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.

Tenancy Preservation Program

Program Overview

Evictions have proven to be the leading cause of new cases of homelessness throughout Washington. The Tenancy Prevention Program benefits both landlord and tenant by maintaining the tenancy while satisfying a judgment. This keeps landlords from facing vacancy and turnover losses while preventing an eviction that would create barriers to tenants finding and renting future housing.

Washington State’s Tenancy Preservation Program (2019 amendments to RCW 59.18.410(3) and 43.31.605(c)) became effective on June 29, 2019. The program reduces homelessness by providing relief to low-income tenants facing eviction for non-payment of rent. Commerce will issue a zero-interest loan to landlords to preserve tenancy. Tenants must repay the loan to be eligible for future access to this program.

COVID-19 relief per Senate Bill 5160 (2021): Claims related to rents owed from March 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2021, may include up to three months of future rents (at the contracted rental rate).

Who Can Submit a Claim?

All private and non-profit landlords that offer rental housing within the State of Washington qualify for the Tenancy Preservation Program. A court order finding the tenant eligible with a judgment amount is required to receive payment successfully.

How to Qualify for the Tenancy Preservation Program

A court order of eligibility is required to submit a claim application successfully. To obtain a court order of eligibility, both landlord and tenant must appear in person at the Superior Court in the rental property’s district and request either of the following:

  • Stipulated Payment Agreement, or
  • Tenancy Preservation Funding Agreement

A Stipulated Payment Agreement is a document outlining due dates for repayment of past-due rent to a landlord. If the tenant makes all payments on time, their tenancy is preserved. If the tenant fails to meet the requirements of this agreement, the landlord may apply for assistance from the program to preserve tenancy. If the tenant vacated or has provided the landlord with notice to vacate the housing, the claim will be denied.

A court-ordered Finding of Eligibility is a document showing that the Judge has found the tenant to be low-income, limited resourced or under financial hardship yet capable of repayment of the amount of the judgment.

Review the Frequently Asked Questions document for more details.

Documents Required for Claim Submission

The following documents and information are required for claim submission. Please collect all documents before attempting to submit a claim:

  1. Statewide Vendor Identification (Payee) number
  2. Executed and current rental agreement
  3. Court documents:
    1. Finding of eligibility, and
    2. Judgment for landlord showing amount owed, and
      1. Stipulated Payment Agreement, or
      2. Writ of Restitution with Stay Action
  4. Commerce form:
    1. Tenant Acknowledgment Form, or
    2. Absentee Tenant Form
  5. Tenant ledger
  6. Complete the online claim form