Mayor Durkan Extends Moratorium on Residential, Nonprofit, and Small Business Evictions Until June 4

Extension of Moratorium on Evictions Follows Governor’s Proclamation 20-19.1 extending statewide eviction ban to June 4, and Increased Investments in Rent Relief Initiatives and Support for Small Businesses

Seattle (May 4, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan signed an Executive Order to extend the moratorium on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions in the City of Seattle until June 4, 2020. The extension follows Proclamation 20-19.1 issued by the Governor, which extends the statewide ban to June 4, 2020.

“The moratorium on evictions is one critical tool we have at the City to keep people in their homes and keep businesses afloat. It was one of the first measures we took to bring relief to our City and why it is critical to maintain during this unprecedented time. These efforts, coupled with our work over the last two months to provide immediate financial relief to working people and small businesses, are critical to helping our communities weather this storm,” said Mayor Durkan. “Ultimately, we must rely on the federal government to provide the kind of lasting and immense financial relief that our residents and small businesses truly need. We know that expanded federal assistance like unemployment, food programs like WIC, rental assistance, and small business relief have to be scaled at the national level to ensure individuals across the city and region can meet basic needs.”

The Mayor first announced the moratorium on residential evictions on March 14, 2020 to keep Seattle families from losing their homes as a result of impacts from the pandemic. While the 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.  The order also prohibits late fees, and when paired with Governor Inslee’s April 16 proclamation,

increases to rent and security deposits are prohibited through June 4. 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 moratorium on nonprofit and small business evictions impacts independently-owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, state nonprofits, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Along with halting 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. 

Residential, nonprofit, and small business tenants who must appear in court should use the moratorium as a defense. If a tenant does not appear in court, the court may grant a continuance to allow the matter to be heard at a later date, after the moratorium has lifted.  

In addition to the eviction moratorium, the City of Seattle has worked with its partners to provide immediate financial relief to Seattle communities impacted by COVID-19. In early April, the City, King County, and United Way of King County (UWKC) announced a new $5 million investment in UWKC’s Home Base program to provide rental assistance to King County households that have lost all or part of their income due to the coronavirus pandemic. Applications for that program are now closed, but residents can sign up to be notified if the program reopens. The initial commitment from the City, County and United Way was estimated to help 2,000 families.

The Mayor has also implemented a series of initiatives to support small businesses financially impacted by COVID-19. The Small Business Stabilization Fund was one of the first initiatives the Mayor launched to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the City’s Office of Economic Development (OED) recently provided $10,000 grants to 250 Seattle businesses impacted by COVID-19. In addition, the City has forgiven April and May rent for all nonprofits and renters with artist studio licenses that lease City-owned facilities.

The City has also created a comprehensive resource page for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.