit bureaus, or withholding a portion of a security deposit. These actions are permitted if the landlord can prove that the tenant was either offered and refused or accepted and failed to comply with "a re-payment plan that was reasonable based on the individual financial, health, and other circumstances of that resident."
Threatening to take any prohibited action or retaliating against a tenant for exercising his or her rights under the proclamation is also prohibited.
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.
Landlords are permitted to have "routine" communications with the tenant about the tenancy, including notifying the tenant of a rent balance, upcoming charges, or reminding the tenant of a lease requirement provided that the communication does not express or imply that failure to comply could lead to eviction or termination of tenancy. A communication is routine if it was part of the landlord's ordinary practice before March 18, 2020.
Landlords of commercial tenants are prohibited from increasing the rent or security deposit requirement if their commercial tenant was materially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, whether personally, as a result of mandatory business closure, or as a result of loss of staff or customers. This does not apply to increases that were agreed to prior to February 29, 2020. You can read the governor's proclamation here.
Several local jurisdictions have enacted more comprehensive local prohibitions. Please see below for details about local restrictions.
CDC Eviction Moratorium
The Center for Disease Control issued a nationwide moratorium on non-payment of rent evictions of residential tenants through March 31, 2021. 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 March 31, 2021. Under the federal moratorium tenants can still be evicted for any other cause permitted by the rental agreement.