RHAWA’s Legal Defense Fund Needs Your Support to Overturn Seattle’s Eviction Bans

Posted By: Christopher T Benis Advocacy, COVID-19, Membership,

Our industry’s livelihood as rental owners, operators, and managers face an unprecedented challenge as the COVID crisis and our State’s response stretches into its eighth month.

RHAWA and the industry – including individual landlords such as yourself – have risen to the occasion by promoting and practicing policies aimed at keeping renters impacted by COVID-19 housed. But, unfortunately, it appears that no good deed goes unpunished in the City of Seattle, where lawmakers have manipulated this crisis to pass new legislation which significantly harms landlords’ ability to stop the financial bleeding. These new laws prohibit you from attempting to collect or recover unpaid rent for at least 6 months after the city’s declared state of emergency expires.

RHAWA has filed a lawsuit to overturn the Seattle City Council’s egregious 6-month ban on evictions which takes effect once the current COVID emergency rules expire. Can we count on your support to help us in this fight? Even if you don’t own or manage rental property in Seattle, rental property operators throughout the state must act together to demonstrate that local governments cannot unreasonably tie the hands of individuals working to create affordable housing opportunities in their communities.

With no end in sight to emergency orders banning evictions, private landlords are now faced with a minimum of one year passing before they can again require rent to be paid. This burden, without meaningful support or subsidy provided by government for market-rate housing, makes it untenable for thousands of landlords in Seattle and across Washington State to survive this crisis. Already, we have heard from hundreds of members that they are rapidly approaching a financial cliff due to these unfunded mandates if they can’t soon require their renters to pay rent. Allowing Seattle Council to extend the ban for an additional six months beyond the COVID emergency bans will result in a loss of affordable housing when we need it most.

Seattle Council has neglected to fund rental assistance that would keep people housed. For months, RHAWA members have worked with their renters to come up with solutions to keep renters in their homes during the COVID-19 crisis, but these solutions are not everlasting – landlords cannot continue to afford the costs of providing housing when nobody is paying the rent.

RHAWA’s Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the only landlord association-managed fund in the state which serves to protect the legal rights and interests of rental property owners like you. Our fight for fair and equal protection under the law depends solely upon the generosity of our membership. Without your financial support we can’t afford the high costs of defending your private property rights to ensure your financial future is secure. Your contribution is tax deductible as a business expense.

We are proud to be landlords who provide a vital resource our communities need now more than ever, and your commitment to the RHAWA LDF is more important now than ever before.

RHAWA LDF contributions are used for legal challenges to ordinances and laws affecting the rental housing industry.


Contributions are tax deductible as a business expense.