Delinquency Resolution

 

By the Accounting Team, Summerfield Management

 

 

If you are contending with chronically delinquent tenants, eviction may be your next step.

Once you’ve decided to take that step, you’ll need to comply with the federal, state, and municipal laws applicable to your property’s location in order to complete the eviction process.

Below is an outline of the layers of government laws Summerfield navigates at our managed sites in Washington state.

Tier 1: Federal 

Cares Act. Landlords must serve the 30-day Cares Act Notice to Vacate prior to initiating eviction if they have a Federally backed loan or receive payments from a Federally-funded program. This applies until the Act is repealed or expires.

Tier 2: State

This is where eviction gets complex.

Washington has implemented additional pandemic-related temporary eviction laws and is offering delinquency relief funds, but they come with a bit of a catch. Here are some highlights,

Payment Plans. Before proceeding with eviction, landlords have to offer a payment plan for back rent from the Covid period; 03/01/20 to 12/31/21. The maximum payment on top of current monthly rent allowed is 1/3 of monthly rent.

Eviction Resolution Pilot Program (ERPP). New laws require a landlord and tenant to go through dispute resolution mediation prior to an eviction hearing.

Tenant Rental Assistance Program (TRAP). Tenants, if they qualify, and the landlord will accept, can receive funding that covers up to 9 months of back rent plus 3 months of future rent. If the landlord accepts the payment, they agree not to pursue eviction for 6 months.

Landlord Mitigation Fund (LMF). A landlord may apply if a tenant voluntarily vacates owing a balance from the Covid period. They can receive up to $15,000 in back rent, but the key thing to recognize is any rent not being paid as of 01/01/22 is not eligible, nor is other income delinquency. It is our further understanding you cannot go after the tenant via collections for any balance; you must write it off.

Tier 3: County

Eviction in Washington is processed through county courts. 

Dispute Resolution Mediation. If landlord and tenant cannot workout a payment plan, the courts will refer you to the designated dispute resolution center for your property location. If this occurs, you can expect it to take anywhere from 4 to 16 weeks before you get a “Facilitated Negotiation Session.” Be aware the tenant will be provided a public attorney at this session. 

Eviction. If parties do not come to an agreement after completing mediation, it is represented that the courts will grant the landlord an eviction hearing. The timing of when this occurs is all very uncertain, as this is still an emerging process. 

Tier 4: City

Most Cities in Washington, outside of Seattle, do not have additional Landlord-Tenant Laws but many require various informational notices to be served to a Tenant as part of the Notice-to-Vacate process. You need to be sure this is done, otherwise the case will be bounced at the eviction hearing and the tenant will continue to live at your property for free.

Navigating the current eviction environment requires the ability to be detailed, methodical, and patient. Summerfield is up to the task if your current management company isn’t.

When you are ready for a better property management experience, call us.

Robert Parmar Headshot

Robert Parmar

Travis Gold Headshot

Travis Gold

Director of Marketing

tgold@smfield.com

206-844-9039

Danielle Daily

Business Development Manager

ddaily@smfield.com

703-972-5755

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Summerfield specializes in the management of apartment properties that are approximately 125 units or larger, and is licensed to manage in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Florida, Georgia, & South Carolina.

If you would like to discuss additional specifics of our management program, please reach out to our Managing Director, Robert Parmar at rparmar@smfield.com or call 770-628-5943.

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