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Washington eviction moratorium extended to August 1 amid coronavirus crisis

Renters struggling to make monthly payments during the coronavirus pandemic have 60 more days of breathing room.

Editor's note: The above video originally aired in April 2020.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has extended the state’s eviction moratorium through Aug. 1. 

He says the intent of his order is to prevent an increase in homelessness during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

The moratorium – in place since March and extended once – was scheduled to expire this week.

It prohibits, with limited exceptions, residential evictions and late fees on unpaid rent. It also requires landlords to offer residents a repayment plan to catch up on unpaid rent.

RELATED: Olympia councilmember announces she won't pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic

The proclamation, which Inslee signed Tuesday, also bans retaliation against tenants and creates a legal defense for tenant lawsuits.

It does make provisions for landlords who evict tenants based on property damage, unless it isn't urgent, or evict tenants if the landlord plans to occupy or sell the property.

However, Washington's attorney general says the eviction moratorium hasn't stopped landlords from trying to evict tenants. Last Thursday the Attorney General's Office reported it has received more than 1,800 eviction complaints during the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: 'They don’t help the landlords': Everett woman says state offering little relief for landlords during pandemic

In April, Washington filed the first lawsuit enforcing Inslee's coronavirus proclamations, suing a property management company for allegedly threatening to evict tenants.

Last month Seattle City Council also created a new legal defense that evicted tenants can use for six months after the the city's eviction moratorium ended June 4. If tenants can provide proof of financial hardship, they can use non-payment of rent as an eviction defense.