King County Superior Court has established an Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) that will require problem-solving steps in situations involving non-payment of rent so that there will be no need to file an eviction case, according to a release.
“The program began as a pilot project in Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, and Thurston Counties on November 9th. Though state and federal eviction moratoria have not lifted yet, the program is available now in hopes landlords and tenants will join in the resolution programs early to take advantage of the assistance and get a head start on problem-solving,” the court said in the release.
The courts are expecting to face a large number of eviction cases after state and federal moratoriums on evictions are lifted, and put the program in place “in hopes of reducing the severity of a wave of evictions in the community.”
Tenants and landlords meet with resolution specialists who can mediate efforts to create repayment plans, resolve disputes and connect with rental-assistance programs.
Landlords are required to participate before they can file rent-related evictions. If a renter chooses not to participate in the program, landlords can proceed with rent-related evictions.
“I am very pleased to announce the launch of the state’s first pilot Eviction Resolution Program (ERP),” said Chief Justice Debra L. Stephens.
The goal of the program is to bring all parties together with trained resolution specialists to explore solutions such as available state and local rental assistance, or achievable payment plans that could help tenants retain their housing and divert many situations from the legal eviction process. The program was developed by the state Superior Court Judges’ Association (SCJA) in partnership with the state Office of Civil Legal Aid.
The objective of the ERP is to:
- Bring all parties to the table with the assistance of qualified and trained eviction-resolution specialists;
- Explore the amount of rent arrears, the current and prospective circumstances of the tenant, the availability of rent, and other assistance to cure or partially cure the arrearage;
- Discover a range of other terms that might resolve the matter in a way that allows the tenant to retain housing (and avoid the need for filing of an unlawful detainer action).
Landlords and tenants can find details about the eviction resolution program, and how they can participate, on the statewide web site dedicated to the program here: Eviction Resolution Pilot Program . http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/index.cfm?fa=newsinfo.EvictionResolutionProgram