Last updated 11/2/2021
Governor Inslee’s Bridge Proclamation that extended some protections after the eviction moratorium ended on October 31, 2021. The bridge proclamation was issued in June of this year to bridge the gap between the expired eviction moratorium and new protections and programs created by the state legislature. While we are disappointed that the Governor did not extend needed protections, it is important to know that rent assistance and other protections are available. Please help share this information in your community.
(Seattle, Burien, and Kenmore have local ordinances limiting evictions until mid-January 2022.)
Rent Assistance, Tenants Rights, and Legal Resources for Evictions:
Tenants who are behind on rent, tenants who receive an eviction notice, or tenants who are being pressured by their landlords to leave, can seek help. Tenants should not ignore any notice – but shouldn’t leave their home without first seeking help. Below are some resources:
- For information about tenants’ rights regarding eviction, visit WashingtonLawHelp.org. Information is available in multiple languages.
- Every county in Washington has a rental assistance program. Find a local program here.
- Tenants Union of Washington State Tenants Rights Hotline: 206-723-0500
- Eviction Defense Screening line: 1- 855-657-8387 (help is available in languages other than English).
New Renter Protections in 2021:
The state legislature put protections in place that extend beyond the eviction moratorium and bridge and are still in effect. These include:
- Tenants who earn less than twice the federal poverty line ($25,760 for one person or $53,000 for a family of four) can get a free lawyer under the state's new Right to Counsel program and should immediately seek legal assistance if they receive eviction notices. Call the statewide eviction defense screening line to get access to a lawyer: 855-657-8387. If you qualify for a free attorney but the program is unable to assign you an attorney, the eviction process should not proceed until you are assigned an attorney.
- Landlords cannot start an eviction for unpaid rent without first offering a tenant a reasonable repayment plan and the opportunity to participate in mediation. If you need help negotiating a reasonable repayment plan, please contact a tenants rights counselor such as the Tenants Union (206-723-0500).
- Landlords cannot charge late fees for late rent that was due between February 29, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
- Landlords cannot evict tenants for without a reason. They must have a “good cause” and provide the amount of notice required by law. Find the reasons landlords can legally evict and the length of notice required here.