• Jacque Coe

Seattle Extends Eviction Moratoriums and Relief Measures into March 2021

The City of Seattle has extended the current moratorium on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions in the city through March 31, 2021. The city has also extended the temporary suspension of late fees on delinquent utility accounts as well as extending a pilot discount program. The extensions were contained in an new Executive Order signed by the mayor and passed by the council.

The moratorium on eviction of nonprofit and small business commercial tenants apply to independently-owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, state nonprofits, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Along with stopping evictions, the order 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 decision also extends suspensions put in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19 along with programs designed to limit the economic impact of the pandemic on Seattle residents and small businesses. These extensions include closures of all public-facing customer service counters at the City of Seattle, and suspension of enforcement on the 72-hour parking rule and City permitted events. Temporary loading zones for restaurants and small businesses, and temporary parking for hospital and human services staff have also been extended.

While the residential eviction moratorium is in place in Seattle, property owners may not issue notices of termination or otherwise initiate an eviction action with the courts unless there is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community. Along with temporarily stopping evictions, the order also prevents tenants from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment of rent during the moratorium. 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 any eviction notice during the moratorium should contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700 or go online to submit a complaint. The City of Seattle has committed $18 million to rental assistance in addition to state and King County resources for landlords and tenants. The City of Seattle is closely following any action taken at the state and federal level regarding moratoriums.

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