FILE — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee listens to a question Thursday, Jan. 9 during the AP Legislative Preview at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.

OLYMPIA, WA - The Washington Landlord Association is taking legal steps on behalf of small housing providers in challenging Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s statewide ban on evictions. The group filed a lawsuit in Lewis County Superior Court on Tuesday seeking injunctive relief from the ban, which they say is costing landlords their livelihoods.  The complaint filed with the court is attached to this story.

"To be clear, evicting tenants is a last resort for housing providers. That is not what this case is about," says a Washington Business Properties Association statement, who is supporting the legal challenge. The group says the Governor has forced housing providers to support tenants through ”free rent" without providing financial relief for housing providers, who must still pay taxes, mortgages and maintenance costs and try to support their families‎.

Currently, housing providers are prohibited from evicting or seeking repayment from tenants, including tenants that aren’t suffering any financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. The Governor’s order doesn’t require tenants to prove they have suffered financial hardship and allows tenants to silently ignore good faith attempts to work with them, according to the WBPA statement.

The governor’s eviction moratorium is supposed to end on December 31, but an extension is likely.