After more than 18 months, the eviction moratorium in the State of Washington expired on October 31, as announced by Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday.
There Is a Fear That the Moratorium End Will Create a Wave of New Eviction Cases
Soon after the pandemic hit, the Governor used his emergency powers to stop the majority of evictions. The rules were changed several times throughout 2020 but generally permitted evictions only in some instances.
Namely, the tenants could be evicted when there were safety risks or when landlords wanted to move in or sell their property. The eviction rules were further loosened this fall.
Tenants in Seattle, Kenmore, and Burien Don’t Have to Worry About Eviction Till Early 2022
The expiration of this policy means that landlords now can seek more evictions of renters who failed to pay their rents in time during the pandemic.
However, they have to go through newly necessary steps such as offering renters a payment plan. This is designed to help people with low incomes, as the bottom 20% of earners spend 40.3% of their income on housing.
Evictions will still be frozen in Seattle, Kenmore, and Burien, where local officials have adopted their own eviction moratoriums that will last until early 2022.
Tenants Will Not Be Unprotected, Gov. Jay Inslee Says
Tenant advocates are arguing that many renters are still struggling to catch up, as almost half of the renters in the US lost their jobs to the pandemic.
The official response is that the state has allocated sufficient funding for rent assistance to local governments and created new mediation and legal help programs.
State law now obliges landlords to offer renters repayment plans and notify a regional dispute resolution center about starting an eviction process, allowing for potential arbitration.