With the COVID-19 pandemic came both federal and state moratoria prohibiting or limiting commercial and residential evictions. Governor Inslee’s eviction moratorium ends on September 30, 2021. But in the meantime, the Washington legislature passed strict new residential landlord tenant laws that permanently limit landlords’ ability to evict problem tenants. The City of Vancouver also has several ordinances protecting vulnerable renters.
Fortunately, there are now several programs and public funds available to help landlords who rent to low-income tenants, and landlords with six or fewer rental units, recover from the pandemic.
- LANDLORD DAMAGE RELIEF PROGRAM (RCW 43.31.605 and amendments in SB 5160) offers up to $1,000 to landlords who accept tenants receiving rental assistance or subsidy, and who invest in improvements in their property. The LDRP (also known as the Landlord Mitigation Program) provides up to 14 days rent loss protection and up to $5,000 reimbursement for damages caused by the tenant. Click here if you have more questions. Qualifying landlords may apply
- TENANCY PRESERVATION PROGRAM (RCW 59.18.410(3), RCW 43.31.605(c), amendments SB 5160, Sec. 5) provides zero-interest loans to landlords, and the tenant is obligated to repay the loan to remain eligible for the program in the future. To qualify for this Tenancy Preservation Program, both landlord and tenant must appear in person in the local Superior Court and request a stipulated payment agreement or tenant preservation funding agreement. These court orders outline the dates for repayment of past-due rent. If the tenant makes payment on time, the tenancy is preserved. If the tenant misses a payment, the landlord may apply for payment from the tenancy preservation program. Click here to read FAQs.
- LANDLORD COVID RELIEF PROGRAM (SB 5160, Sec. 5) provides up to $15,000 to landlords for unpaid rent, accrued between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, if the tenant(s) are low-income, limited-resourced or under hardship, and have defaulted on a repayment plan or have abandoned the unit. Tenancies terminated by eviction are not eligible for this program. If the landlord’s claim is approved and paid, the landlord may not pursue legal action against the tenant for damages or unpaid rent for the same period. To qualify for the COVID Relief fund, the landlord needs a Washington Statewide Vendor Identification Number, a signed written rental agreement, and other documents.
- LIMITED LANDLORD RELIEF PROGRAM is a program for landlords with six or fewer properties (each rental unit counts as a property) who earn less than the Family Median Income. Eligible landlords may claim and potentially recoup up to 80% of unpaid rent that accrued between March 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. If the landlord’s claim is approved and paid, the landlord may not pursue legal action against the tenant for damages or unpaid rent for the same period.