Welcome to Renting in Seattle! This web site aims to provide comprehensive information and resources on rental regulations in the City of Seattle as well as tips and best practices for successful renting. Whether you are a renter or a housing provider, there is a lot to know.

Currently, due to the impacts of COVID-19, there are temporary orders both statewide and in Seattle which affect rental regulations. Scroll down for more information.  This page is updated regularly. Check out our resource pages for both renters and housing providers and keep up to date on our news and events page.

Updated FAQ Flyer for Renters on Eviction Moratorium

Housing providers and service providers please distribute this flyer as widely as possible.

Eviction Moratorium Flyer Amharic  Chinese (Cantonese) Chinese (Mandarin) Khmer Korean Laotian Oromo   Russian Somali Spanish Thai Tigrinya Vietnamese
 

Governer Extends Eviction Moratorium and Adds New Protections for Renters

Governor Inslee issued a new order on April 16, extending the eviction moratorium through June 4, and adding additional protections for renters.  The order also prohibits law enforcement from assisting in any eviction action.  Here is a summary of the additions: 

  • The new order includes additional dwelling situations outside of the Landlord Tenant Act such as transitional housing, leased lots where homeowners live in motor homes, and camping grounds.    
  • Prohibits enforcement of agreements to vacate.       
  • Prohibits landlords from moving tenants to a lesser unit.     
  • Prohibits assessment or threats to assess late fees or other charges for non-payment dating from the state of emergency declaration on February 29, 2020.    
  • Prohibits charging or threatening to charge rent on units that did not become occupied due to COVID-19.      
  • Prohibits charging or threatening to charge rent on units where tenants had to leave because of COVID-19 needs of their own or others.       
  • Prohibits rent increases and increases to security deposits.      
  • Prohibits landlords from pursuing owed rent as debt collection or through any court action unless a landlord can prove the tenant was offered a reasonable payment plan (based on their specific circumstances) and refused or did not comply with the terms. 

Urgent! Amended Temporary Moratorium on Residential Evictions

Mayor Durkan signed an Emergency Order establishing a temporary moratorium on residential evictions on March 16, 2020.  The order states: 

A. Effective immediately, a moratorium on residential evictions is hereby ordered until the earlier of the termination of the civil emergency declared in the Proclamation of Civil Emergency dated March 3, 2020 or 60 days from the effective date of this Emergency Order. The decision to extend the moratorium shall be evaluated and determined by the Mayor based on public health necessity;

B. A residential landlord shall not initiate an unlawful detainer action, issue a notice of termination, or otherwise act on any termination notice, including any action or notice related to a rental agreement that has expired or will expire during the effective date of this Emergency Order, unless the unlawful detainer action or action on a termination notice is due to actions by the tenant constituting an imminent threat to the health or safety of neighbors, the landlord, or the tenant's or landlord's household members. Further, no late fees or other charges due to late payment of rent shall accrue during the moratorium; and 

C. It shall be a defense to any eviction action that the eviction of the tenant will occur during the moratorium, unless the eviction action is due to actions by the tenant constituting an imminent threat to the health or safety of neighbors, the landlord, or the tenant's or landlord's household members. For any pending eviction action regardless if the tenant has appeared, a court may grant a continuance for a future court date in order for the matter to be heard at a time after the moratorium is terminated; and

D. Effective immediately, the Sheriff of King County is requested to cease executon of eviction orders during the moratorium.

View Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Statewide Temporary Prohibition on Evictions

On March 18, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation prohibiting most evictions through April 17, 2020.

King County Superior Court Issues Stay on Residential Evictions 

On March 18 2020, King County Superior Court Presiding Judge Jim Rogers issued Emergency Order #9 effective immediately through March 30, 2020.  The Order suspends hearings, motions and trials on residential eviction cases. 

View the complete Emergency Order.

King County Sheriff Suspends Eviction Enforcement Indefinitely

On March 17, King County Sheriff Mitzi G.Johanknecht indefinitely suspended eviction enforcement of residential renters for non-payment of rent.  The Sheriff's office will only enforce on evictions related to public safety or nuisance issues. 

New! Tenant Protection Laws

The Washington State Legislature passed important renter protections that became effective on July 28, 2019. These include:

  • More notice for rent increases: Under the changes in law, all rent increases now require 60 days’ advance notice.
  • More time for pay or vacate notices:  Landlords must now use a 14 day notice (instead of 3) when rent is late before they can file for eviction.
  • Eviction proceedings: The 14 day notice and the summons and complaint documents have been standarized for simplicity and transparency.  Judges can now exercise discretion to consider extenuating circumstances such as a job loss or hospitalization when making decisions about evicting a tenant.  There are increased opportunities for renters during the eviction process to make payments and reinstate tenancy. 

Featured Links