Coronavirus: Inslee extends eviction moratorium through Aug. 1

Coronavirus: Inslee extends eviction moratorium through Aug. 1
Gov. Jay Inslee at a news conference in Olypmia on Monday, May 18th.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday extended the prior eviction moratorium for 60 days through Aug. 1 to continue to protect renters during the coronavirus pandemic.

Inslee first proclaimed a moratorium on evictions in mid March as job losses due to the pandemic ramped up. He then extended and expanded the moratorium in mid-April.

>> Related: Inslee announces ‘Safe Start’ county-by-county phased reopening plan

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Had it not been extended, the moratorium would have expired Thursday. Just last week, KIRO 7’s Graham Johnson reported on the calls for an extension from advocacy groups.

"While bill assistance programs already exist in most communities, many families in need slip through the cracks," Ruth Sawyer, of the Sierra Club, told Johnson.

Tuesday’s extension also included the following modifications to the prior moratorium:

  • Prohibiting retaliation against any tenant who invokes rights or protections under the proclamation.
  • Permitting eviction based on property damage, except for damage that is not urgent in nature, including conditions that were known or knowable to the landlord prior to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Establishing a defense to any lawsuit for tenants if a landlord fails to offer a reasonable repayment plan.
  • Establishing a minimum of a 14-day length of stay at a hotel, motel or at other non-traditional dwelling situations in order to trigger the application of this proclamation to those dwelling situations.
  • Allowing owners to evict tenants if the owner plans to occupy or sell the property, after providing at least 60 days’ notice.
  • Exempting commercial property rent increases that were executed in a rental agreement prior to the date the state of emergency was declared on Feb. 29.

Inslee said other restrictions, including the prohibition on assessing late fees or other charges are continued in the order.

The proclamation encourages landlords and tenants to communicate “in good faith” with each other and to work together on the timing and terms of payment and repayment solutions.

Click here to read the full proclamation.