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. #6305EN
The Washington State Legislature adopted significant changes to our state's landlord/tenant law. Here is a summary.
Standards for rent repayment plans
Landlords must offer a reasonable repayment plan of monthly payments of no more than 1/3 of the monthly rent. The unpaid rent must be from March 1, 2020 through the end of the eviction moratorium or the end of the public health emergency, whichever is later.
Eviction Resolution Pilot Program (ERPP)
Landlords in some counties 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 and get help with paying for rent instead of going to court.
Right to Counsel for Indigent Defendants
Subject to funding, indigent tenants in filed eviction cases can ask the court to appoint a lawyer to help them. A person is "indigent" if they receive public assistance or their annual income, after taxes, is at or less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Landlords must give a reason for ending rental agreements and evicting tenants
Landlords must give tenants one of 17 good reasons for ending rental agreements and evicting tenants. Among other things,this means there are no more 20-day notices to vacate for no reason. Before, landlords could refuse to renew month-to-month agreements for no reason, except in a few Washington cities.
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