Los Angeles, CA — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday banned all evictions of renters for the next two months, as millions in the state would be evicted. However, tenants MUST notify their landlords.
Newsom signed an executive order that prohibits landlords, law enforcement and the courts from enforcing eviction notices until May 31. The order takes effect for rents due on April 1. And it only applies to tenants who are not already behind on their payments.
Newsom issued an executive order earlier this month authorizing local governments to issue eviction moratoriums on their own. During a news conference Friday, the governor said he was creating a “new overlay for the state” because too few cities and counties had followed through.
To be eligible:
- Prior to the date of this Order, the tenant paid all of the rent due to the landlord: You cannot already be behind on rent
- The tenant notifies the landlord in writing before the the rent is due, or within a reasonable period of time afterwards not to exceed 7 days, that the tenant needs to delay all or some payment of rent because of an inability to pay the full amount due to reasons related to COVID-19
- Tenants must be able to document why they cannot pay, which include termination notices, payroll checks, medical bills or “signed letters or statements form an employer or supervisor explaining the tenant’s changed financial circumstances.”
Per the order:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1) The deadline specified in Code of Civil Procedure section 1167 shall be extended for a period of 60 days for any tenant who is served, while this Order is in effect, with a complaint that seeks to evict the tenant from a residence or dwelling unit for nonpayment of rent and who satisfies all of the following requirements:
a. Prior to the date of this Order, the tenant paid rent due to the landlord pursuant to an agreement.
b. The tenant notifies the landlord in writing before the rent is due, or within a reasonable period of time afterwards not to exceed 7 days, that the tenant needs to delay all or some payment of rent because of an inability to pay the full amount due to reasons related to COVID-19, including but not limited to the following:
(i) The tenant was unavailable to work because the tenant was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or caring for a household or family member who was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19;
(ii) The tenant experienced a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19, the state of emergency, or related government response; or
(iii) The tenant needed to miss work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19.
c. The tenant retains verifiable documentation, such as termination notices, payroll checks, pay stubs, bank statements, medical bills, or signed letters or statements from an employer or supervisor explaining the tenant’s changed financial circumstances, to support the tenant’s assertion of an inability to pay. This documentation may be provided to the landlord no later than the time upon payment of back-due rent.
2) No writ may be enforced while this Order is in effect to evict a tenant from a residence or dwelling unit for nonpayment of rent who satisfies the requirements of subparagraphs (a)-(c) of paragraph 1.
3) The protections in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be in effect through May 31, 2020.
The order came two days after five of the nation’s largest banks plus hundreds of credit unions and state-chartered banks agreed to defer mortgage payments for people affected by the virus. Four of those banks — Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citi and JP Morgan Chase — agreed to defer payments for the next three months. Bank of America agreed to defer payments monthly until the crisis subsides.
About a third of the nation’s record 3.3 million unemployment claims are in California, where thousands of businesses have been forced to close following Newsom’s order for people to stay at home unless their jobs are deemed essential or they are buying food, medicine, visiting a doctor or exercising. The state has hired retired state workers and transferred other employees to help process an avalanche of over 1 million unemployment claims amid a surge of job losses.