Kenmore's COVID-19 Post Moratorium Restrictions

Posted By: Brett Waller Advocacy News, COVID-19 Resource Center,

City of Kenmore (Ordinance)

  • Creates a defense to eviction where the rent was unpaid during the public health emergency or a substantial increase in expenses resulting from COVID pandemic.
    • “Resulting from the COVID pandemic” includes: the tenant suffered a loss of employment or a reduction in hours, was unable to work because their children were out of school, was unable to work because they were sick with COVID-19 or caring for a household or family member who was sick with COVID-19, they were complying with a recommendation from a government agency to self-quarantine, including to avoid risk of medical complications to themselves or others, or they incurred substantial out of pocket medical expenses due to COVID-19.
  • All 14-day notices for unpaid rent through the public health emergency shall include the following statement in bold underlined 12-point font:
"You may not be evicted for rent that became due during the public health emergency if the rent was unpaid because of a substantial reduction in household income or a substantial increase in expenses related to the Coronavirus pandemic. This does not relieve you of the obligation to pay back rent in the future. "
  • It is a defense to eviction the tenant has applied for rental assistance and is waiting for final approval or processing of the payment.
    • If the application was denied, the tenant may assert a defense to eviction that the application was wrongfully denied and the tenant is seeking an appeal.
  • A landlord cannot enforce nonpayment of rent during the public health emergency, unless the landlord has made a good faith effort to obtain rental assistance through available resources including:
    • Landlord Mitigation Fund (12+ months reimbursement)
    • Limited Landlord Relief Program (program expired)
    • King County Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program (large landlord program closed)
    • Other resources provided by federal, state, or local government
  • For the duration of the public health emergency, prior to issuing an eviction notice or engaging in “collection activity,” the landlord shall serve a certification form indicating the landlord has applied for and been denied access to available programs for (1) reasons outside the Landlord’s control, (2) the landlord is ineligible for such programs, or (3) was denied rental assistance.
    • Failure to provide the certification or make good faith efforts to access rental assistance is a defense to eviction.
    • “Collection activity” means attempts to collect or threats to collect through a collection agency by filing an unlawful detainer or other judicial action, withholding any portion of a security deposit, billing or invoicing, reporting to credit bureaus, or by any other means.
  • “Public health emergency” shall be defined as set forth in Section 2 of E2SSB which refers to the Governor of the State of Washington’s Proclamation 20-05, proclaiming a state of emergency for all counties throughout Washington on February 29, 2020 and any subsequent orders extending or amending such civil emergency due to COVID-19 until the proclamation expires or is terminated by the Governor of the State of Washington.