SEATTLE (AP) – A Seattle policy meant to reduce evictions after the end of the city’s eviction moratorium has been struck down by the Washington State Court of Appeals.

The Seattle Times reports an ordinance the City Council passed in May 2020 said tenants who fell behind on rent and faced eviction could, for six months following the end of the moratorium, assert a defense in court if they self-certified that they suffered financial hardship and couldn’t pay the rent.

City leaders pointed to the rule as one key to the city’s emergence from a nearly two-year ban on almost all evictions.

In a decision Monday, the Court of Appeals said the six-month eviction defense “deprives the landlords of their property interest without due process.

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