Seattle extends eviction moratorium into January

Seattle extends eviction moratorium into January
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Seattle has extended its eviction moratorium into January, protecting residents in the state from being removed from their homes through the end of the year.

Seattle Mayor Jenny DurkanJenny DurkanSeattle lawmakers approve six-month notice for rent increases Washington state extends eviction protections through end of October Seattle extends eviction moratorium into January MORE (D) signed an executive order on Tuesday that extended the moratorium on residential and commercial evictions through Jan. 15, 2022, marking the sixth time the moratorium has been extended in the city since the pandemic began.

The moratorium was set to expire on Sept. 30, the date to which it was extended in June.

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With the new executive order, landlords will still be barred from issuing notices of termination or initiating eviction actions with the courts unless there is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community.

Additionally, late fees, interest and other charges in response to late rent payments are not permitted under the moratorium.

Tenants are still legally obligated to pay their rent, according to Durkan’s office, but landlords are encouraged to provide flexible payment plans.

The moratorium applies to residential, nonprofit and small-businesses evictions, the latter of which refers to independently owned businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

According to The Seattle Times, roughly 60,000 Seattle-area renters aged 18 and older are behind on rent.

The extension comes after Magistrate Judge Richard Creatura last week found that the city and state eviction moratoriums were conditional, according to Durkan’s office.

“Seattle continues to show the nation how to protect small businesses and residents by establishing and continuing one of the first in the nation moratoriums on evictions to keep families safe. Our early actions have and continue to keep people safe and housed,” Durkan said in a statement.

She said the new extension will support tenants and landlords amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, which has taken hold as the dominant strain in the U.S.

“While we face the unexpected rise of the Delta variant, this next extension will ensure every level of government can provide rental assistance and housing support to tenants and landlords, which is critical to stabilizing the community as we reopen and recover,” Durkan said.

The moratorium's extension in Seattle comes after the Supreme Court last month blocked the Biden administration’s federal eviction freeze, contending that the moratorium put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was unlawful.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money — Democrats eye tough choices as deadline looms Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), two leading progressives, introduced a bill on Tuesday that would give the Department of Health and Human Services the unilateral authority to enact a federal eviction moratorium in the interest of public health.

In July, Bush, along with other progressives, slept outside the Capitol to protest the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium.