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

Statewide Requirements

 

The Bridge Proclamation (21-09 et seq.) expired on Sunday, October 31, 2021, and is no longer in effect.

The Eviction Moratorium (Proclamation 20-19 et seq.) expired on June 30, 2021, and is no longer in effect.

Certain COVID-19 restrictions passed by the Washington Legislature remain in place on a long-term or permanent basis.

  • 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, other than to offer a payment plan and issue a pay or vacate notice.

  • Housing providers are prohibited from reporting any non-payment of rent that fell due between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, to a potential new housing provider.

  • Housing providers may not use medical records (such as vaccination status) when making housing decisions.

  • Any notice to pay rent or vacate that is based on rent that falls due after March 1, 2020, must be accompanied by an offer of a repayment plan that meets certain statutory requirements. A sample plan is available on our forms page.

  • Any notice to pay rent or vacate that is issued through July 1, 2023, must be accompanied by an Eviction Resolution Program notice. There is a link to the state form on our forms page.

 

Former CDC Eviction Moratorium

 

The Center for Disease Control's nationwide moratorium on non-payment of rent evictions was terminated by order of the Supreme Court of the United States on August 26, 2021.

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 to vacate before a residential tenant can be required to vacate rental property. This may require 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 are prohibited until your mortgage forbearance ends:

  • Filing evictions for non-payment of rent;

  • Charging late fees; and

  • Issuing notices of termination of tenancy.

Former Federally-Backed Loan Eviction Moratoria

 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veteran's Affairs, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency all extended their blanket bans on all types of evictions through September 30, 2021. These moratoria collectively cover any property with a federally-backed single family home loan. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac frequently acquire loans originated by other banks, so property owners should confirm whether their property is covered by these requirements before proceeding with any notice that may result in displacement of the resident.

We are also tracking local restrictions in our standard service area

King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston Counties:

City of Auburn (expired)

Woman Walking in Forest

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

School Bus

Burien Ordinance 789 (extending and modifying Ordinances 773 and 783) prohibits eviction of residential tenants for non-payment of rent or late fees until Governor's Proclamation 20-05 (the COVID-19 statewide declaration of emergency) expires.

Burien Ordinance 773 provides that 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 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, 2020, and September 30, 2021, if the rent "was unpaid because of a substantial reduction in household income or a substantial increase in expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic" and 

  • Enforcing the end date of a lease that expired between February 29, 2020, and September 30, 2021, if "the tenant has experienced a substantial reduction in household income or a substantial increase in expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic."

City of Kenmore

An Old Alley

Kenmore Ordinance 21-0525 (extended by Ordinance 21-0536) requires housing providers to take additional steps before taking action against residential tenants based on non-payment of rent that came due between February 29, 2020, until the end of the public health emergency:

  • Any notice to pay rent 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.”

  • Prior to taking any collection activity, housing providers must make a good faith efforts to obtain rental assistance through any available resources, including the Landlord Mitigation Fund under RCW 43.31.605, the Limited Landlord Relief Program operated by the Washington State Department of Commerce, the King County Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program, or any other resources provided by federal, state, or local government, OR identify why the housing provider is not eligible for each program.

  • Any notice to pay rent or vacate must include a certification of what rental assistance programs to which the housing provider applied in a form prepared by the city.

The ordinance permanently prohibits eviction for non-payment of rent that came due between February 29, 2020, and the end of the public health emergency, if the rent "was unpaid because of a substantial reduction in household income or substantial increase in expenses resulting from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic."

King County

Old city

King County Ordinance 2020-0191 requires housing providers to take additional steps before taking action against residential tenants based on non-payment of rent that came due between March 1, 2020, and March 1, 2021. The majority of the requirements are also included in state law (or state law provides greater protections). In addition to those provisions:

  • A housing provider may not issue a no-cause notice of termination of tenancy or refuse to renew a tenancy without cause while a tenant is following a reasonable repayment plan for debt incurred between March 1, 2020, and March 1, 2021.

The Ordinance also restricts the following actions regarding small commercial tenants based on rent that came due between March 1, 2020, and March 1, 2021:

  • Terminating a tenant for non-payment of rent until after providing the tenant with "a repayment plan that was reasonable based on the individual financial, health and other circumstances of the tenant" if the non-payment was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; and

  • Charging late fees if the non-payment was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Kirkland

Family at a Beach

Kirkland Ordinance O-4759 expired September 30, 2021. Any notice that includes rent which came due before that date must include the following statement  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, 2020, and September 30, 2021, if it was unpaid "because of a substantial reduction in household income or a substantial increase in expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes, but is not limited to, where, as a result of the pandemic, the tenant suffered a loss of employment or a reduction in hours, was unable to work because their children were out of school, was unable to work because they were sick with COVID-19 or caring for a household or family member who was sick with COVID-19, they were complying with a recommendation from a public health official or agency to self-quarantine, including to avoid the risk of medical complications to themselves or others, or they incurred substantial out of pocket medical expenses due to COVID-19."

Kitsap County Superior Court

Forest Scene

Kitsap County Superior Court requires the housing provider to serve the offer of a repayment plan required by RCW 59.18.630 at least 14 days before serving the Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) notice and the 14 day notice to pay rent or vacate. When serving the ERP notice and 14 day notice, the hosing provider must also send copies to the Dispute Resolution Center of Kitsap County and the Kitsap County Legal Services.

City of Seattle

Cargo Ship at the Port

The Seattle eviction moratorium was terminated on February 28, 2022. However, the general state of emergency is ongoing. Many of Seattle's restrictions are tied to the end of the general state of emergency.

The following actions regarding residential tenants are prohibited following expiration of the city's eviction moratorium:

  • Late fees are prohibited until one year after the civil emergency ends;

  • Tenants may not be evicted for rent that fell due during the civil emergency if they certify that they suffered financial hardship that prevented them from paying rent during the state of emergency and can prove that hardship if challenged in court by the housing provider; and

  • Any notice based on rent which came due after March 3, 2020, must include the following phrase: "RIGHT TO LEGAL COUNSEL: CITY LAW PROVIDES RENTERS WHO ARE UNABLE TO PAY FOR AN ATTORNEY THE RIGHT TO FREE LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN AN EVICTION LAWSUIT. If you need help understanding this notice or information about your renter rights, call the Renting in Seattle Helpline at (206) 684-5700 or visit the web site at www.seattle.gov/rentinginseattle. City law requires a landlord to offer a reasonable schedule for repayment of unpaid rent that accrued between March 3, 2020, and six months following the termination of the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Durkan on March 3, 2020. If your landlord does not offer such a repayment plan or give you 14 days to accept a reasonable repayment plan before proceeding with an unlawful detainer action, you may raise this as a defense to eviction in court. If you cannot pay rent, during or within 6 months after the end of the Mayor’s moratorium on evictions, your inability to pay is a defense to eviction that you may raise in court. If you cannot pay rent due during the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Durkan on March 3, 2020, your inability to pay is a defense to eviction that you may raise in court." The first sentence must be in BOLD ALL CAPS and the full disclosure must be in at least 12 point font. Some portions of this phrase are not related to covid-19 requirements and others phase out at different times.

 

The following actions regarding small commercial businesses/non-profits are prohibited by Ordinances 126347 and 126066 from March 1, 2020, until the end of the civil emergency:

  • Rent increases for month-to-month tenants;

  • Rent increases in renewal of term tenancies;

  • Evict the tenant for non-payment of rent that came due during the civil emergency or within 6 months of its termination if the tenant follows a repayment schedule that does not require payment of more than 1/3 of one month's rent per month toward the arrearage or last longer than one year provided that the burden is on the tenant to propose a repayment schedule that meets these terms; and

  • Charging any amount for the late payment or non-payment of rent that came due during the civil emergency or within 12  months of its termination.

Snohomish County Superior Court

Take Off

Snohomish County Superior Court requires the housing provider to serve the offer of a repayment plan required by RCW 59.18.630 at least 14 days before serving the Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) notice and the 14 day notice to pay rent or vacate. When serving the ERP notice and 14 day notice, the hosing provider must also send copies to the Dispute Resolution Center of Snohomish County (VOA) and the Snohomish County Legal Services.

*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.