After the governor’s bridge proclamation expires on September 30, 2021, a landlord can serve a notice to pay or vacate on tenants with unpaid rent. The notice must include a copy of the Eviction Resolution Program (ERPP) Notice and copies of both notices must be sent to the dispute resolution center (DRC) serving the county in which the property is located. Under the statute, the 14-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate is to include this sentence:
“Free or low-cost mediation services to assist in nonpayment of rent disputes before any judicial proceedings occur are also available at dispute resolution centers throughout the state. You can find your nearest dispute resolution center at https://www.resolutionwa.org.”
The ERPP form notifies tenants that:
“ERPP requires landlords to try to reach agreements with tenants about unpaid rent before they can ask for eviction in court. You may be eligible for rent assistance and legal help through the ERPP.
If you participate in the ERPP, your landlord must work with you and a specialist from your local Dispute Resolution Center (DRC). If that solves the problem, great! If not, the DRC will offer free mediation. Mediation is voluntary – it only happens if both sides agree to do it.
You have a right to negotiate a payment plan that works for you.”
Landlords cannot file an unlawful detainer action in court until these steps are taken and a tenant has the opportunity to obtain assistance. Information about the program and a copy of the ERPP form can be found here: https://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/index.cfm?fa=newsinfo.EvictionResolutionProgram
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Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.