Governor Inslee extends evictions ban thru August 1

Posted By: Sean Martin (deleted) Advocacy, Government, COVID-19, Law, Membership,

Governor Inslee announced on 6/2/2020 an extension of the evictions ban in place across the state through August 1, 2020.

The order extends prior rules put in place April 16 which were set to expire June 4. Also included in the extension is a continuation of the ban on rent increases, effective retroactively to February 29, 2020, thru 11:59pm on August 1, and no evictions or terminations of tenancy may be issued thru 11:59pm on August 1, with narrow exceptions granted regarding termination of tenancy under two circumstances.

Terminations are allowed when the direct owner intends to occupy the unit as their primary residence, requiring at least 60 days' notice of termination of tenancy, or the owner is selling the unit, requiring at least 60 days' notice. Neither of these scenarios address what occurs if a jurisdiction's local laws require longer periods of notice and it is recommended that owners contact an attorney in such situations prior to issuing the notice of termination of tenancy.

Under the updated order, rental housing owners may not:

  • Increase, or threaten to increase, rent or the amount of any deposit. This includes any increases sent prior to the order which have yet to take effect.

  • Assess late fees for non-payment of rent, effective retroactively to February 29, 2020, for rent not paid during the ban.

  • Evict residents, which includes:

    • A ban on service of 14 day pay or vacate notices, and;

    • A ban on service of 10 day notices for rules violations, unless the landlord, property owner, or property manager attaches an affidavit attesting that the action is necessary to respond to a significant and immediate risk to the health, safety, or property of others created by the resident (RHAWA recommends consulting an attorney prior to doing so).

  • Issue any notice of termination of tenancy. This ban also applies to tenancies or other housing arrangements that have expired or will expire during this period.

Other details of the policy include:

  • Housing providers are prohibited from seeking or enforcing, or threatening to seek or enforce any eviction orders.

  • Law enforcement is prohibited from serving or threatening to serve physical eviction orders.

  • Housing providers may not charge rent to property where the tenant may not access the property due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Housing providers may not collect any debt created by the nonpayment of rent or other charges on or after February 29, 2020 during the ban, unless they have offered the tenant a reasonable re-payment plan.

  • The ban on rent increases also includes commercial tenants who were impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Housing Providers are prohibited from retaliating against individuals for invoking their rights or protections under these moratoriums.