Governor Inslee made a proclamation that temporarily
places a moratorium on evictions, rental increases, and late fees. This
moratorium is currently in place until June 4, 2020. The full text, and a summary, can be found here: https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-expands-eviction-moratorium-and-adds-additional-protections-residential-and-some
Some important things to understand about the Governor’s
is a statewide proclamation – it applies to the whole state, including the
City of Bellingham.
prohibits evictions due to non-payment and notices to “pay or vacate”.
prohibits increasing rents or rental deposits during the moratorium.
landlords from assessing or threatening to assess late fees or other
charges for non-payment.
does not mean that tenants no longer owe rent, or do not have to
pay rent. All delayed rent payments will still be owed but a landlord must
offer a tenant a reasonable repayment plan to enforce any collection of
does not mean that tenants who are violating other terms of their
lease agreement (such as endangering the health and safety of the public
or other tenants) cannot be evicted.
If you have any questions about the proclamation, please
visit the Governor’s website: www.governor.wa.gov.
Since this is a statewide ordinance, specific questions are best answered by
Facing Eviction or need Legal Advice?
If you are a renter who is being threatened with eviction at
this time, complaints can be filed with the State Attorney General’s
Office. The complaint form can be found here: https://fortress.wa.gov/atg/formhandler/ago/COVID19EvictionComplaintForm.aspx
If you are a renter who is in need of legal advice, contact
Law Advocates of Whatcom County at 360-671-6079 or visit lawadvocates.org.
All in-person legal clinics are cancelled at this time, but staff will still be
able to help you by phone.