Due to the high claim volume in each program, claim responses may be delayed several days, and payments may not be received for multiple months. Claims are paid in order received, then approved. The approval email is your guarantee of payment. Please be sure to add emails from @commerce.wa.gov to your safe sender list.

Landlord Covid Relief Program

Program Overview

Important note:

Any approved and paid claim will prohibit the landlord (or agency on the landlord’s behalf) from pursuing legal action against the tenant for damages or remaining rents owed from March 1, 2020, until December 31, 2021.

The Landlord Covid Relief program can award payment of up to $15,000 for unpaid rents directly to the landlord when the conditions below are met. Any landlord is eligible if their rental property in Washington whose tenant(s) have an unpaid rent balance owing from March 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021, and are:

  • Low Income, limited-resourced or under hardship, and
    • Have defaulted on a repayment plan, or
    • Have vacated or abandoned the rental unit
  • Tenancies that were terminated by eviction are not eligible for this program.

Definitions

Rent:

Recurring and periodic charges identified in the rental agreement for the use and occupancy of the premises, which may include charges for utilities when included in the recurring and regular charge. Nonrecurring charges such as late charges, damages, deposits, legal costs, or other fees, including attorneys’ fees, are not included.

Eviction:

A court-ordered Writ of Restitution permitting the landlord to take possession of the rental property. A dismissed Writ of Restitution will allow the landlord to proceed with the Landlord Covid Relief claim process.

Low Income:

Income that is at or below the Area Median Income defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. to find the current limits.

Limited-Resourced:

Lacking the ability to produce the income required to pay rents.

Hardship:

A sudden loss of income or resources causing difficulty in paying the rent.

How to Qualify for the Limited Landlord Relief Program

Commerce will review, approve and pay claims as quickly as possible. However, failing to provide proper documentation to satisfy the requirements below may cause a claim to be denied. Please have the following documents scanned to attach to your claim. We will request missing documentation but cannot make exceptions for documents that are not available. The claim cannot be approved if we do not receive all required documents or other requested supporting evidence.

Documents required for rent loss claims:

  • Obtain a Washington Statewide Vendor Identification number
  • An executed written rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant(s)
  • A tenant ledger showing all charges, payments and running balance from the last zero balance
  • A tenant security deposit Disposition letter for tenants who have vacated the unit
  • Copy of the defaulted repayment plan if the tenant executed one
  • A defaulted repayment plan meeting the requirements of ESSB 5160 signed by the tenant and landlord
  • Complete the entire claim submission form

Program Data