OLYMPIA – Washington is extending a moratorium that prevents renters thrown out of work by the COVID-19 pandemic from being evicted for an inability to pay rent.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed an order Tuesday that continues protections for most of those renters through Aug. 1. The original order declaring the moratorium was first issued in mid-March and was extended in mid-April.
It keeps a landlord from evicting most tenants who can’t pay rent because they have been laid off, fired or had their hours “substantially reduced” since the emergency was first declared on Feb. 29. Those who haven’t lost jobs or been put on reduced hours are encouraged to pay rent although they can’t be evicted for not doing so.
Landlords can try to work out payment plans with tenants affected by the economic effects of the pandemic, but can’t retaliate against them for invoking protections under the emergency order.
Tenants can be evicted, with 60 days notice, if the owner is selling the property or if they damage the rental property in a way that creates a hazard to health or safety.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that those who haven’t lost jobs can be evicted despite the moratorium.
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