NOTICE TO LANDLORDS AND TENANTS
The “Bridge Proclamation” extending some eviction moratorium protections expired at 11:59pm on October 31, 2021. Potential evictions for unpaid rent from March 1, 2020 until the present are now subject to the Eviction Resolution Pilot Program (ERPP), as enacted in April, 2021 (SB 5160 Section 7, RCW 59.18.630).
Landlords must engage the ERPP process before an eviction for unpaid rent may proceed to court. ERPP begins when a landlord serves a tenant and sends the local dispute resolution center an ERPP Notice along with a 14 Day Notice to Pay or Vacate. In some counties where a landlord sent these notices during the eviction moratorium or Bridge period for rent due from March, 2020 through July, 2021, new notices may be required under the ERPP. For unpaid rent due between August and October, 2021 only, previous ERPP Notices and 14 Day Notices to Pay or Vacate may be sufficient. Landlords and tenants are encouraged to consult legal counsel.
ERPP can help stabilize housing and aid tenants and landlords in finding solutions together. CMC can help landlords and tenants talk together and solve issues, and also to access resources including rental assistance and legal information.
The landlord and tenant may be able to access rental assistance, create a rent payment plan, or create a move out plan without going to court.
Eviction Resolution services are free to both the tenant and landlord.
Tenants face potential eviction for non-payment of rent may have the option to receive services before an unlawful detainer (eviction) court case is filed. Services include help talking with the landlord about rent owed and help accessing rental and legal assistance.
• Before a landlord can file an unlawful detainer (eviction) lawsuit in court, they must give the tenant the option to use ERPP services.
• Tenants may contact CMC to find out more about the process and talk about the situation before deciding whether to participate or not.
• Staff and neutral mediators with our offices will help tenants and landlords navigate the program regarding rent owed.
• Tenants are encouraged to talk with a lawyer. Legal help may be provided free of charge to qualified, low-income tenants during participation in ERPP.
• If the tenant does not participate in the ERPP, or if the tenant and landlord do not come to an agreement through the ERPP, the landlord may file an unlawful detainer (eviction) lawsuit after the 14 day pay or vacate is served and process is complete.
• If a court case occurs, the tenant may ask a lawyer for help defending them in court.
The Eviction Resolution Pilot Program (ERPP) is required by the local Superior Court standing order prior to filing an unlawful detainer action for nonpayment of rent.
ERPP helps landlords and tenants resolve nonpayment of rent cases through dispute resolution and access to rental assistance and legal aid. The landlord and tenant may be able to access rental assistance to repay the rent owed, work out a plan for the tenant to pay the rent owed over time, or create a plan to move out without an unlawful detainer action.
CCRC helps tenants and landlords communicate through informal and formal processes including conciliation, meet and confer, and mediation. CCRC staff and mediators are impartial and serve to help both parties resolve the issues.
Landlords are strongly encouraged to consult an attorney prior to serving a 14-day notice and/or filing an unlawful detainer action.
The ERPP is a process initiated by the landlord prior to pursuing eviction through court. According to state statute and SB 5160, landlords are required to provide a reasonable rent repayment offer. Before pursuing eviction for rent owed, landlords should provide the ERPP Notice to the tenant behind on rent payments and send a copy to CMC. If the tenant responds to a notice and accepts services, the landlord is obligated to participate in the process. Participation involves exploring options that may include accessing rental assistance and discussing options with the tenant with help from the DRC.
With a Rent Due notice or letter, the ERPP Notice must be delivered to the tenant. The tenant may voluntarily engage in the process within 14 days. The Notice includes contact information for our office, rental assistance resources and legal aid.
When CMC contacts a landlord, the landlord should participate in the process. If the landlord and the tenant are able to resolve the issues in mediation- congratulations!
If the landlord and tenant work through the process without reaching an agreement or the tenant refuses services, CMC will issue the landlord a certificate after the 14 day pay or vacate is served and process is complete, allowing the landlord to move forward toward the eviction process in court.
A landlord filing an unlawful detainer case in court must include a certificate from CMC demonstrating their participation in the program.