Mark Harmsworth, of the Washington Policy Center, addresses the upcoming expiration of the state-enforced rental eviction moratorium
This opinion piece was produced and first published by the Washington Policy Center. It is published here with the permission of and full attribution to the Washington Policy Center.
Washington Policy Center
Currently, the state enforced rental eviction moratorium, set to expire on June 30, prevents a renter from being evicted even if they are not paying rent. The continued eviction moratoriums are creating a significant problem for many owner operated, rental property owners.
When rent isn’t paid, the inability to remove problem tenants has placed property owners’ own homes and financial stability in jeopardy. The lack of rental income has created a situation where property owners can’t afford to pay both the rental property mortgage and their own home mortgages or rent.
The city of Seattle has recently passed a resolution urging the state to extend the deadline from June 30 to the end of 2021. This will only exacerbate the financial pressure on the property owners, who have very few options other than to sell the property or move into the property themselves. Seattle, by passing moratorium legislation and resolutions are effectively making the housing situation worse by making it almost impossible for landlords to offer rental properties.
Understandably, this is a difficult situation for both the renter and property owners. Many reach agreements with payment plans or reduced rent. It is nearly always in the best interest of the renter and property owner for the renter to stay in the property.
Decreasing the available rental inventory will drive up rental costs making the rental shortage situation worse.
The eviction moratoriums need to end on June 30 to allow renters and owners to work out the best path forward for both parties.
Mark Harmsworth is the director of the Small Business Center at the Washington Policy Center.