Strike everything after the enacting clause and insert the following:
"NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. It is declared to be the public policy of the state and a recognized governmental function to assist residents who are experiencing a temporary crisis in retaining stable housing, and by so doing to contribute to the general welfare. Decent housing for the people of Washington state is a most important public concern. An escalation of rents and scarcity of housing supply have made it difficult for many Washingtonians to obtain stable housing, especially if they lose housing after experiencing an extraordinary life event that temporarily leaves them without resources and income. It is the long-standing practice of the state to make rental assistance available in many such urgent situations, and it is the intent of the legislature to provide a payment on the tenant's behalf to the landlord in certain eviction proceedings to give the tenant additional time to access resources that allow the tenants to stay in their home.
and 1998 c 276 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:
A tenant of real property for a term less than life is ((guilty of))liable for unlawful detainer either:
(1) When he or she holds over or continues in possession, in person or by subtenant, of the property or any part thereof after the expiration of the term for which it is let to him or her. When real property is leased for a specified term or period by express or implied contract, whether written or oral, the tenancy shall be terminated without notice at the expiration of the specified term or period;
(2) When he or she, having leased property for an indefinite time with monthly or other periodic rent reserved, continues in possession thereof, in person or by subtenant, after the end of any such month or period, when the landlord, more than twenty days prior to the end of such month or period, has served notice (in manner in RCW 59.12.040
provided) requiring him or her to quit the premises at the expiration of such month or period;
(3) When he or she continues in possession in person or by subtenant after a default in the payment of rent, and after notice in writing requiring in the alternative the payment of the rent or the surrender of the detained premises, served (in manner in RCW 59.12.040
behalf of the person entitled to the rent upon the person owing it, has remained uncomplied with for the period of three days after service ((thereof
)), or for the period of fourteen days after service for tenancies under chapter 59.18 RCW
. The notice may be served at any time after the rent becomes due. For the purposes of this subsection and as applied to tenancies under chapter 59.18 RCW, "rent" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 59.18.030
(4) When he or she continues in possession in person or by subtenant after a neglect or failure to keep or perform any ((other
)) condition or covenant of the lease or agreement under which the property is held, including any covenant not to assign or sublet, other
than one for the payment of rent, and after notice in writing requiring in the alternative the performance of such condition or covenant or the surrender of the property, served (in manner in RCW 59.12.040
provided) upon him or her, and if there is a subtenant in actual possession of the premises, also upon such subtenant, shall remain uncomplied with for ten days after service thereof. Within ten days after the service of such notice the tenant, or any subtenant in actual occupation of the premises, or any mortgagee of the term, or other person interested in its continuance, may perform such condition or covenant and thereby save the lease from such forfeiture. For the purposes of this subsection and as applied to tenancies under chapter 59.18 RCW, "rent" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 59.18.030
(5) When he or she commits or permits waste upon the demised premises, or when he or she sets up or carries on thereon any unlawful business, or when he or she erects, suffers, permits, or maintains on or about the premises any nuisance, and remains in possession after the service (in manner in RCW 59.12.040
provided) upon him or her of three days' notice to quit;
(6) A person who, without the permission of the owner and without having color of title thereto, enters upon land of another and who fails or refuses to remove therefrom after three days' notice, in writing and served upon him or her in the manner provided in RCW 59.12.040
. Such person may also be subject to the criminal provisions of chapter 9A.52
(7) When he or she commits or permits any gang-related activity at the premises as prohibited by RCW 59.18.130
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3.
A new section is added to chapter 59.18
RCW to read as follows:
(1) Every fourteen-day notice served pursuant to RCW 59.12.030
(3) must be in substantially the following form:
"FOURTEEN-DAY NOTICE TO PAY RENT OR VACATE THE PREMISES
You are receiving the attached notice because the landlord alleges you are not in compliance with the terms of the lease agreement by failing to pay rent and/or utilities and/or recurring or periodic charges that are past due.
(1) Monthly rent due for (list month(s)): $ (dollar amount)
(2) Utilities due for (list month(s)): $ (dollar amount)
(3) Other recurring or periodic charges identified in the lease for (list month(s)): $ (dollar amount)
TOTAL AMOUNT DUE: $ (dollar amount)
Note - payment must be by cash, cashier's check, money order, or certified funds pursuant to the terms of the rental agreement.
You must pay the total amount due to your landlord within fourteen (14) days after service of this notice or you must vacate the premises. Any payment you make to the landlord must first be applied to the total amount due as shown on this notice. Any failure to comply with this notice within fourteen (14) days after service of this notice may result in a judicial proceeding that leads to your eviction from the premises.
The Washington state Office of the Attorney General has this notice in multiple languages on its web site. You will also find information there on how to find a lawyer or advocate at low or no cost and any available resources to help you pay your rent. Alternatively, call 2-1-1 to learn about these services.
State law provides you the right to receive interpreter services at court.
WHERE TOTAL AMOUNT DUE IS TO BE PAID: ___(owner/landlord name)___
(2) The form required in this section does not abrogate any additional notice requirements to tenants as required by federal, state, or local law.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4.
A new section is added to chapter 59.18
RCW to read as follows:
(1) The office of the attorney general shall produce and maintain on its web site translated versions of the notice under section 3 of this act in the top ten languages spoken in Washington state and, at the discretion of the office of the attorney general, other languages. The notice must be made available upon request in printed form on one letter size paper, eight and one-half by eleven inches, and in an easily readable font size.
(2) The office of the attorney general shall also provide on its web site information on where tenants can access legal or advocacy resources, including information on any immigrant and cultural organizations where tenants can receive assistance in their primary language.
(3) The office of the attorney general may also produce and maintain on its web site translated versions of common notices used in unlawful detainer actions, including those relevant to subsidized tenancies, low-income housing tax credit programs, or the federal violence against women act.
and 2016 c 66 s 1 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Certificate of inspection" means an unsworn statement, declaration, verification, or certificate made in accordance with the requirements of RCW 9A.72.085
by a qualified inspector that states that the landlord has not failed to fulfill any substantial obligation imposed under RCW 59.18.060
that endangers or impairs the health or safety of a tenant, including (a) structural members that are of insufficient size or strength to carry imposed loads with safety, (b) exposure of the occupants to the weather, (c) plumbing and sanitation defects that directly expose the occupants to the risk of illness or injury, (d) not providing facilities adequate to supply heat and water and hot water as reasonably required by the tenant, (e) providing heating or ventilation systems that are not functional or are hazardous, (f) defective, hazardous, or missing electrical wiring or electrical service, (g) defective or hazardous exits that increase the risk of injury to occupants, and (h) conditions that increase the risk of fire.
(2) "Commercially reasonable manner," with respect to a sale of a deceased tenant's personal property, means a sale where every aspect of the sale, including the method, manner, time, place, and other terms, must be commercially reasonable. If commercially reasonable, a landlord may sell the tenant's property by public or private proceedings, by one or more contracts, as a unit or in parcels, and at any time and place and on any terms.
(3) "Comprehensive reusable tenant screening report" means a tenant screening report prepared by a consumer reporting agency at the direction of and paid for by the prospective tenant and made available directly to a prospective landlord at no charge, which contains all of the following: (a) A consumer credit report prepared by a consumer reporting agency within the past thirty days; (b) the prospective tenant's criminal history; (c) the prospective tenant's eviction history; (d) an employment verification; and (e) the prospective tenant's address and rental history.
(4) "Criminal history" means a report containing or summarizing (a) the prospective tenant's criminal convictions and pending cases, the final disposition of which antedates the report by no more than seven years, and (b) the results of a sex offender registry and United States department of the treasury's office of foreign assets control search, all based on at least seven years of address history and alias information provided by the prospective tenant or available in the consumer credit report.
(5) "Designated person" means a person designated by the tenant under RCW 59.18.590
(6) "Distressed home" has the same meaning as in RCW 61.34.020
(7) "Distressed home conveyance" has the same meaning as in RCW 61.34.020
(8) "Distressed home purchaser" has the same meaning as in RCW 61.34.020
(9) "Dwelling unit" is a structure or that part of a structure which is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person or by two or more persons maintaining a common household, including but not limited to single-family residences and units of multiplexes, apartment buildings, and mobile homes.
(10) "Eviction history" means a report containing or summarizing the contents of any records of unlawful detainer actions concerning the prospective tenant that are reportable in accordance with state law, are lawful for landlords to consider, and are obtained after a search based on at least seven years of address history and alias information provided by the prospective tenant or available in the consumer credit report.
(11) "Gang" means a group that: (a) Consists of three or more persons; (b) has identifiable leadership or an identifiable name, sign, or symbol; and (c) on an ongoing basis, regularly conspires and acts in concert mainly for criminal purposes.
(12) "Gang-related activity" means any activity that occurs within the gang or advances a gang purpose.
(13) "In danger of foreclosure" means any of the following:
(a) The homeowner has defaulted on the mortgage and, under the terms of the mortgage, the mortgagee has the right to accelerate full payment of the mortgage and repossess, sell, or cause to be sold the property;
(b) The homeowner is at least thirty days delinquent on any loan that is secured by the property; or
(c) The homeowner has a good faith belief that he or she is likely to default on the mortgage within the upcoming four months due to a lack of funds, and the homeowner has reported this belief to:
(i) The mortgagee;
(ii) A person licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 19.134
(iii) A person licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 19.146
(iv) A person licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 18.85
(v) An attorney-at-law;
(vi) A mortgage counselor or other credit counselor licensed or certified by any federal, state, or local agency; or
(vii) Any other party to a distressed property conveyance.
(14) "Landlord" means the owner, lessor, or sublessor of the dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part, and in addition means any person designated as representative of the owner, lessor, or sublessor including, but not limited to, an agent, a resident manager, or a designated property manager.
(15) "Mortgage" is used in the general sense and includes all instruments, including deeds of trust, that are used to secure an obligation by an interest in real property.
(16) "Owner" means one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested:
(a) All or any part of the legal title to property; or
(b) All or part of the beneficial ownership, and a right to present use and enjoyment of the property.
(17) "Person" means an individual, group of individuals, corporation, government, or governmental agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, or association, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.
(18) "Premises" means a dwelling unit, appurtenances thereto, grounds, and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally and any other area or facility which is held out for use by the tenant.
(19) "Property" or "rental property" means all dwelling units on a contiguous quantity of land managed by the same landlord as a single, rental complex.
(20) "Prospective landlord" means a landlord or a person who advertises, solicits, offers, or otherwise holds a dwelling unit out as available for rent.
(21) "Prospective tenant" means a tenant or a person who has applied for residential housing that is governed under this chapter.
(22) "Qualified inspector" means a United States department of housing and urban development certified inspector; a Washington state licensed home inspector; an American society of home inspectors certified inspector; a private inspector certified by the national association of housing and redevelopment officials, the American association of code enforcement, or other comparable professional association as approved by the local municipality; a municipal code enforcement officer; a Washington licensed structural engineer; or a Washington licensed architect.
(23) "Reasonable attorneys' fees," where authorized in this chapter, means an amount to be determined including the following factors: The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly, the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services, the amount involved and the results obtained, and the experience, reputation and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services.
(24) "Reasonable manner," with respect to disposing of a deceased tenant's personal property, means to dispose of the property by donation to a not-for-profit charitable organization, by removal of the property by a trash hauler or recycler, or by any other method that is reasonable under the circumstances.
(25) "Rent" or "rental amount" means recurring and periodic charges identified in the rental agreement for the use and occupancy of the premises, which may include charges for utilities. Except as provided in section 6(3) of this act, these terms do not include nonrecurring charges for costs incurred due to late payment, damages, deposits, legal costs, or other fees, including attorneys' fees.
(26) "Rental agreement" means all agreements which establish or modify the terms, conditions, rules, regulations, or any other provisions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit.
(((26)))(27) A "single-family residence" is a structure maintained and used as a single dwelling unit. Notwithstanding that a dwelling unit shares one or more walls with another dwelling unit, it shall be deemed a single-family residence if it has direct access to a street and shares neither heating facilities nor hot water equipment, nor any other essential facility or service, with any other dwelling unit.
(((27)))(28) A "tenant" is any person who is entitled to occupy a dwelling unit primarily for living or dwelling purposes under a rental agreement.
(((28)))(29) "Tenant representative" means:
(a) A personal representative of a deceased tenant's estate if known to the landlord;
(b) If the landlord has no knowledge that a personal representative has been appointed for the deceased tenant's estate, a person claiming to be a successor of the deceased tenant who has provided the landlord with proof of death and an affidavit made by the person that meets the requirements of RCW 11.62.010
(c) In the absence of a personal representative under (a) of this subsection or a person claiming to be a successor under (b) of this subsection, a designated person; or
(d) In the absence of a personal representative under (a) of this subsection, a person claiming to be a successor under (b) of this subsection, or a designated person under (c) of this subsection, any person who provides the landlord with reasonable evidence that he or she is a successor of the deceased tenant as defined in RCW 11.62.005
. The landlord has no obligation to identify all of the deceased tenant's successors.
(((29)))(30) "Tenant screening" means using a consumer report or other information about a prospective tenant in deciding whether to make or accept an offer for residential rental property to or from a prospective tenant.
"Tenant screening report" means a consumer report as defined in RCW 19.182.010
and any other information collected by a tenant screening service.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6.
A new section is added to chapter 59.18
RCW to read as follows:
Under this chapter:
(1) A landlord must first apply any payment made by a tenant toward rent before applying any payment toward late payments, damages, legal costs, or other fees, including attorneys' fees.
(2) Except as provided in RCW 59.18.410
, the tenant's right to possession of the premises may not be conditioned on a tenant's payment or satisfaction of any monetary amount other than rent. However, this does not foreclose a landlord from pursuing other lawful remedies to collect late payments, legal costs, or other fees, including attorneys' fees.
(3) When, at the commencement of the tenancy, the landlord has provided an installment payment plan for nonrefundable fees or deposits for the security of the tenant's obligations and the tenant defaults in payment, the landlord may treat the default in payment as rent owing. Any rights the tenant and landlord have under this chapter with respect to rent owing equally apply under this subsection.
and 2011 c 132 s 20 are each amended to read as follows:
If ((upon the
trial the verdict of the jury or, if the case ((be
tried without a jury, the finding of the court ((be
in favor of the ((plaintiff
and against the ((defendant
, judgment shall be entered for the restitution of the premises; and if the proceeding ((be
for unlawful detainer after neglect or failure to perform any condition or covenant of a lease or agreement under which the property is held, or after default in the payment of rent, the judgment shall also declare the forfeiture of the lease, agreement, or tenancy. The jury, or the court, if the proceedings ((be
tried without a jury, shall also assess the damages arising out of the tenancy occasioned to the ((plaintiff
by any forcible entry, or by any forcible or unlawful detainer, alleged in the complaint and proved ((on the
trial, and, if the alleged unlawful detainer ((be after
))is based on
default in the payment of rent, find the amount of any rent due, and the judgment shall be rendered against the ((defendant guilty of
))tenant liable for
the forcible entry, forcible detainer, or unlawful detainer for the amount of damages thus assessed ((and
for the rent, if any, found due, and late fees if such fees are due under the lease and do not exceed seventy-five dollars in total. T
he court may award statutory costs and reasonable ((attorney's
fees as provided in RCW 59.18.290
(2) When the ((proceeding))tenant is liable for ((an)) unlawful detainer after a default in the payment of rent, ((and the lease or agreement under which the rent is payable has not by its terms expired,)) execution upon the judgment shall not ((be issued))occur until the expiration of five court days after the entry of the judgment((, within which)). Before such time has expired, the tenant or any subtenant, or any mortgagee of the term, or other party interested in the continuance of the tenancy, may pay into court ((for))or to the landlord the amount of the ((judgment and costs, and thereupon the judgment shall be satisfied and the))rent due, any court costs incurred at the time of payment, late fees if such fees are due under the lease and do not exceed seventy-five dollars in total, and attorneys' fees if awarded, in which event any judgment entered shall be satisfied and the tenant restored to his or her tenancy((; but)). If a judgment has been satisfied, the landlord shall file a satisfaction of judgment with the court. A tenant seeking to exercise rights under this subsection shall pay an additional fifty dollars for each time the tenant was reinstated after judgment pursuant to this subsection within the previous twelve months prior to payment. If payment((, as herein provided, be))of the amount specified in this subsection is not made within five court days after the entry of the judgment, the judgment may be enforced for its full amount and for the possession of the premises.
(3)(a) Following the entry of a judgment in favor of the landlord and against the tenant for the restitution of the premises and forfeiture of the tenancy due to nonpayment of rent, the court, at the time of the show cause hearing or trial, or upon subsequent motion of the tenant but before the execution of the writ of restitution, may stay the writ of restitution upon good cause and on such terms that the court deems fair and just for both parties. In making this decision, the court shall consider evidence of the following factors:
(i) The tenant's willful or intentional default or intentional failure to pay rent;
(ii) Whether nonpayment of the rent was caused by exigent circumstances that were beyond the tenant's control and that are not likely to recur;
(iii) The tenant's ability to timely pay the judgment;
(iv) The tenant's payment history;
(v) Whether the tenant is otherwise in substantial compliance with the rental agreement;
(vi) Hardship on the tenant if evicted; and
(vii) Conduct related to other notices served within the last six months.
(b) The burden of proof for such relief under this subsection (3) shall be on the tenant. If the tenant seeks relief pursuant to this subsection (3) at the time of the show cause hearing, the court shall hear the matter at the time of the show cause hearing or as expeditiously as possible so as to avoid unnecessary delay or hardship on the parties.
(c) In any order issued pursuant to this subsection (3):
(i) The court shall not stay the writ of restitution more than ninety days from the date of order, but may order repayment of the judgment balance within such time. If the payment plan is to exceed thirty days, the total cumulative payments for each thirty-day period following the order shall be no less than one month of the tenant's share of the rent, and the total amount of the judgment and all additional rent that is due shall be paid within ninety days.
(ii) Within any payment plan ordered by the court, the court shall require the tenant to pay to the landlord or to the court one month's rent within five court days of issuance of the order. If the date of the order is on or before the fifteenth of the month, the tenant shall remain current with ongoing rental payments as they become due for the duration of the payment plan; if the date of the order is after the fifteenth of the month, the tenant shall have the option to apportion the following month's rental payment within the payment plan, but monthly rental payments thereafter shall be paid according to the rental agreement.
(iii) The sheriff may serve the writ of restitution upon the tenant before the expiration of the five court days of issuance of the order; however, the sheriff shall not execute the writ of restitution until after expiration of the five court days in order for payment to be made of one month's rent as required by (c)(ii) of this subsection. In the event payment is made as provided in (c)(ii) of this subsection for one month's rent, the court shall stay the writ of restitution ex parte without prior notice to the landlord upon the tenant filing and presenting a motion to stay with a declaration of proof of payment demonstrating full compliance with the required payment of one month's rent. Any order staying the writ of restitution under this subsection (3)(c)(iii) shall require the tenant to serve a copy of the order on the landlord by personal delivery, first-class mail, facsimile, or email if agreed to by the parties.
(A) If the tenant has satisfied (c)(ii) of this subsection by paying one month's rent within five court days, but defaults on a subsequent payment required by the court pursuant to this subsection (3)(c), the landlord may enforce the writ of restitution after serving a notice of default in accordance with RCW 59.12.040 informing the tenant that he or she has defaulted on rent due under the lease agreement or payment plan entered by the court. Upon service of the notice of default, the tenant shall have three calendar days from the date of service to vacate the premises before the sheriff may execute the writ of restitution.
(B) If the landlord serves the notice of default described under this subsection (3)(c)(iii), an additional day is not included in calculating the time before the sheriff may execute the writ of restitution. The notice of default must be in substantially the following form:
NOTICE OF DEFAULT FOR RENT AND/OR PAYMENT PLAN ORDERED BY COURT
CITY, STATE, ZIP
THIS IS NOTICE THAT YOU ARE IN DEFAULT OF YOUR RENT AND/OR PAYMENT PLAN ORDERED BY THE COURT. YOUR LANDLORD HAS RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING PAYMENTS:
THE LANDLORD MAY SCHEDULE YOUR PHYSICAL EVICTION WITHIN THREE CALENDAR DAYS OF SERVICE OF THIS NOTICE. TO STOP A PHYSICAL EVICTION, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THE BALANCE OF YOUR RENT AND/OR PAYMENT PLAN IN THE AMOUNT OF $. . . . ..
PAYMENT MAY BE MADE TO THE COURT OR TO THE LANDLORD. IF YOU FAIL TO PAY THE BALANCE WITHIN THREE CALENDAR DAYS, THE LANDLORD MAY PROCEED WITH A PHYSICAL EVICTION FOR POSSESSION OF THE UNIT THAT YOU ARE RENTING.
(iv) If a tenant seeks to satisfy a condition of this subsection (3)(c) by relying on an emergency rental assistance program provided by a government or nonprofit entity and provides an offer of proof, the court shall stay the writ of restitution as necessary to afford the tenant an equal opportunity to comply.
(v) The court shall extend the writ of restitution as necessary to enforce the order issued pursuant to this subsection (3)(c) in the event of default.
(d) A tenant who has been served with three or more notices to pay or vacate for failure to pay rent as set forth in RCW 59.12.040 within twelve months prior to the notice to pay or vacate upon which the proceeding is based may not seek relief under this subsection (3). (e)(i) In any application seeking relief pursuant to this subsection (3), the court shall issue a finding as to whether the tenant is low-income, limited resourced, or experiencing hardship to determine if the parties would be eligible for disbursement through the landlord mitigation program account established within RCW 43.31.605(1)(c). In making this finding, the court may include an inquiry regarding the tenant's income relative to area median income, household composition, any extenuating circumstances, or other factors, and may rely on written declarations or oral testimony by the parties at the hearing. (ii) After a finding that the tenant is low-income, limited resourced, or experiencing hardship, the court may issue an order: (A) Finding that the landlord may apply for reimbursement from the landlord mitigation program; and (B) directing the clerk to remit, without further order of the court, any future payments made by the tenant in order to reimburse the department of commerce pursuant to RCW 43.31.605(1)(c)(iii). Nothing in this subsection (3)(c) shall be deemed to obligate the department of commerce to provide assistance in claim reimbursement through the landlord mitigation program if there are not sufficient funds. (iii) If the department of commerce fails to disburse payment to the landlord for the judgment pursuant to this subsection (3)(e) within thirty days from submission of the application, the landlord may renew an application for a writ of restitution pursuant to RCW 59.18.370 and for other rent owed by the tenant since the time of entry of the prior judgment. In such event, the tenant may exercise rights afforded under this section.
(iv) Upon payment by the department of commerce to the landlord for the remaining or total amount of the judgment, as applicable, the judgment is satisfied and the landlord shall file a satisfaction of judgment with the court.
(v) Nothing in this subsection (3)(e) prohibits the landlord from otherwise applying for reimbursement for an unpaid judgment pursuant to RCW 43.31.605(1)(c) after the tenant defaults on a payment plan ordered pursuant to (c) of this subsection.
(4) If a tenant seeks to stay a writ of restitution issued pursuant to this chapter, the court may issue an ex parte stay of the writ of restitution provided the tenant or tenant's attorney submits a declaration indicating good faith efforts were made to notify the other party or, if no efforts were made, why notice could not be provided prior to the application for an ex parte stay, and describing the immediate or irreparable harm that may result if an immediate stay is not granted. The court shall schedule a hearing as soon as practicable for the matter to be heard on why the writ of restitution shall not be further stayed or vacated.
(5) In all other cases the judgment may be enforced immediately. If a writ of restitution shall have been executed prior to judgment no further writ or execution for the premises shall be required.
This section also applies if the writ of restitution is issued pursuant to a final judgment entered after a show cause hearing conducted in accordance with RCW 59.18.380
and 2011 c 132 s 19 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The sheriff shall, upon receiving the writ of restitution, forthwith serve a copy thereof upon the ((defendant
, his or her agent, or attorney, or a person in possession of the premises, and shall not execute the same for three days thereafter((, and the defendant, or person in possession of the premises within three days after the service of the writ of restitution may execute to the plaintiff a bond to be filed with and approved by the clerk of the court in such sum as may be fixed by the judge, with sufficient surety to be approved by the clerk of the court, conditioned that they will pay to the plaintiff such sum as the plaintiff may recover for the use and occupation of the premises, or any rent found due, together with all damages the plaintiff may sustain by reason of the defendant occupying or keeping possession of the premises, together with all damages which the court theretofore has awarded to the plaintiff as provided in this chapter, and also all the costs of the action. If the writ of restitution was issued after alternative service provided for in RCW 59.18.055, the court shall determine the amount of the bond after considering the rent claimed and any other factors the court deems relevant. The plaintiff, his or her agent or attorneys, shall have notice of the time and place where the court or judge thereof shall fix the amount of the defendant's bond, and shall have notice and a reasonable opportunity to examine into the qualification and sufficiency of the sureties upon the bond before the bond shall be approved by the clerk
)). After the issuance of a writ of restitution, acceptance of a payment by the landlord ((or plaintiff
)) that only partially satisfies the judgment will not invalidate the writ unless pursuant to a written agreement executed by both parties. The eviction will not be postponed or stopped unless a copy of that written agreement is provided to the sheriff. It is the responsibility of the tenant ((or defendant
)) to ensure a copy of the agreement is provided to the sheriff. Upon receipt of the agreement,
the sheriff will cease action unless ordered to do otherwise by the court. The writ of restitution and the notice that accompanies the writ of restitution required under RCW 59.18.312
shall conspicuously state in bold face type, all capitals, not less than twelve points information about partial payments as set forth in subsection (2) of this section. If the writ of restitution has been based upon a finding by the court that the tenant, subtenant, sublessee, or a person residing at the rental premises has engaged in drug-related activity or has allowed any other person to engage in drug-related activity at those premises with his or her knowledge or approval, neither the tenant((, the defendant,
)) nor a person in possession of the premises shall be entitled to post a bond in order to retain possession of the premises. The writ may be served by the sheriff, in the event he or she shall be unable to find the ((defendant
, an agent or attorney, or a person in possession of the premises, by affixing a copy of the writ in a conspicuous place upon the premises: PROVIDED, That the sheriff shall not require any bond for the service or execution of the writ. The sheriff shall be immune from all civil liability for serving and enforcing writs of restitution unless the sheriff is grossly negligent in carrying out his or her duty.
(2) The notice accompanying a writ of restitution required under RCW 59.18.312
shall be substantially similar to the following:
IMPORTANT NOTICE - PARTIAL PAYMENTS
YOUR LANDLORD'S ACCEPTANCE OF A PARTIAL PAYMENT FROM YOU AFTER SERVICE OF THIS WRIT OF RESTITUTION WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY POSTPONE OR STOP YOUR EVICTION. IF YOU HAVE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT WITH YOUR LANDLORD THAT THE EVICTION WILL BE POSTPONED OR STOPPED, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE A COPY OF THE AGREEMENT TO THE SHERIFF. THE SHERIFF WILL NOT CEASE ACTION UNLESS YOU PROVIDE A COPY OF THE AGREEMENT. AT THE DIRECTION OF THE COURT THE SHERIFF MAY TAKE FURTHER ACTION.
and 2008 c 75 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The summons must contain the names of the parties to the proceeding, the attorney or attorneys if any, the court in which the same is brought, the nature of the action, in concise terms, and the relief sought, and also the return day; and must notify the defendant to appear and answer within the time designated or that the relief sought will be taken against him or her. The summons must contain a street address for service of the notice of appearance or answer and, if available, a facsimile number for the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, if represented. The summons must be served and returned in the same manner as a summons in other actions is served and returned.
(2) A defendant may serve a copy of an answer or notice of appearance by any of the following methods:
(a) By delivering a copy of the answer or notice of appearance to the person who signed the summons at the street address listed on the summons;
(b) By mailing a copy of the answer or notice of appearance addressed to the person who signed the summons to the street address listed on the summons;
(c) By facsimile to the facsimile number listed on the summons. Service by facsimile is complete upon successful transmission to the facsimile number listed upon the summons;
(d) As otherwise authorized by the superior court civil rules.
(3) The summons for unlawful detainer actions for tenancies covered by this chapter shall be substantially in the following form:
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE
STATE OF WASHINGTON
FOR . . . . . . COUNTY
THIS IS ((NOTICE OF A LAWSUIT))AN IMPORTANT LEGAL DOCUMENT TO EVICT YOU.
((PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.
THE DEADLINE FOR)) YOUR WRITTEN
RESPONSE ((IS))MUST BE RECEIVED BY: 5:00 p.m., on . . . . . . . . .
TO: . . . . . . . . . . . . (Defendant's Name)
. . . . . . . . . . . . (Defendant's Address)
((This is notice of a lawsuit to evict you from the property which you are renting. Your landlord is asking the court to terminate your tenancy, direct the sheriff to remove you and your belongings from the property, enter a money judgment against you for unpaid rent and/or damages for your use of the property, and for court costs and attorneys' fees.
If you want to defend yourself in this lawsuit, you must respond to the eviction complaint in writing on or before the deadline stated above. You must respond in writing even if no case number has been assigned by the court yet.
You can respond to the complaint in writing by delivering a copy of a notice of appearance or answer to your landlord's attorney (or your landlord if there is no attorney) by personal delivery, mailing, or facsimile to the address or facsimile number stated below TO BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN THE DEADLINE STATED ABOVE. Service by facsimile is complete upon successful transmission to the facsimile number, if any, listed in the summons.
The notice of appearance or answer must include the name of this case (plaintiff(s) and defendant(s)), your name, the street address where further legal papers may be sent, your telephone number (if any), and your signature.
If there is a number on the upper right side of the eviction summons and complaint, you must also file your original notice of appearance or answer with the court clerk by the deadline for your written response.
You may demand that the plaintiff file this lawsuit with the court. If you do so, the demand must be in writing and must be served upon the person signing the summons. Within fourteen days after you serve the demand, the plaintiff must file this lawsuit with the court, or the service on you of this summons and complaint will be void.
If you wish to seek the advice of an attorney in this matter, you should do so promptly so that your written response, if any, may be served on time.
You may also be instructed in a separate order to appear for a court hearing on your eviction. If you receive an order to show cause you must personally appear at the hearing on the date indicated in the order to show cause IN ADDITION to delivering and filing your notice of appearance or answer by the deadline stated above.
IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO THE COMPLAINT IN WRITING BY THE DEADLINE STATED ABOVE YOU WILL LOSE BY DEFAULT. YOUR LANDLORD MAY PROCEED WITH THE LAWSUIT, EVEN IF YOU HAVE MOVED OUT OF THE PROPERTY.
The notice of appearance or answer must be delivered to:
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
Facsimile Number (Required if Available)))
GET HELP: If you do not respond by the deadline above, you will lose your right to defend yourself in court and could be evicted. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may call 2-1-1. They can refer you to free or low-cost legal help. They can help you find help to pay for a lawyer.
HOW TO RESPOND: Phone calls to your Landlord or your Landlord's lawyer are not a response. You may respond with a "notice of appearance." This is a letter that includes the following:
(1) A statement that you are appearing in the court case
(2) Names of the landlord(s) and the tenant(s) (as listed above)
(3) Your name, your address where legal documents may be sent, your signature, phone number (if any), and case number (if the case is filed)
This case □ is / □ is not filed with the court. If this case is filed, you need to also file your response with the court by delivering a copy to the clerk of the court at: . . . . . . . . . . . (Clerk's Office/Address/Room number/Business hours of court clerk)
WHERE TO RESPOND: You must mail, fax, or hand deliver your response letter to your Landlord's lawyer, or if no lawyer is named in the complaint, to your Landlord. If you mail the response letter, you must do it 3 days before the deadline above. Request receipt of a proof of mailing from the post office. If you hand deliver or fax it, you must do it by the deadline above. The address is:
. . . . . . . . . (Attorney/Landlord Name)
. . . . . . . . . (Address)
. . . . . . . . . (Fax - required if available)
COURT DATE: If you respond to this Summons, you will be notified of your hearing date in a document called an "Order to Show Cause." This is usually mailed to you. If you get notice of a hearing, you must go to the hearing. If you do not show up, your landlord can evict you. Your landlord might also charge you more money. If you move before the court date, you must tell your landlord or the landlord's attorney.
and 2010 c 8 s 19028 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) It ((shall be))is unlawful for the landlord to remove or exclude from the premises the tenant thereof except under a court order so authorizing. Any tenant so removed or excluded in violation of this section may recover possession of the property or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, may recover the actual damages sustained. The prevailing party may recover the costs of suit or arbitration and reasonable ((attorney's))attorneys' fees.
(2) It ((shall be))is unlawful for the tenant to hold over in the premises or exclude the landlord therefrom after the termination of the rental agreement except under a valid court order so authorizing. Any landlord so deprived of possession of premises in violation of this section may recover possession of the property and damages sustained by him or her, and the prevailing party may recover his or her costs of suit or arbitration and reasonable ((attorney's))attorneys' fees subject to subsections (3) and (4) of this section.
(3) Where the court has entered a judgment in favor of the landlord restoring possession of the property to the landlord, the court may award statutory costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to the landlord; however, the court shall not do so in the following instances:
(a) If the judgment for possession is entered after the tenant failed to appear; or
(b) If the total amount of rent awarded in the judgment for rent is equal to or less than two months of the tenant's monthly contract rent or one thousand two hundred dollars, whichever is greater.
(4) If a tenant has filed a motion to stay a writ of restitution from execution, the court may only award attorneys' fees to the landlord if the tenant is permitted to be reinstated. Any attorneys' fees awarded shall be subject to repayment pursuant to RCW 59.18.410(3)
and 1997 c 86 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) When the ((plaintiff))landlord, after the exercise of due diligence, is unable to personally serve the summons on the ((defendant))tenant, the ((court))landlord may ((authorize))use the alternative means of service ((described herein. Upon filing of an affidavit from the person or persons attempting service describing those attempts, and the filing of an affidavit from the plaintiff, plaintiff's agent, or plaintiff's attorney stating the belief that the defendant cannot be found, the court may enter an order authorizing service of the summons)) as follows:
(a) The summons and complaint shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises unlawfully held, not less than nine days from the return date stated in the summons; and
(b) Copies of the summons and complaint shall be deposited in the mail, postage prepaid, by both regular mail and certified mail directed to the ((defendant's))tenant's or ((defendants'))tenants' last known address not less than nine days from the return date stated in the summons.
(2) When service on the ((defendant))tenant or ((defendants))tenants is accomplished by this alternative procedure, the court's jurisdiction is limited to restoring possession of the premises to the ((plaintiff))landlord and no money judgment may be entered against the ((defendant))tenant or ((defendants))tenants until such time as jurisdiction over the ((defendant))tenant or ((defendants))tenants is obtained.
(((2)))(3) Before the entry of any judgment or issuance of a writ of restitution due to the tenant's failure to appear, the landlord shall provide the court with a declaration from the person or persons who served the tenant that describes the service achieved, and if by alternative service pursuant to this section, that describes the efforts at personal service before alternative service was used and a declaration from the landlord stating his or her belief that the tenant cannot be found.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, the exercise of due diligence is met if the landlord attempts personal service on the tenant at least three times over not less than two days and at different times of the day.
This section shall apply to this chapter and chapter 59.20
and 2018 c 66 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
(1)(a) Subject to the availability of funds for this purpose, the landlord mitigation program is created and administered by the department. The department shall have such rule-making authority as the department deems necessary to administer the program.
(b) The following types of claims related to landlord mitigation for renting private market rental units to low-income tenants using a housing subsidy program are eligible for reimbursement from the landlord mitigation program account:
Up to one thousand dollars for improvements identified in RCW 59.18.255
(1)(a). In order to be eligible for reimbursement under this subsection (1)(((a)
, the landlord must pay for the first five hundred dollars for improvements, and rent to the tenant whose housing subsidy program was conditioned on the real property passing inspection. Reimbursement under this subsection (1)(((a)
may also include up to fourteen days of lost rental income from the date of offer of housing to the applicant whose housing subsidy program was conditioned on the real property passing inspection until move in by that applicant;
(((b)))(ii) Reimbursement for damages as reflected in a judgment obtained against the tenant through either an unlawful detainer proceeding, or through a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction after a hearing;
(((c)))(iii) Reimbursement for damages established pursuant to subsection (2) of this section; and
(((d)))(iv) Reimbursement for unpaid rent and unpaid utilities, provided that the landlord can evidence it to the department's satisfaction.
(c) Claims related to landlord mitigation for an unpaid judgment for rent, late fees, attorneys' fees, and costs after a court order pursuant to RCW 59.18.410(3), including any unpaid portion of the judgment after the tenant defaults on the payment plan pursuant to RCW 59.18.410(3)(c), are eligible for reimbursement from the landlord mitigation program account and are exempt from any postjudgment interest required under RCW 4.56.110. Any claim for reimbursement under this subsection (1)(c) is not an entitlement.
(i) The department shall provide for a form on its web site for tenants and landlords to apply for reimbursement funds for the landlord pursuant to this subsection (1)(c).
(ii) The form must include: (A) Space for the landlord and tenant to provide names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, date of birth for the tenant, and any other identifying information necessary for the department to process payment; (B) the landlord's statewide vendor identification number and how to obtain one; (C) name and address to whom payment must be made; (D) the amount of the judgment with instructions to include any other supporting documentation the department may need to process payment; (E) instructions for how the tenant is to reimburse the department under (c)(iii) of this subsection; (F) a description of the consequences if the tenant does not reimburse the department as provided in this subsection (1)(c); (G) a signature line for the landlord and tenant to confirm that they have read and understood the contents of the form and program; and (H) any other information necessary for the operation of the program. If the tenant has not signed the form after the landlord has made good faith efforts to obtain the tenant's signature, the landlord may solely submit the form but must attest to the amount of money owed and sign the form under penalty of perjury.
(iii) When a landlord has been reimbursed pursuant to this subsection (1)(c), the tenant for whom payment was made shall reimburse the department by depositing the amount disbursed from the landlord mitigation program account into the court registry of the superior court in which the judgment was entered. The tenant or other interested party may seek an ex parte order of the court under the unlawful detainer action to order such funds to be disbursed by the court. Upon entry of the order, the court clerk shall disburse the funds and include a case number with any payment issued to the department. If directed by the court, a clerk shall issue any payments made by a tenant to the department without further court order.
(iv) The department may deny an application made by a tenant who has failed to reimburse the department for prior payments issued pursuant to this subsection (1)(c).
(v) With any disbursement from the account to the landlord, the department shall notify the tenant at the address provided within the application that a disbursement has been made to the landlord on the tenant's behalf and that failure to reimburse the account for the payment through the court registry may result in a denial of a future application to the account pursuant to this subsection (1)(c). The department may include any other additional information about how to reimburse the account it deems necessary to fully inform the tenant.
(vi) The department's duties with respect to obtaining reimbursement from the tenant to the account are limited to those specified within this subsection (1)(c).
(vii) If at any time funds do not exist in the landlord mitigation program account to reimburse claims submitted under this subsection (1)(c), the department must create and maintain a waitlist and distribute funds in the order the claims are received pursuant to subsection (6) of this section.
(2) In order for a claim under subsection (1)(((c)))(b)(iii) of this section to be eligible for reimbursement from the landlord mitigation program account, a landlord must:
(a) Have ensured that the rental property was inspected at the commencement of the tenancy by both the tenant and the landlord or landlord's agent and that a detailed written move-in property inspection report, as required in RCW 59.18.260
, was prepared and signed by both the tenant and the landlord or landlord's agent;
(b) Make repairs and then apply for reimbursement to the department;
(c) Submit a claim on a form to be determined by the department, signed under penalty of perjury; and
(d) Submit to the department copies of the move-in property inspection report specified in (a) of this subsection and supporting materials including, but not limited to, before repair and after repair photographs, videos, copies of repair receipts for labor and materials, and such other documentation or information as the department may request.
(3) The department shall make reasonable efforts to review a claim within ten business days from the date it received properly submitted and complete claims to the satisfaction of the department. In reviewing a claim pursuant to subsection (1)(b) of this section, and determining eligibility for reimbursement, the department must receive documentation, acceptable to the department in its sole discretion, that the claim involves a private market rental unit rented to a low-income tenant who is using a housing subsidy program.
(4) Claims pursuant to subsection (1)(b) of this section related to a tenancy must total at least five hundred dollars in order for a claim to be eligible for reimbursement from the program. While claims or damages may exceed five thousand dollars, total reimbursement from the program may not exceed five thousand dollars per tenancy.
(5) Damages, beyond wear and tear, that are eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to: Interior wall gouges and holes; damage to doors and cabinets, including hardware; carpet stains or burns; cracked tiles or hard surfaces; broken windows; damage to household fixtures such as disposal, toilet, sink, sink handle, ceiling fan, and lighting. Other property damages beyond normal wear and tear may also be eligible for reimbursement at the department's discretion.
(6) All reimbursements for eligible claims shall be made on a first-come, first-served basis, to the extent of available funds. The department shall use best efforts to notify the tenant of the amount and the reasons for any reimbursements made.
(7) The department, in its sole discretion, may inspect the property and the landlord's records related to a claim, including the use of a third-party inspector as needed to investigate fraud, to assist in making its claim review and determination of eligibility.
(8) A landlord in receipt of reimbursement from the program pursuant to subsection (1)(b) of this section is prohibited from:
(a) Taking legal action against the tenant for damages attributable to the same tenancy; or
(b) Pursuing collection, or authorizing another entity to pursue collection on the landlord's behalf, of a judgment against the tenant for damages attributable to the same tenancy.
(9) A landlord denied reimbursement under subsection (1)(((c)))(b)(iii) of this section may seek to obtain a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction and, if successful, may resubmit a claim for damages supported by the judgment, along with a certified copy of the judgment. The department may reimburse the landlord for that portion of such judgment that is based on damages reimbursable under the landlord mitigation program, subject to the limitations set forth in this section.
(10) Determinations regarding reimbursements shall be made by the department in its sole discretion.
(11) The department must establish a web site that advertises the landlord mitigation program, the availability of reimbursement from the landlord mitigation program account, and maintains or links to the agency rules and policies established pursuant to this section.
(12) Neither the state, the department, or persons acting on behalf of the department, while acting within the scope of their employment or agency, is liable to any person for any loss, damage, harm, or other consequence resulting directly or indirectly from the department's administration of the landlord mitigation program or determinations under this section.
(13)(a) A report to the appropriate committees of the legislature on the effectiveness of the program and recommended modifications shall be submitted to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature by January 1, 2021. In preparing the report, the department shall convene and solicit input from a group of stakeholders to include representatives of large multifamily housing property owners or managers, small rental housing owners in both rural and urban markets, a representative of tenant advocates, and a representative of the housing authorities.
(b) The report shall include discussion of the effectiveness of the program as well as the department's recommendations to improve the program, and shall include the following:
(i) The number of total claims and total amount reimbursed to landlords by the fund;
(ii) Any indices of fraud identified by the department;
(iii) Any reports by the department regarding inspections authorized by and conducted on behalf of the department;
(iv) An outline of the process to obtain reimbursement for improvements and for damages from the fund;
(v) An outline of the process to obtain reimbursement for lost rent due to the rental inspection and tenant screening process, together with the total amount reimbursed for such damages;
(vi) An evaluation of the feasibility for expanding the use of the mitigation fund to provide up to ninety-day no interest loans to landlords who have not received timely rental payments from a housing authority that is administering section 8 rental assistance;
(vii) Any other modifications and recommendations made by stakeholders to improve the effectiveness and applicability of the program.
(14) As used in this section:
(a) "Housing subsidy program" means a housing voucher as established under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1437 as of January 1, 2018, or other housing subsidy program including, but not limited to, valid short-term or long-term federal, state, or local government, private nonprofit, or other assistance program in which the tenant's rent is paid either partially by the program and partially by the tenant, or completely by the program directly to the landlord;
(b) "Low-income" means income that does not exceed eighty percent of the median income for the standard metropolitan statistical area in which the private market rental unit is located; and
(c) "Private market rental unit" means any unit available for rent that is owned by an individual, corporation, limited liability company, nonprofit housing provider, or other entity structure, but does not include housing acquired, or constructed by a public housing agency under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1437 as it existed on January 1, 2018.
and 2018 c 66 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The landlord mitigation program account is created in the custody of the state treasury. All transfers and appropriations by the legislature, repayments, private contributions, and all other sources must be deposited into the account. Expenditures from the account may only be used for the landlord mitigation program under this chapter to reimburse landlords for eligible claims related to private market rental units during the time of their rental to low-income tenants using housing subsidy programs as defined in RCW 43.31.605, for any unpaid judgment issued within an unlawful detainer action after a court order pursuant to RCW 59.18.410(3) as described in RCW 43.31.605(1)(c),
and for the administrative costs identified in subsection (2) of this section. Only the director or the director's designee may authorize expenditures from the account. The account is subject to allotment procedures under chapter 43.88
RCW, but an appropriation is not required for expenditures.
(2) Administrative costs associated with application, distribution, and other program activities of the department may not exceed ((ten))twenty percent of the annual funds available for the landlord mitigation program. Reappropriations must not be included in the calculation of the annual funds available for determining the administrative costs."
(1) Authorizes a landlord to treat a default in tenant payments under an installment payment plan for nonrefundable fees or deposits to secure a tenancy as rent owing.
(2) Clarifies that the total amount of the judgment for nonpayment of rent and all additional rent due must be paid within the payment plan timeframe of 90 days.
(3) Provides that any court order staying a writ of restitution after the tenant's payment of one months' rent must require the tenant to serve a copy of the order on the landlord.
(4) Clarifies that the court after a finding that the tenant is low-income, has limited resources, or is experiencing hardship may find that the landlord may apply for reimbursement from the landlord mitigation program (LMP).
(5) Removes language authorizing the court to direct the landlord and tenant to apply to the LMP to seek reimbursement, and provides that the court's exercise of judicial discretion does not obligate the Department of Commerce (Commerce) to reimburse a claim through the landlord mitigation program if there are not sufficient funds.
(6) Clarifies that a landlord may submit a claim to the LMP for any unpaid portion of a judgment after tenant default in the payment plan.
(7) Exempts any claim for reimbursement under the expanded use of the LMP from postjudgment interest.
(8) Declares that any claim for reimbursement under the expanded use of the LMP is not an entitlement.
(9) Requires the landlord to solely submit a reimbursement claim form under the LMP and attest to the money owed under penalty of perjury if the tenant has not signed the form as well and the landlord has made good faith efforts to obtain the tenant's signature.
(10) Requires Commerce to create and maintain a waitlist and distribute funds in the order claims are received when funds are no longer available to reimburse claims.
(11) Makes other technical and clarifying edits relating to service of process, service of the 14-day notice, notice of default on the payment plan, the exercise of judicial discretion by courts for unlawful detainer cases involving the nonpayment of rent, award of attorneys' fees, the uniform summons form, and use of funds under the LMP account.
(12) Removes the null and void clause.