ON March 15, 2020 Mayor Durkan has signed No. 119788 requiring Seattle landlords to allow residents who did not pay their rent during the city declared emergency beginning on March 3, 2020 and for six months after the order is lifted a repayment plan:
0-1 Months' rent: Three consecutive equal monthly installments
+1-2 Months' rent: Five consecutive equal monthly installments
+2 Months' rent: Six consecutive equal monthly installments
No late fees may be accrued until one year after the moratorium is terminated in Seattle.
A. A tenant who fails to pay rent when due during, or within six months after the termination of, the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Durkan on March 3, 2020, may elect to pay such overdue rent in installments. The tenant shall pay one month or less of overdue rent in three consecutive, equal monthly installments. The tenant shall pay over one month and up to two months of overdue rent in five consecutive, equal monthly payments. The tenant shall pay over two months of overdue rent in six consecutive, equal monthly payments. Any remainder from an uneven division of payments will be part of the last payment. The tenant may propose an alternative payment schedule, which, if the landlord agrees to it, shall be described in writing and signed by the tenant and landlord and deemed an amendment to any existing rental agreement.
B. No late fee, interest, or other charge due to late payment of rent shall accrue during, or within one year after the termination of, the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Durkan on March 3, 2020.
C. If a landlord issues a notice to terminate tenancy for nonpayment of rent that was due during, or within six months after the termination of, the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Durkan on March 3, 2020, the notice must contain the following statement: “City law entitles you to pay overdue rent in installments. If your landlord does not accept payment according to the installment schedule, you may raise this as a defense to eviction in court.” It is a defense to eviction if the notice does not contain the required information.
D. An award of attorneys’ fees and statutory court costs to a landlord arising from an eviction proceeding raising defenses authorized by this ordinance is prohibited unless otherwise allowed by law.
E. Failure of the owner to accept payment under the installment schedule provided in subsection 2.A of this ordinance is a defense to eviction.