Today Mayor London Breed issued a local eviction moratorium, in effect for 30 days or the duration of the sate of emergency, whichever is longer, with the possibility of extension for another 30 days.
The moratorium will prevent any resident from being evicted due to a loss of income related to a business closure, loss of hours or wages, layoffs, or out-of-pocket medical costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the order, a tenant must notify their landlord that they cannot pay rent due to a COVID-19 related impact. Within one week of this notice, the tenant must provide documentation or other objective information that they cannot pay rent. Tenants will have up to six months after the termination of the emergency declaration to repay any back due rent.
Supervisor Dean Preston has also introduced legislation to provide for an eviction moratorium for the duration of the state of emergency, and two statewide groups are circulating petitions for a state-level moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. Tenants Together’s petition can be found here, and Housing Now’s can be found here.
Even before a state-level moratorium is passed, the current state of emergency declarations by Governor Newsom have triggered statewide anti-gouging laws which include important rent controls and eviction protections. It is now illegal for any landlord to charge (or advertise) rents 10% or above what they were charging before February 10. Additionally, it is illegal for a landlord to evict tenants and then re-rent the vacated unit at a higher rent than what the evicted tenant paying.
What can tenants do if a landlord increases their rent above 10% during a State of Emergency? File a claim with the Attorney General of California’s office. To learn more and file a claim, call here (800) 952-5225 or file online here. Use this Tenants Together sample letter if you received a notice of increase above 10% after the February 10th Declaration of a State of Emergency.
Many Local Groups have been offering suggestions for a broad package of social safety net expansions to protect public health during the pandemic. Here are some recent examples: