A Moratoria on Evictions Is Now In Effect

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A Moratoria on Evictions Is Now In Effect

Categories: Homes Planning Property Management Real Estate Residents Safety

Published 04/01/2020

This week, several cities, the County of Alameda, and the State of California enacted moratoria on evictions for nonpayment of rent. Below you will find summaries of each ordinance relevant to your location:

State of California:

Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters affected by COVID-19 through May 31, 2020. The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts. It also requires tenants to declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent comes due, that the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19.

"The tenant would be required to retain documentation but not required to submit it to the landlord in advance. The tenant would remain obligated to repay full rent in a timely manner and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium is lifted. The order takes effect immediately, and provides immediate relief to tenants for whom rent is due on April 1st."

At this time it is unclear how the Governor's order will affect local ordinances already enacted like the ones below.

Unincorporated Alameda County:

Covers:

  • Residential rentals
  • Homeowners affected by COVID-19
  • A 30-day moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in the Unincorporated Areas of Alameda County for renters and homeowners due to lost income increased medical expenses or child care needs as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Notification of non-payment must be given to the landlord on or before the date rent or mortgage payment is due.
  • Within 15 days of rent/mortgage due date, affected residents must give documentation to the landlord/lender that clearly shows lost income, increased medical expenses or child care needs as a direct result of COVID-19. Specifically,
    • A letter from an employer or another source of income citing COVID-19 as a reason for the lost income
    • Paycheck stubs showing a reduction in pay following COVID-19 outbreak.
    • Bank statements showing a reduction in income following the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • Documentation showing substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses caused by COVID-19.
    • Documentation showing closure of a school or childcare facility due to COVID-19 requiring the affected resident to give up income.
    • Other documentation demonstrating substantial hardship caused by COVID-19
  • Prohibition of retaliation against a person unable to pay rent or mortgage due to COVID-19.
  • Violation of any part of the Ordinance is a misdemeanor offense subject to a fine of $1,000 per violation.
  • The Ordinance does not forgive rent, it only defers the payment of any unpaid rent.
  • The Ordinance will remain in force for 30 days unless the State of Emergency is lifted during that time. The Board of Supervisors may extend this ordinance in 30-day increments.

San Leandro:

Covers:

  • Residential, commercial, and mobile homes.
  • No evictions for nonpayment of rent if the tenant documents the inability to pay rent is due to or arising out of:
    • The substantial decrease in a household or business income.
    • Substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses, and the decrease in a household or business income.
    • Out-of-pocket medical expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19, and is documented in writing.
  • Tenants have up to 10 days after the date rent is due to inform housing providers in writing, of their inability to pay rent due to:
    • A substantial decrease in a household or business income or out-of-pocket medical expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or
    • By any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19. Nonetheless, a tenant must provide documentation to support the claim.
  • The Ordinance does not forgive rent.
  • Housing providers may seek to collect unpaid rent 120 days after the expiration of the Ordinance (Ordinance expires 5/31, unpaid rent due no later than 9/28) unless the order is amended or adopted providing for a longer period.
  • A housing provider may not charge or collect a late fee for rent that is delayed for the reasons stated in this Ordinance.
  • A housing provider may not seek rent that is delayed for the reasons stated in this Ordinance through the eviction process.
  • The Ordinance will remain in effect until May 31, 2020, or the end of the State of Emergency, whichever is later.

Hayward:

  • Concludes 90 days from March 24, 2020, unless extended by the City Council.
  • The Ordinance does not forgive rent, it only defers the payment of any unpaid rent.
  • No evictions for nonpayment of rent if the tenant documents that the inability to pay rent is due to a substantial decrease in a household or business income including but not limited to:
    • A substantial decrease in household income caused by layoffs.
    • A reduction in the number of compensable hours of work.
    • Inability to work due to their children remaining out of school, or
    • A substantial decrease in business income caused by a reduction in opening hours or consumer demand.
    • A substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses and the decrease in a household or business income or the out-of-pocket medical expenses were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19.
  • No-fault evictions are also banned during the Moratorium unless necessary for the health and safety of tenants, neighbors, or the landlord. No-fault evictions are defined as:
  • The Landlord seeks in good faith to undertake substantial repairs that are necessary to bring the property into compliance with applicable codes.
    • The Landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the Rental Units, in order to remove the Rental Unit from the market by demolition.
    • The Landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession for their own use or occupancy as their principal residence, or for the use and occupancy as a principal residence by the Landlord's spouse or domestic partner or by the Landlord's or the Landlord's spouse's child, parents, brother, sister, grandparents, or grandchildren.
    • A Landlord or lessor seeks in good faith to recover possession of the Rental Unit for their occupancy as a principal residence and has the right to recover possession of the unit for their occupancy as a principal residence under an existing Rental Agreement with the current Tenants.
  • Tenants must make a good-faith effort to notify the landlord before the rent is due to the inability to pay due to the COVID-19 virus, and must provide documentation at that time. Documentation is defined as a statement signed under penalty of perjury that the inability to pay is due to a Covered Reason for Delayed Payment defined as:
    • Medical bills or reports
    • Documents showing reduced income such as pay stubs or unemployment benefit documents;
    • Correspondence from an employer citing COVID-19 as a basis for a reduction in work hours or termination of employment.
    • Any medical or financial information provided to the landlord shall be held in confidence, and only used for evaluating the tenant’s claim.
  • A housing provider may not charge or collect a late fee for rent that is delayed for the reasons stated in this Ordinance.
  • Either party may request to participate in a mediation process through the City of Hayward Rent Review Office. The mediation process is designed to assist the parties in negotiating reduced rental amounts and repayment schedules for unpaid rent during the moratorium period.
  • Housing Providers may not institute unlawful detainer proceedings for non-payment for a period of 90 days after the expiration of the moratorium unless the tenant has breached the terms of a negotiated agreement.
  • This is an ongoing situation, and we expect to have more information for you about this next week. If you have any questions or need additional information regarding this development, please contact Darryl Glass by phone at (510) 500-7531 or by email at dglass@adventpropertiesinc.com. If more convenient, you may also schedule a call with Darryl directly on his calendar below:

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