Protection, Resources for Those Facing Evictions
With Seattle’s final eviction moratorium expiring last month, renters should be aware of safeguards put in place to keep people housed for as long as possible.
An eviction notice doesn’t necessarily mean you’re immediately out on the street, even if you’re behind rent, thanks to city and state protections enacted well before the COVID-19 pandemic created financial hardships that led to eviction moratoriums.
Yet those who receive eviction notices need to act promptly to receive protections. According to a Crosscut article, an eviction is decided in court, where a judge determines whether to grant a landlord authority to remove a tenant. That means renters who receive eviction notices must show up in court to receive protections. If not, the court sides with the landlord by default, the story said.
Here are some protections designed to keep renters from being immediately evicted, according to the City of Seattle’s Renting in Seattle web page and Northwest Justice Project’s site WashingtonLawHelp.org:
- Renters have six additional months to remain in the unit if they can verify having fallen behind on rent during the pandemic because of financial hardship. This protection ends on Aug. 28.
- Parents with school-age children or parents who work for the school district cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent during the school year, which ends on June 17.
- Landlords must have a legal reason for not renewing a rental agreement or evicting a tenant. In some cases, landlords must pay the tenant’s moving expenses. Landlords must also allow tenants to pay rent they owe over the course of six months.
United Way of King County continues to advocate for additional federal and state funding with King County and our community partners, as well as for good policy and equitable, effective implementation to prevent evictions and homelessness. Those seeking information about rental assistance should log on to our website, https://www.uwkc.org/renthelp/. For those without internet access, please direct them to text or call the Rent Help Line at (253) 237-2485.