Kitsap County to consider an eviction moratorium for small businesses and non-profits

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Kitsap County

Based on the unprecedented public health crisis created by the COVID-19 outbreak, measures to slow the outbreak have had substantial impacts to our local economy. As with many sectors, small business has been drastically affected by these public health measures. Many of these businesses have seen a drastic drop, if not complete end, to their business activities. This loss of revenue has impacted their ability to pay their employees, operation costs and rent obligations.

To assist small business and non-profits during this time, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners is discussing issuing a moratorium on commercial small business and non-profit eviction proceedings for late- or non-payment of rent at least through May of this year. The proposed moratorium would:

  • Prohibit eviction proceedings stemming from late or non-payment of rent for at least the months March, April and May 2020 if the tenant notified the landlord in advance that the non-payment was related to significant financial impacts of COVID-19.
  • Prohibit the landlord from imposing late fees, interest or other charges related to late- or non-payment during this time.
  • The tenant shall provide evidence regarding this significant financial impact.
  • The tenant shall provide evidence that they have applied to federal and state assistance programs such as the CARES act to obtain aid in funding business operations.
  • During the moratorium, landlords shall endeavor to enter into payment plans or other strategies with the tenant.

The moratorium would NOT:

  • Waive unpaid rent payments to the landlord.
  • Limit eviction proceedings for late- or non-payment of rent before of after the moratorium time frame.

Before the Board takes such steps, they are interested in public input on the benefits and impacts of such a moratorium on our local businesses and land owners. Is this necessary if landlords and tenants are working these issues out themselves? Has the crisis created a high likelihood of many small businesses losing their rental spaces? How long should the moratorium be? Is this appropriate?

Any thoughts regarding the draft moratorium should be sent to Eric Baker, Policy Manager, via email at All feedback will be compiled and provided to the Board for any future consideration of this moratorium.