59.18.650  <<  59.18.660 >>   59.18.670

Eviction resolution pilot program. (Expires July 1, 2023.)

(1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the administrative office of the courts shall contract with dispute resolution centers as described under chapter 7.75 RCW within or serving each county to establish a court-based eviction resolution pilot program operated in accordance with Washington supreme court order no. 25700-B-639 and any standing judicial order of the individual superior court.
(2) The eviction resolution pilot program must be used to facilitate the resolution of nonpayment of rent cases between a landlord and tenant before the landlord files an unlawful detainer action.
(3) Prior to filing an unlawful detainer action for nonpayment of rent, the landlord must provide a notice as required under RCW 59.12.030(3) and an additional notice to the tenant informing them of the eviction resolution pilot program. The landlord must retain proof of service or mailing of the additional notice. The additional notice to the tenant must provide at least the following information regarding the eviction resolution pilot program:
(a) Contact information for the local dispute resolution center;
(b) Contact information for the county's housing justice project or, if none, a statewide organization providing housing advocacy services for low-income residents;
(c) The following statement: "The Washington state office of the attorney general has this notice in multiple languages on its website. You will also find information there on how to find a lawyer or advocate at low or no cost and any available resources to help you pay your rent. Alternatively, you may find additional information to help you at http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org";
(d) The name and contact information of the landlord, the landlord's attorney, if any, and the tenant; and
(e) The following statement: "Failure to respond to this notice within 14 days may result in the filing of a summons and complaint for an unlawful detainer action with the court."
(4) At the time of service or mailing of the pay or vacate notice and additional notice to the tenant, a landlord must also send copies of these notices to the local dispute resolution center serving the area where the property is located.
(5) A landlord must secure a certification of participation with the eviction resolution program by the appropriate dispute resolution center before an unlawful detainer action for nonpayment of rent may be heard by the court.
(6) The administrative office of the courts may also establish and produce any other notice forms and requirements as necessary to implement the eviction resolution pilot program.
(7) Any superior court, in collaboration with the dispute resolution center that is located within or serving the same county, participating in the eviction resolution pilot program must report annually to the administrative office of the courts beginning January 1, 2022, until January 1, 2023, on the following:
(a) The number of unlawful detainer actions for nonpayment of rent that were subject to program requirements;
(b) The number of referrals made to dispute resolution centers;
(c) The number of nonpayment of rent cases resolved by the program;
(d) How many instances the tenant had legal representation either at the conciliation stage or formal mediation stage;
(e) The number of certifications issued by dispute resolution centers and filed by landlords with the court; and
(f) Any other information that relates to the efficacy of the pilot program.
(8) By July 1, 2022, until July 1, 2023, the administrative office of the courts must provide a report to the legislature summarizing the report data shared by the superior courts and dispute resolution centers under subsection (7) of this section.
(9) This section expires July 1, 2023.


FindingIntentApplicationEffective date2021 c 115: See notes following RCW 59.18.620.
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