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HB 1228 Addressing residential landlord-tenant requirements in response to the pandemic - DEAD

Posted By: Kyle Woodring (deleted) 2021 Legislative Session ,

VIEW HB 1228


Bill Summary

    Landlords may immediately file unlawful detainer actions following effective date

    • 30 days after effective date landlords must provide delinquent tenants not on a payment plan:
      • Notice of affidavit of COVID hardship
      • Notice of early resolution program
      • Option of payment plan
    • Within 30 days after receipt of landlord’s notice tenant must respond:
      • In person
      • By mail
      • Electronically
      • Return affidavit of COVID hardship (60 days from act or 14 days after service whichever is later)
    • Affidavit of COVID hardship has a standard format included in bill pages 5-6
      • Tenants whose household income is >130% median income should provide addl docs or face unlawful detainer
    • Proof of COVID hardship required after 8/31/21
      • If no response from tenant in 30 days, landlord may issue unlawful detainer (except when tenant is pursuing grant through emergency rental assistance program)
      • Unlawful detainer service must also include affidavit form and early resolution notice
      • No late fees, interest or other penalties for rent due 2/29/2020-6/30/2021
    • Definition of "COVID hardship":
      • Loss of income
      • Extraordinary expenses d/t essential work during COVID
      • New care responsibilities (child or sick elderly) d/t COVID
      • Extraordinary child care or elder care costs
      • Suspension of eviction moratorium

    Payment Plans for COVID Rent

    • Must be for an amount equal to or greater than the outstanding debt to be paid in 6 monthly installments
    • Tenant must continue to pay regular rent
    • Plan must be in writing
    • Default on payment plan requires service of notice packetPayment plans agreed to before act remain in effect

      Early Resolution Program will be established by office of the courts through dispute resolution or third-party facilitators

      • Counties w/ pop < 275,000 facilitator must act as independent third party
      • Counties w/ pop >275,000 should have a dispute resolution center
      • Program is only for nonpayment of rent between landlord and tenant
      • Contact info for local program
      • Contact info for local housing justice or statewide housing project
      • Link to notice in multiple languages
      • Landlord and tenant names and contact info
      • Note of deadline for response and next steps if no response
      • Notices should also be served to the office of civil legal aid by landlord
      • Notice of Early Resolution Program has a standard format included in bill pages 7-9
        • Early Resolution is available before unlawful detainer is served.
        • Tenant becomes ineligible for early resolution after defaulting on two payment plans in six months
        • Landlords must provide notice of early resolution program to tenants before filing unlawful detainer. Notice must include:
        • Funding for the Early Resolution Program will go to an account in the state treasury
            • Admin costs may not exceed 5% of annual funds available for program, not including reappropriations
            • Department of commerce will prepare and submit a report to the governor and legislature by June 1, 2022 with input from housing stakeholders and dispute resolution centers.
              • Report will contain: 
                • Program efficacy
                • Recommendations for improvement
                • Number of total cases by county
                • Total cost per county
                • Summary of Early Resolution Program by county
                • Instances of fraud
                • Evaluation of expanded use of program
                • Stakeholder modifications and recommendations

              Emergency Rental Assistance Grant Program – to reimburse tenants and landlords for past due rental payments

              • Tenant must certify COVID hardship with application
              • Tenant must earn <80% median income for county or demonstrate COVID hardship
              • Dept. of commerce notify tenant if landlord receives funds
              • 80% of total contract rental within 15 days of application
              • Remaining rental balance is forgiven
              • Denials are sent to landlord and tenant regardless of which party applied
              • Department of Commerce prioritizes funding based on greatest debt
              • Program to be expanded statewide within 45 days
              • Admin costs may not exceed 5% of annual funds available for program, not including reappropriations
              • Department of commerce will prepare and submit a report to the governor and legislature by June 1, 2022 with input from housing stakeholders and dispute resolution centers.
              • Program will be funded by the Emergency Rental Assistance Account with $600,000,000 from budget stabilization
              • Month to month tenancies require 45 day notice of termination or less if armed forces
              • 90 day notice to change policy excluding children
              • Act expires one year after effective date

              Bill Schedule
              • Currently not scheduled for a public hearing

              Sponsors

              Barkis, Walen, Dent, Hoff, Jacobsen, Chambers, Ryu, Graham, Ybarra, Caldier, MacEwen, Walsh, Hackney, Chapman, Boehnke, Dolan, Springer, Chandler, Eslick, Robertson, Gilday


              FOR MORE INFO.

              If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to advocacy@RHAwa.org.