The Washington State Eviction Bridge

Governor Jay Inslee announced on June 24th a new “Bridge Proclamation,” which will go into effect on the 1st of July, replacing the Eviction Moratorium that was put into place last March.

The Bridge Proclamation is meant to bridge the gap for renters and landlords during the period of time between the end of the Eviction Moratorium on June 30th and when the State’s new housing stability programs begin later this year. The Bridge will be in effect from July 1st to September 30th.

While this Bridge does ease some of the restrictions put on by the Eviction Moratorium such as a landlord’s ability to raise rent subject to the 60-day notice requirements under state law, the eviction process will remain a bit different now than how it was pre-pandemic. Landlords will be unable to evict a tenant on the basis of unpaid rent from the period of February 29, 2020, to July 31, 2021 until there is a rental assistance program and an eviction resolution program up and running in their county. Even once a county has both of those programs operational and available for use, the parties must still attempt to resolve the issue through the eviction resolution program before a tenant can be evicted for unpaid rent.

Starting on August 1st, tenants are expected to resume making payments of their full rent amounts to their landlords. Going forward from that date, if a renter is unable to make their full payments, the landlord is required to offer a reasonable repayment plan and provide a written list of the local support and services available to that tenant. If the tenant is still unable to pay according to a negotiated reduced rent, the tenant must be actively seeking rental assistance or face eviction. A landlord can only begin the eviction process for unpaid rent if all of these requirements have been met.

It is the hope that these modified restrictions on evictions will help to prevent a wave of homelessness across the state as other pandemic restrictions begin to ease over time. This proclamation does not apply to hotels, motels, Airbnbs, long-term care facilities, or other non-traditional housing.

Limitless Law PLLC is available to help property owners and property managers wanting to understand their rights and options in this changing legal environment.  Call (360) 685-0145 today to schedule your consultation!