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|FAQ - Eviction Moratorium|Visit here for a summary of COVID-19 rental protections statewide and countywide.
1. Why did the County enact a temporary ban on evictions?
The County is already experiencing a homelessness and home affordability crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic and related government orders and guidance are likely to cause significant disruption to local businesses and the local economy, further adding to the financial strain County residents and businesses face due to job loss, medical expenses, and related loss of income. The County Board of Supervisors enacted this temporary ban to prevent further homelessness and protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents.
2. When is the ban on evictions effective?
The ban on COVID-19 related evictions is effective from March 16, 2020 and will extend for an additional 90 days once the State of Emergency has been lifted. It applies to notices of termination and eviction lawsuits served or filed after March 15, 2020. The ban does not apply if the tenant moved out before March 16, 2020, or a landlord filed a lawsuit or obtained a court judgment before that date.
3. Which tenants are covered by the eviction ban?
The eviction protection applies to both residential and commercial tenants.
4. Does this regulation stop all evictions?
No. This regulation only applies to evictions related to non-payment of rent due to COVID-19. This regulation does not prevent a property owner from evicting tenants for health or safety reasons or for a cause that does not concern nonpayment of rent.
5. When and how do I notify my landlord that I cannot pay rent due to loss of income or medical expenses related to COVID-19?
Tenants who cannot pay some or all of the rent that became due after March 15, 2020, for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic should notify their landlord immediately.
6. What types of loss of income or extra medical expenses will qualify me for protection?
This will depend on your specific situation. Generally, job loss, a reduction in work hours, closure of your place of business, a decrease in business income, the need to miss work to care for a school-aged child or a family member who is infected with COVID-19 resulting in a loss of income are some examples of loss of income when it is due to the COVID-19 pandemic or orders from the local, State, or federal government. An “out-of-pocket medical expense” would be a medical expense for yourself or an immediate family member.
7. Do I have to pay past-due rent, and how long do I have?
Tenants are not excused from paying past-due rent. Tenants should pay their rent on time if they are able to do so and should let their landlord/property manager know immediately if they are having trouble. But if tenants show that because of the COVID-19 pandemic they lost their jobs, their income has been reduced, or they have increased medical expenses, they are protected from eviction and have a grace period of up to 90 days after the State of Emergency has been lifted to repay rent that became due after March 16, 2020.
8. Can my landlord collect late fees if I didn’t pay my rent on time during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A property owner may not charge or collect late fees for unpaid rent from a tenant who shows a loss of income or out-of-pocket medical expenses directly related to COVID-19. This ban remains in effect until 90 days after the State of Emergency has been lifted.
9. May landlords evict a tenant for reasons other than nonpayment of rent?
Under the County’s Regulation, landlords may evict tenants for other reasons not related to COVID-19. However, see # 11 below since some cities have prohibited no-fault evictions.
10. What if the tenant did not pay rent that was due on March 15, 2020, or earlier?
Landlords may still pursue evictions based on issues that occurred on or before March 16, 2020. If the landlord and the tenant cannot come to an agreement regarding rent due March 15 or earlier, it will be up to the court to decide whether to authorize an eviction based on the facts presented and its interpretation of the law.
11. I live in a city. Does the eviction ban apply to me?
Yes, the ban applies county-wide to properties located in incorporated cities and in unincorporated areas within the geographic boundaries of the County. However, if a city has enacted its own eviction ban that is more strict than the County’s, the city’s own regulation will applies within the city instead of the County’s ordinance. If, for example, the city’s regulation does not ban evictions for commercial properties or does not include a grace period to pay back rent, then the County’s ordinance applies to those subjects.
12. What resources are there for tenants and landlords suffering negative impacts from COVID-19?
Legal assistance may be available to tenants from Legal Services of Northern California at: https://lsnc.net/office/vallejo
See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQSv6DokNeA&feature=youtu.be
Other resources are available at: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm