If you live outside of San Francisco: your protections may be different. See the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project's map of updated protections across the US here or this Columbia Law list here, and the Coronavirus Resource Guide developed by Tenants Together for California renters.
San Francisco Tenants: if you can’t pay rent right now, you are not alone. Please reach out to a tenant rights group if you do not plan to pay your rent this month! Click here to connect to organizing to win full rent cancellation.
→ SAMPLE LETTER FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT HERE (PDF) (DOC)
SAN FRANCISCO EVICTION MORATORIUM FAQs:
On March 13, 2020, Mayor London Breed signed a temporary moratorium on non-payment evictions due to hardships caused by COVID-19. On March 23, she issued a supplemental order that extends the moratorium to most kinds of evictions. On April 22, she extended the moratorium another 30 days through May 22.
Q: WHO IS COVERED?
A: The rules apply to most rental housing in San Francisco, including units not covered by rent control, like single-family homes and those built after 1979. It also applies to BMRs and other units where the rent is regulated by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development or the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Sub-tenants are also protected.
**Public and subsidized housing tenants: The local moratorium applies, but additionally the Federal CARES Act is a partial eviction moratorium that prohibits eviction filings for non-payment of rent or the charging of late fees between March 27 and July 24, 2020. For more information, see the National Housing Law Project’s detailed summary here
WHAT KINDS OF EVICTIONS ARE COVERED? Most evictions, including those already in progress, cannot be executed right now or within 60 days after the emergency declaration has ended. Right now that means the moratorium is effective until July 22, 2020.
The temporary ban on evictions does not apply:
• If the eviction is related to violence, threats of violence or health and safety issues
• To the Ellis Act (unless an Ellis waiver is passed by the Governor or State Legislature).
A: The current moratorium creates an automatic extension to pay your rent if you notify your landlord within 30 days and explain how you have lost income or had increased expenses due to COVID-19. This must be repeated each month that you cannot pay your rent and the moratorium is still in effect. We suggest that you send a letter to your landlord within 1 month of when rent was due and explain specifically how COVID-19 has impacted your income.
Notify your landlord of your inability to pay within 30 days of the date the rent is due.
Provide documentation (ie; a written explanation) to your landlord within 7 days of the 30-day notification deadline. You may provide the notice and the documentation at the same time if you choose, as long as it is within the 1-month notice deadline.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 every month that you cannot pay rent for as long as the moratorium is still in place.
If you follow these steps, the due date for your rent payment is automatically extended by at least a month from the 1-week documentation deadline. For example, for rent due April 1, your new due date for April rent is June 8th.
If you do not pay your rent by the end of the one-month extension, your landlord can ask you to try to work out a payment plan, but you do not need to submit new notice for these missed installments. You will have until at least 6 months after the Order expires to pay the rent in full before your landlord may attempt to evict you for the missed payment.
Q: WHAT COUNTS AS DOCUMENTATION?
A: Any written communication explaining how COVID-19 caused a loss of household income is enough to satisfy the requirement. This might mean explaining that your household has experienced reduced work hours; temporary business slowdown; layoffs, or increased expenses. You are welcome to provide more documentation if you choose to, such as a note from your employer or a pay stub, but a landlord cannot require this.
Q: DO I HAVE TO PAY THE RENT BACK?
A: Yes. The current moratorium is a delay in rent payment for up to 6 months after the order expires (right now, that is November 22nd), but it does not waive the rent. We are joining groups from around the state and country to call for full rent cancellation, and we will keep fighting to ensure that this recovery is not on our backs! Join us!
Q: MY LANDLORD WANTS ME TO PROVE HARDSHIP OR SIGN PAYMENT PLAN RIGHT NOW. WHAT SHOULD I DO? A: Do not sign anything, including a payment plan or forbearance agreement, until you have spoken to tenant counselor! You are not required to submit extra proof to your landlord beyond the letter described above. Some landlords and attorneys are sending false and intimidating letters right now, but as long as you follow the steps above or listed on the Mayor's Office on Housing and Community Development (MOHCD)’s website, you are protected.