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 Financial Hardship, and
  • Have defaulted on a Reasonable Repayment Plan, or
  • Have vacated or abandoned the rental unit, or
  • Tenancies that were terminated by eviction for non-payment of rent are not eligible for this program.
  • Other forms of evictions may be considered so long as rents are not included in the Judgement.

Definitions

Rent:

Rent is defined as regular and 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 monthly charges and reflected on the tenant ledger. Non-recurring charges such as late charges, damages, deposits, legal costs, or other fees, including attorneys’ fees, are not included.

Reasonable Repayment Plan:

A reasonable repayment plan is not considered in default unless the tenant has signed the plan, the initial payment is not due for at least 30 days from the offer date (or signature date if offer date is not included on the plan), the payment does not exceed 1/3 of one month’s rental charge, there are no conditions or additional requirements included in the plan and the tenant has missed a payment by at least 30 days. A reasonable repayment plan is required if the tenant is still occupying the rental property but is not required if the tenant has vacated the rental property.

Eviction:

A court-ordered Writ of Restitution permitting the landlord to take possession of the rental property due to non-payment of rent. 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. 

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 required 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:

Program Data