Mayor extends eviction moratorium, other pandemic-relief policies

Just in from Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s office: She’s extending the eviction moratorium for residential renters and small-business/nonprofit tenants another three months, through September 30th. The announcement notes:

The City is in the process of delivering $23 million in rent relief to Seattle’s residential tenants and landlords. In the coming weeks, the City Council will consider an additional $28 million in rental assistance directly allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act to the City of Seattle. In sum, throughout the pandemic, city-funded rental and housing assistance total approximately $75 million for tenants, landlords, and city-funded affordable housing providers, in addition to State and County resources. …

The executive order continues tenant protections prohibiting landlords from issuing notices of termination or otherwise initiating eviction actions with the courts unless there is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community. Late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment of rent during the moratorium are not allowed. However, tenants are still legally obligated to pay rent during the moratorium, and landlords are encouraged to offer flexible payment plans. Residential tenants who receive an eviction notice during the moratorium should contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700 or go online to submit a complaint.

The moratorium on eviction of nonprofit and small business commercial tenants applies to independently-owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, state nonprofits, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. The extension also prevents eligible small businesses and nonprofits from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment during the moratorium. For additional questions please see the Office of Economic Development’s COVID-19 Lease Amendment Tool Kit. 

The mayor’s announcement covers more than the eviction moratorium. Here are the other extensions:

The executive order also extends certain suspensions put in place to limit the economic impact of the pandemic on Seattle residents and small businesses. These extensions include the Utility Discount Program’s Self-Certification Pilot Program, temporary loading zones for restaurants and small businesses, and non-booting of vehicles for unpaid parking tickets. The City continues to assess when to lift these individual suspensions as it relates to the COVID-19 emergency.

Mayor Durkan has also directed utilities to refrain from shutting off service to customers through December 31, 2021.

28 Replies to "Mayor extends eviction moratorium, other pandemic-relief policies"

  • Mj June 18, 2021 (2:52 pm)

    Enough already, how is this equitable or fair especially to the small landlords?  All this does is allow tenants to dig themselves into a deeper hole.  

    • Em June 18, 2021 (5:17 pm)

      Happy Friday! Best news! 

  • Derek June 18, 2021 (3:02 pm)

    Extending eviction moratorium is about the one thing Durkan’s done that I agree with. 

  • Just Curious June 18, 2021 (3:15 pm)

    Will the County and City be offering flexible payment plans to landlords for taxes and utilities?

  • Lola June 18, 2021 (3:45 pm)

    I don’t own any rentals or apts. but what about the Landlords thru the Pandemic and beyond?  This is getting absurd for the landlords. 

    • Diane June 18, 2021 (8:23 pm)

      there is rental assistance also for landlords; in fact they gave landlords first shot at rental assistance, weeks before tenants were allowed to apply for rental assistance

      • seadog June 18, 2021 (10:35 pm)

        So far nobody has sent links to show landlords can get reimbursed for rent and the utilities. The one link I saw on property tax deferral required (offered within a small window of time) required the landlord to be low income. Yet renters don’t even have to certify or prove they cannot pay their rent. So please back up your statement with links.

  • Flo B June 18, 2021 (4:54 pm)

    The small landlords do have recourse. Stop paying their utilities and taxes. Surely the city would never foreclose……

  • MW June 18, 2021 (5:10 pm)

    So frustrating! We own a rental in WS and our tenants are months behind on rent. We are open to compassionately working on a payment plan and extending grace to tenants who have hit hard times but this is just taking advantage of the system at our detriment. They have the money because he mentioned to my husband that he makes so much money a month in unemployment and it is cheaper for him to not work. Our real estate attorney has said that we will be facing a costly court battle to recoup this money, the system will be backlogged and this tenant will need to have wages garnished each month meaning we can’t expect full payment for years. We had an emergency fund and were able to float the missed rent to pay mortgage for awhile but this is going on way too long and causing us financial stress. In addition to this moratorium extension the city also placed a few other rules some weeks ago including not being able to do credit checks on rental applicants. This is unfairly punishing the small landlords. I’m seeing quite a bit of advertising regarding hiring/jobs to be had. Vaccines are available for those that want them. How is extending this eviction moratorium pandemic related? 

  • Albert June 18, 2021 (5:37 pm)

    if there was a contractor who wasn’t paying his laborers their wages, the city, county, and ag bobby ferg would be all over them with lawsuits, moral criticism, fines, the press, you name it. well tenants stiffing their landlords is the exact same thing but somehow ok with the same “leaders.”

    • EM June 18, 2021 (6:40 pm)

      How are tenants “stiffing” landlords? Is there not a massive amount of $$$ ear marked for assisting both tenants and landlords that has yet to be distributed? Answer is: Yes there are MILLIONS beyond MILLIONS of dollars in our states coffers that have yet to be distributed to those in need. Here is a stiff: you get dumped on the road along with potentially two hundred thousand other tenants because your state government didn’t have programs in place to distribute assistance cogently. Only thing that I can’t wrap my head around is why officials wait until most of these families are packing and making plans to car camp!? The stress this has placed on so many families is beyond tragic.  So @Albert- How bout a stiff drink instead? If you’ve not donated or offered extra space for the cause, please rethink your stance. If only to help perpetuate the goodness of our community. We cannot turn our heads to those folks who fall on calamity. To do so would be a disgrace to our fellow people. 

      • K M June 18, 2021 (8:11 pm)

        EM’s right, and Albert, the article you’re replying to says so: In sum, throughout the pandemic, city-funded rental and housing assistance total approximately $75 million for tenants, landlords, and city-funded affordable housing providers, in addition to State and County resources. …

    • Brian June 18, 2021 (7:36 pm)

      Being a landlord isn’t labor like you’re thinking it is. It’s parasitic at best. 

      • StopCuttingDownTrees June 18, 2021 (10:09 pm)

        So, we’re “parasites” for taking 100% OF THE RISK for our 4-plex building’s mortgage, insurance, maintenance, property taxes, and operating costs while providing four affordable units for tenants in a tighter-than-ever market? 

      • evan June 18, 2021 (11:32 pm)

        And Brian, the guy that sells you your food is a parasite too?  Or,  when you rent a truck, they’re parasites? It’s all free or nothing huh?  Grow up.

    • Bmc June 18, 2021 (7:41 pm)

      Or conversely – how many people would continue working if their employer didn’t or couldn’t afford to pay them.

  • TJ June 18, 2021 (6:28 pm)

    This is just kicking the can down the road. Why keep waiting when their are so many unfilled jobs in the Seattle area and we are fully opening up? How is it governments business to get involved between 2 private parties who have a contract? This is a complete overreach into property owners rights and I dont know how anyone applauds it. Pushing this off this long is creating a big back payment for some people and the bill is coming due. And btw, this is helping keep rents artificially high as the government didn’t let the market naturally reset. 

  • Auntie June 18, 2021 (6:33 pm)

    choose, not chooses – typo, not ignorant grammer mistake ;)

  • aa June 18, 2021 (6:53 pm)

    It’s a bummer that this extension of kindness only goes toward the tenants.  It would be nice if they would at least acknowledge the disparity when they make these announcements.  Or honestly say they don’t care.

    • EM June 18, 2021 (10:20 pm)

      Which disparity do you speak of @aa?This is good news for tenants and landlords!The State and City of Seattle now have  extra time on the clock to further develop and execute the programs to process disbursements. Tenants can stop packing and bleeding from the stress of being displaced. A breath of fresh air for some but unfortunately their are many Owners that rent who are not very enthusiastic about extensions and programs like this. Well, they ought read about “rights of humanity” before reading up on “how to evict” someone. Tenants are people too  If you are an owner or landlord that doesn’t like our Laws in Washington but In this case; Specifically Seattle. Maybe you should move to Texas. 

      • aa June 19, 2021 (10:37 am)

        I’m not a landlord. Lifelong  renter who has been lucky enough to have always been able to pay my rent and I usually live in small, more locally owned buildings and I hope the landlords are being helped too.  The bottom didn’t just fall out for the tenants.  And Im not a republican if thats what the Texas snark was about

      • StopCuttingDownTrees June 19, 2021 (6:46 pm)

        You won’t be too happy when A) small landlords by the thousands sell to those who will owner-occupy the former rentals, greatly reducing the volume of available rental space B) larger landlords sell to giant corporations who will either turn the units into condos or raise the rents. There are consequences to everything and for every action there is a reaction.

  • seadog June 18, 2021 (6:57 pm)

    The moratorium will sunset after this extension. I’m sure the usual suspects will complain 3 months from now (even though they have an additional 6 months of protection by the city council) that they need more time. 

  • Mj June 18, 2021 (10:40 pm)

    Brian – while in College the landlord was HS teacher and he worked hard on maintenance and other items.  It takes work to be a small landlord there is no money to pay for hired help.  There is the cost of insurance, taxes, utilities and for most a mortgage payment.  And when tenants do not pay where is the money for their costs?

    • EM June 19, 2021 (12:52 am)

      Please use your preferred search engine at type “Washington state landlord assistance” and limit your search results ti 1 year. Post what you find please. 

  • JohnW June 20, 2021 (10:14 am)

    Thanks KT.But the funding comes with some incredible restrictions that may disqualify many small landlords.
    The first requirement is that the beneficiary of the grant must be a renter. This will obviously be an easy requirement, but for clarity, the landlord can not apply for rent assistance without a tenant who meets the requirements. In fact, if a landlord does apply for the rent assistance on behalf of the tenant, then the tenant must co-sign the application. A landlord, however, can apply for their own rent assistance in the event they are also a tenant and meet the requirements.”  
    No panacea for exposed landlords. 

  • 1WS Renter June 20, 2021 (12:44 pm)

    “They” keep repeating that the tenants are still obligated to the debt.  So if the tenant owes $1,500 per month and doesn’t pay for 6 months that means they owe $9,000.00.  And they finally get evicted or move and now need another $1,500 plus deposit etc.  So, easily they will owe over $10,000.00.  In what fantasy world will the debt get repaid?  It won’t.  So the next City Council act will be debt forgiveness.  I am sure there are some legitimate tenants that would pay rent if they could.  But my suspicion is there are a LOT of people that are not even trying because there are no repercussions.   You could be making $80k per year and just choose not to pay rent and the suckers (Tax payers) will be forced to eat the cost.  And let’s not forget – Sawants new moratorium on evictions during the school year will ensure free rent for years to come….

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