Updated: Oct 16
Updated October 15, 2020
This blog article is not intended to be legal advice. Tenants facing eviction should seek an attorney.
Washington State currently has an eviction moratorium, which means that landlords cannot evict tenants for failure to pay rent. WashingtonLawHelp.org has a helpful video prepared by Northwest Justice Project, which answers some questions tenants might have if they are facing eviction or have other concerns about communication with their landlords. This page also includes example letters that a tenant can send his or her landlord if the landlord is attempting to evict for failure to pay rent.
Some quick facts:
The moratorium is currently set through December 31, 2020
Tenants can be evicted for health & safety
Tenants can be evicted for some property damages
Tenants can be evicted if the landlord plans to live in or sell the property, but the landlord must provide 60 days notice in this case
Rent will still need to be paid after the moratorium
There is no moratorium on late fees & other charges
When Governor Inslee updated the moratorium on October 14, 2020, key changes were made:
Individuals and families who have had to move in with friends or family are now protected from eviction
If health and safety is listed as the reasoning for eviction, it must be “significant and immediate” and “imminently hazardous” to the physical safety of others
Long-term care facilities that are licensed or certified by the Department of Social and Health Services are allowed to transfer or discharge a resident for health or safety reasons, or a change in payment that the facility is unable to accept
Landlords and property owners are permitted to send notices of future rent increases in some circumstances, but the rent increase cannot go into effect until after the moratorium expires
Click here to read more about the most recent changes to the moratorium.
Even with the eviction moratorium, renters should make paying rent a priority. Rent and late payments will eventually be due, so not paying when it's possible to do so can make matters worse down the road.
Click below to access the full video, FAQ, and sample letters: https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/coronavirus-you-cannot-be-evicted-if-you-cannot-pay-the-rent#i44DCC383-0D75-42D1-97FA-1CD428EA162A
The VLP offers legal assistance to qualifying tenants who are facing eviction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no cost for the application or for our assistance. Apply here. Please note that while the application gives you the chance to list the best times to reach you, we cannot guarantee that a volunteer will be available at your indicated time. Because our volunteers are working remotely, we may contact you from a blocked number.