SEATTLE — A small group of Seattle landlords is suing Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee over the constitutionality of city and state eviction moratoriums amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Seattle Times reports the suit, filed Thursday comes just after the federal Centers for Disease Control initiated a nationwide eviction moratorium through the end of 2020.
In Seattle, Durkan has extended the moratorium on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions through Dec. 31 in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Durkan signed the executive order in August.
The order also works with Governor Jay Inslee's statewide eviction moratorium, which is in place through Oct.15, by banning late fees, increases to rent and security deposits, officials said.
City officials encouraged tenants who receive an eviction notice during the moratorium to contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700 or go online to submit a complaint.
The moratorium on nonprofit and small business evictions impacts independently-owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer, state nonprofits, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
“There is no doubt that our residents and businesses are feeling the deep impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis. This pandemic has put people out of work, caused families to struggle to put food on the table and pay rent, and caused some of our most beloved small businesses to shutter for good,” said Mayor Durkan in a prepared statement. “The moratorium on evictions is one critical tool we have at the City to keep people in their homes and keep businesses afloat."
The landlords are represented by Ethan Blevins who says the measure expects landlords to shoulder the burden of the pandemic rather than putting it on the public as a whole.
A spokesperson for Inslee says he welcomes the court's review of the measure.