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COVID-19 Updates For Bay Area Landlords

COVID-19 Updates for Bay Area Landlords

With new announcements coming out at various levels of government each week, it has been difficult to keep up with all of the changes and how they affect property owners in different jurisdictions. We continue to track updates each week and will keep this page updated as we learn more.

July 1, 2020 Updates:

  • Governor Newsom extends allowance of local eviction moratoriums through September 30, 2020

Currently in Effect at State-Level:

Governor’s Executive Order on Evictions

  • First Issued March 16, 2020, extended twice
  • Currently in effect until September 30, 2020 (unless extended)
  • Allows local jurisdictions to put their own eviction bans in place by suspending any state laws that would otherwise interfere

Judicial Council Emergency Rules

  • Approved April 6, 2020
  • Suspends the issuance of a summons in an unlawful detainer action, unless the court finds there is a health and safety reason.
  • Prevents entry of default and/or default judgments in unlawful detainer cases, unless the court finds there is a health and safety reason and the defendant has not appeared.
  • Mandates that unlawful detainer trials be set no earlier than 60 days after a request for a trial, again unless there is a health and safety reason. All trials on the calendar as of April 1 will be continued at least 60 days.

Currently in Effect at County-Level:

Alameda County Eviction Moratorium

  • First enacted on March 24, 2020 for unincorporated parts of the county only (O-2020-14)
  • Amended on March 31, 2020 to include all areas of the county (O-2020-18)
  • Amended on April 21, 2020 to:
    • Apply to all evictions, not just COVID-19 related
    • Add a 12-month repayment period
    • Outlaw tenant’s waiving of rights
  • Expires September 30, 2020 (unless extended)
  • Applies to all areas of the county not covered by a more restrictive ordinance
  • Prohibits evictions for non-payment of rent as well as most “no-fault” reasons during the state of emergency. Exceptions:
    • Health and safety reasons
    • Ellis Act
    • In compliance with a government order
  • Establishes a 12-month repayment period for unpaid rent accrued during the state of emergency
    • Remaining unpaid rent after the 12-month repayment period to be treated as a consumer debt, not grounds for eviction

Contra Costa County Eviction Moratorium

  • Enacted April 21, 2020
  • Expires July 15, unless extended
  • Applies to residential and commercial tenants
  • Prohibits evictions for non-payment of rent as well as most “no-fault” reasons during state of emergency. Exceptions:
    • Health and safety reasons
    • Owner move-in
  • Eviction moratorium is retroactive to March 15, 2020
  • Temporary freeze on rent increases. This does not apply to:
    • Properties built after 1995
    • Single-family homes or condos owned by a natural person
    • Owner-occupied duplexes
    • Leases entered into before April 21, 2020 that have prescheduled rent increases
  • Establishes a 120-day repayment period for unpaid rent accrued during the state of emergency
  • Prohibits late fees until 120 days after the state of emergency is declared over

Eviction moratoriums for other counties (links):

Currently in Effect at City-Level

San Francisco Eviction Moratorium

  • Issued on March 23, 2020
  • Expires July 31, 2020, unless extended
  • Prohibits residential evictions for non-payment of rent until 6 months after the order expires (currently January 31, 2021)
    • Establishes a 6-month repayment period for rent missed during the state of emergency
  • Prohibits all other residential evictions until 2 months after the order expires (currently September 30, 2020), except for:
    • Violence
    • Threats of violence
    • Health and safety reasons

Oakland Eviction Moratorium

  • Passed March 27, 2020
  • Many provisions retroactive to March 9, 2020, when local state of emergency was declared
  • Prohibits residential evictions and provides an actual legal defense to any unlawful detainer action (except when the tenant poses an imminent health and safety threat) filed during the local state of emergency
    • Expires August 31, 2020, unless extended
    • Unpaid rent during the state of emergency cannot be used for future unlawful detainer actions
    • Does not establish a repayment period for unpaid rent
    • Landlord must cooperate in accepting rent payment from a third party, including requests to provide a W-9 and/or other necessary documentation to a third party
  • Prohibits commercial evictions and provides an actual legal defense to any unlawful detainer action (except when the tenant poses an imminent health and safety threat) filed during the local state of emergency if:
    • Commercial tenant is a small business or nonprofit, and;
    • Cause of missed rent payment(s) was related to COVID-19
  • Limits rent increases to 2.7% for units covered by Oakland’s Rent Control Ordinance
  • Prohibits late fees for any rent payments missed during the local state of emergency if the cause of missed payment was related to COVID-19

Eviction moratoriums for other cities (links):

Proposed at State-Level:

Assembly Bill 828

  • Authored by Phil Ting (D-San Francisco)
  • Passed in Assembly; Currently in the Senate Rules Committee
  • Would apply while any state or local COVID-19 state of emergency is in place and for 15 days thereafter
  • Would add §1161.05 to the Code of Civil Procedure to:
    • Give tenants named in an unlawful detainer action the right to request a hearing to claim economic hardship due to COVID-19
    • If COVID-19 hardship exists for tenant, the following would apply unless landlord can prove this would cause their own hardship:
      • Tenant would remain in possession
      • Tenant would be required to make monthly rent payments by the 5th of each month amounting to the reduced rent plus 10% of past-due rent
    • If tenant fails to make a timely payment under new plan, landlord could then request immediate possession
    • Landlord’s owning 1-2 units only would be assumed to have a hardship
    • Landlords owning 10+ units would be assumed to have no hardship
  • Would add §2944.11 to the Civil Code to:
    • Ban residential foreclosures during this period of time
      • Specifies that this includes notices of default, notice of trustee’s sale, etc.
  • Would add §730.7 to the Code of Civil Procedure to:
    • Prohibit courts from accepting complaints filed in a residential foreclosure action during this period of time
  • Would add similar sections to Government Code and Revenue and Taxation Code related to notices of default, trustee’s sale, and/or tax defaulted properties during this period of time

Senate Bill 1410

  • Authored by Lena Gonzales (D-Long Beach), Supported by CAA
  • Currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Would establish a COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program in the Health & Safety Code
    • Eligibility:
      • Demonstrate inability to pay rent do to COVID-19 between 4/1/20 and 12/31/20
      • Owner must agree to participate in program:
        • No rent increases until 12/31/20
        • No late fees between 4/1/20 and 10/31/20
        • Must accept the payment provided through this program as full payment
    • Payment details:
      • Each payment would equal at least 80% of the amount of rent owed
      • Would cover up to 7 months of a household’s missed or insufficient rent payments
    • Creates a special fund in the State Treasury for appropriation by the Legislature

Senate Bill 1431

  • Authored by Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), Supported by CAA
  • Currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Would allow landlords to request property tax re-assessments based on financial losses attributable to Covid-19, such as inability to collect rent
  • Would apply retroactively to April 5, 2020

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