A King County Superior Court judge has upheld a set of renter protection laws passed to help Seattle tenants through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Seattle City Attorney’s office announced.
The ordinances include payment plan options for late rent during or within six months after the city’s COVID-19 state of emergency ends, a “financial hardship” defense for eviction court proceedings, and a ban on eviction during winter months.
“In a more perfect world we would have ample federally funded rental voucher assistance to help both tenants and landlords, but in absence of that, the City stepped up to curb evictions during the most dangerous months of the year and to help prevent a tidal wave of homelessness as we recover from this pandemic,” Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said in a statement. “While some may disagree with the merits of these ordinances, the judge ruled that—with the exception of one word in one of them—the laws are legally sound. Thanks to some great lawyering, there’s a lot of Seattleites who can sleep a bit more soundly in their beds tonight.”
The court victory follows another win in U.S. District Court last month when a judge denied a a preliminary injunction against the City of Seattle’s eviction moratorium in a federally filed case.
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