As you may be aware the eviction moratorium in Washington State is fully expired as of November 1st, 2021. Technically the original moratorium expired on June 30th, 2021, however a bridge moratorium was issued by Governor Jay Inslee that lasted until November 1st, 2021. The purpose of the bridge moratorium was to transition from the full eviction moratorium into the new processes and procedures of the Washington State Legislature set up in the 2021 session.
While this means that eviction may begin for tenant how have not paid rent, the process for evictions has changed due to new landlord tenant laws passed by the Washington state legislature in 2021. These new landlord tenant laws will affect everyone that owes a rental home in the state. However, there are some specific cities, such as Seattle, that has extended the original eviction moratorium in their cities; but for the most part the moratorium is now gone statewide.
Two bills have made changes to the way landlords must now operate in Washington State. The law I will touch on today deals with the eviction process and what must occur. Without getting too technical the law requires that a repayment plan is offered to tenants along with any “14-day notice to pay or vacate”. Re-payments plans must be no more than 1/3 of one month’s rent, in addition to the current month. So, if your rent is $1500 then you can offer the tenant to pay $2000 per month until their balance is caught up. The new landlord tenant law also sets up the ERP program, which stands for Eviction Resolution Program. This program creates help for tenants facing eviction to pay off what is owed and prevent the eviction from occurring and gives the tenants the right to counsel during eviction procedures. It also requires mediation and forms regarding this process to be posted along with your notice to vacate and the offer of repayment.
With the end of the original eviction moratorium came the ability to increase rents once again. Rent increase are allowed in all areas [except the ones that extended the original moratorium like Seattle] however some areas have extended the notice period required for the increase. Most areas of Washington State the rent increase notice period is 60-day notice.
Transcription of Video:
Hi, I'm Jason with SJC management group. Today, I was going to let everyone know that the eviction moratorium in Washington State is fully expired. Now, it's a little confusing because there was actually two eviction moratoriums that transpired. The first, which was extended several times and took on some different iterations, actually expired on June 30th, 2001. However, a bridge moratorium was enacted by Governor Jay Inslee that went into effect July 1st and has now expired as of November 1st, 2021. There are a few areas that are exceptions to this, like Seattle where they extended the original moratorium, but we're not going to be speaking about those areas. The new rules that were in place by the legislature, however, do take effect if you are looking at moving forward on an eviction process now that the moratorium is over. You should know that a 14-day pay rent or vacate notice can be issued to a tenant at this time. It does need to be accompanied with a repayment plan offer, and there are also forms that need to be filled out and accompanied for the ERP program, which is the eviction resolution program that was also enacted by the state legislature. Basically, what a landlord must do is offer the tenant the opportunity to repay any balance that is owed. You can offer the tenant the ability to pay one-third rent in addition to their current rent until their past due balance is paid.
So, in other words, if they had a $1500 a month rental, you could offer them the ability to pay $2000 a month until their back rent is fully paid off. The ERP program kind of changes how the actual eviction process works. Without getting too much into the weeds, there is a notice that needs to be accompanying the 14-day that's posted to the tenant, and then that provides the tenant with information on how they can seek help and counsel to hopefully prevent the eviction or receive rental assistance to pay off their balance that is owed. If you have any questions about the eviction moratorium coming to an end or what you need to do now, feel free to contact me. Again, I'm Jason with SJC Management Group. Thanks.