Washington State New 2021 Landlord/Tenant Legislation
Authored By: Northwest Justice Project
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A summary of recent changes to landlord-tenant laws in Washington state.
The Washington State Legislature just adopted significant changes to landlord/tenant law. Here is a summary. Check back for updates and details.
Some eviction protections will continue past June 30th. Although the eviction moratorium is ending, the Governor is delaying evictions for unpaid rent a bit longer.
Use this extra time to apply for rent assistance! More than $650 million is available.
Rent assistance is meant to help everyone, no matter what your citizenship or immigration status. Applying for rent assistance will not harm any immigration application you file.
Standards for rent repayment plans
During the eviction moratorium (set to expire June 30, 2021), landlords must offer tenants, who are behind on rent due to the COVID-19 crisis, a reasonable repayment plan based on individual circumstances. Once the moratorium ends, landlords must offer a reasonable schedule for repayment of monthly payments of no more than one-third of the monthly rent.
Tenants with low income may get a lawyer
The Legislature is funding legal service providers to help more tenants in eviction cases. Subject to funding, the court must appoint a lawyer to indigent tenants in filed eviction cases. A person is "indigent" if they receive public assistance or their annual income, after taxes, is 200% or below the federal poverty guidelines. This program may take up to a year to be fully implemented.
Eviction Resolution Pilot Program
In some counties, landlords are required to provide tenants notice of the availability of an Eviction Resolution Pilot Program. This program is supposed to help renters and landlords agree on how to make up rent instead of going to court and also help tenants find rent assistance.
Landlords Must give a good reason for ending rental agreements & evicting tenants
Landlords must give tenants a written notice with one of 17 good reasons for ending rental agreements and evicting tenants. Among other things, landlords can no longer refuse to renew a month-to-month agreement with a 20 Day "no cause" termination notice.
Get Eviction Defense Help
If your landlord is trying to evict you, try our Eviction Defense Helper, which will ask you questions to guide you to help in your county and court forms.
Otherwise, apply for legal help here: CLEAR*Online or call 1-855-657-8387, the Eviction Defense Screening Line