Eviction Resolution Program

The Covid pandemic has completely changed many things, not the least of which are people’s jobs, ability to pay their bills, and a general sense of safety and home. Renters want to avoid the threat of homelessness. Housing providers want to avoid the threat of bankruptcy. In late 2020, courts in Washington State launched the Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) to provide a multi-pronged approach to address and mitigate this potential conflict. This program is founded on three pillars: dispute resolution, legal aid, and rental assistance. 

Tenant

For tenants at risk of eviction have the option to meet with a neutral mediator prior to eviction.

Landlord

For landlords looking to a path to receive missing rent payments without going to court.

Legal Support

For legal advisors looking for guidance on the Eviction Resolution Program

Rental assistance provider

For Rental Assistance Providers looking for further guidance on the ERP

Implementing Counties

There are no charges for ERP services in participating counties

General information

With nearly 1 million people out of work in Washington State due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many tenants are unable to pay rent, and landlords are not receiving payments. In anticipation of a wave of eviction cases overwhelming the Washington State Courts, the Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) was established in September 2020 and is currently a pilot program in six counties; King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Clark, and Spokane counties. 

About

The ERP brings tenants and landlords together with a professionally trained neutral mediator before an eviction lawsuit is filed. ERP is free to the tenant and landlord.

The Process

  • A neutral third-party Early Resolution Specialist (ERS) from a Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) facilitates the ERP process.

  • The Early Resolution Specialist (ERS) will connect tenants to any available rental assistance.

  • If the ERP is not successful, then the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit. 

  • The tenant may ask for a lawyer's defense help in an eviction lawsuit. There are free Eviction Defense Clinics and Housing Justice Projects in each of the participating counties.

Participating in ERP

  • Landlords must give tenants the option to participate in ERP before the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit in court.

  • Tenants may choose whether or not they want to participate in the program.

  • If a tenant chooses to participate, the landlord must participate.

  • The tenant has the right to be represented by a lawyer. A lawyer may be provided free of charge.

Frequently asked questions

General FAQ

What organizations are involved in ERP?


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Tenant information

Tenants may be facing eviction  for non-payment of rent. If tenants reside in one of the participating counties of the Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) tenants have the option to meet with a neutral mediator before an eviction lawsuit is filed.

After the State Eviction Moratorium Ends

  • Landlords must give tenants the option to participate in the ERP before the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit in court.

  • Tenants may choose whether or not to participate in the ERP.  If a tenant chooses to participate, the landlord must participate.

  • A neutral 3rd party early resolution specialist (ERS) with a Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) facilitates the ERP process. The ERP is free to the tenant and landlord.

  • The tenant has a right to be represented by a lawyer.  A lawyer may be provided free of charge.

The ERS will try to connect tenants to any available rental assistance

  • If the tenant does not participate in the ERP, or if the ERP is unsuccessful, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit.

  • The tenant may ask a lawyer for help defending them in an eviction lawsuit. There are free Eviction Defense Clinics and Housing Justice Projects in each of these counties.

Frequently asked questions

General FAQ

What organizations are involved in ERP?


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landlord Information

The Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) is required by Washington Supreme Court Order in the following counties prior to filing an unlawful detainer action for nonpayment of rent provided that the ERP is adopted via a Standing Order by each pilot county listed below.  


 

  • Clark County

  • King County

  • Pierce County

  • Snohomish County

  • Spokane County

  • Thurston County

 

The ERP is a meet and confer mediation style process to assist landlords and tenants in resolving nonpayment of rent cases. Formal mediation is available by agreement of both the landlord and tenant.  

 

Various eviction moratoriums exist locally and nationally, landlords are strongly encouraged to consult an attorney prior to serving a 14-day notice and/or filing an unlawful detainer action. 

 

The ERP is a two-step process that can be initiated by either the landlord or the tenant without service of a 14-day notice.  If the tenant initiates or responds to a notice, the landlord is obligated to participate in the meet and confer process.  

 

Step 1

With a rent due notice or letter, the first meet and confer notice (Eviction Resolution Program: Notice #1: Opportunity for Early Resolution & Resource Information) must be delivered to the tenant. The tenant may voluntarily engage in the process within 14 days. The Notice includes contact information of the county Dispute Resolution Center (DRC), rental assistance resources and the county tenant-attorneys.  

 

Step 2

(Proceed to Step 2 if the tenant does not respond within 14 days)

If the tenant does not respond to the first notice, the second notice (Eviction Resolution Program: Notice #2: Opportunity for Early Resolution & Resource Information) must be delivered to the tenant. The tenant has 10 days to respond.  

 

The second notice must be emailed to the county DRC. You must send Notice #2 by email to the DRC in the County where your property is located.

 

Frequently asked questions

General FAQ

Sample Question 1


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Legal support

We're working on uploading helpful content for legal support. Check back for more updates! 

Rental Assistance Providers

We're working on uploading helpful content for rental assistance providers. Contact your local Dispute Resolution Center for any questions.  Check back for more updates!