Update to Statewide Eviction Moratorium
Dear WMFHA members,
I write to update you on Washington's statewide eviction moratorium. I ask that you share your story with me about how the eviction moratorium is affecting the ability to properly manage your community.
As you know, on March 18, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-19 which limits evictions. The Proclamation prohibits:
- Residential landlords from serving a 14-day notice to pay or vacate
- Residential landlords from issuing a 20-day notice, unless the landlord attaches an affidavit attesting that the action is believed necessary to ensure the health and safety of the tenant or other individuals.
We've learned that the Governor will extend the moratorium to at least May 4 and possibly longer. We've also learned the Attorney General is interpreting and enforcing the Proclamation to prohibit charging late fees across all of Washington. We expect any extension or renewal of the current Proclamation to include specific language to this effect.
In addition, we've learned the Attorney General believes certain payment plan arrangements are prohibited under the current Proclamation. The Attorney General's office is scrutinizing payment plan agreements entered into between housing providers and tenants. They want to make sure that any payment agreement which includes a specific payment schedule is also subject to re-negotiation due to any further governmental orders.
The statewide Proclamation applies to all rental properties where a local ban has not been enacted. Many local jurisdictions have also enacted eviction moratoria and limitations on charging late fees. A full list of Washington's emergency laws related to eviction can be found here.
At WMFHA, we know the challenges onsite teams are facing during this emergency situation. We're regularly communicating with elected leaders to address the on-going financial needs of small, medium, and large rental property owners. We are ensuring they understand the effects blanket eviction moratoria have on the continuity of operations, the safety of the community including the residents, and ability of property owners to continue to assist renters directly affected by COVID-19.
We've created a website full of rental assistance resources you can share with residents and continue to update it on a daily basis adding resources in more counties.
Most importantly, we need you to share your stories of challenges you are experiencing at your communities across Washington. Your story alone could be the message that helps every rental property owner in Washington restore some continuity of operations, or be able to provide assistance to those that need help the most. Click the button below to share your story with us.
To obtain the most up to date information on COVID-19 health recommendations, visit the links below.
If you have questions, please contact Brett Waller by email or at 425.656.9077.