Seattle Passes Three Ordinances from Renter's Rights Committee

Posted By: Alex Robertson (deleted) Advocacy,

On June 7th, the Seattle City Council passed CB 120046, CB 120077, and CB 120090. The summaries of the proposed ordinances are below.

CB 120046 - School Year Eviction Ban

  • Defines "School" as a "childcare, early childhood education and assistance program, or head start facility, and any public, private, or parochial institution that provides educational instruction in any or all of the grades and age groups up to and including twelfth grade."
    • This definition includes such a broad range of facilities. When paired with the broad definition of educator, it provides the defense to most tenants in the city.
  • Defines "Educator" as "any person who works at a school in Seattle as an employee or independent contractor of the school or its governing body"
    • This includes temporary employees such as plumbers, maintenance staff, as well as temporary nurses or substitutes. The unreasonably broad definition of both school and educator will allow many tenants to assert this defense that are not the people that the council seeks to protect.
  • Provides a defense to evictions during the school year, defined as the earliest start date to the latest end date.
  • This is a permanent ordinance with no sunset date.

CB 120077 - COVID Debt Eviction Ban

  • Provides a defense to evictions for all debt due from March 2020 through the end of the Mayor's civil emergency period.

CB 120090 - Mandatory Lease Renewal

  • Requires housing providers to offer a lease extension of "reasonable terms" 60-90 days prior to the end of a lease term unless they have just cause to terminate the tenancy.
  • Requires housing providers to offer the same lease terms to a replacing tenant if the original tenant chooses to vacate.
  • The penalty for failing to comply with this ordinance is three months rent and reasonable attorney's fees.