By: Jessica Cohen
This is a summary of current Washington State and Seattle governmental orders affecting commercial tenancies at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residential tenancies are not addressed in this article.
Washington State: Under Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-19.6, commercial landlords in Washington State are prohibited from increasing (or threatening to increase) rent or the amount of any deposit on commercial rental property if the commercial tenant has been materially impacted by COVID-19, whether the tenant (i) is personally impacted and unable to work, (ii) the business was deemed a “non-essential” business pursuant to the Stay Home – Stay Healthy Proclamation 20-25, or (iii) the business lost staff or customers due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The prohibition on increasing rents does not apply if rent increases were in a lease agreement executed prior to February 29, 2020. These protections are in effect until June 30, 2021.
King County: The King County’s Sheriff’s Office announced on March 17, 2020, that it is “temporarily suspending the service and enforcement of evictions until further notice.” The sheriff’s letter implies that it applies to commercial, residential, and post-foreclosure evictions.