Late Friday California Governor Gavin Newsom took Executive Action to halt evictions statewide.
The order is effective immediately and will apply through May 31, 2020. The Order bans the enforcement of eviction orders for renters affected by COVID-19; prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent; and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts.
It also requires tenants to declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent comes due, that the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19. In addition, the tenant would be required to retain documentation but not required to submit it to the landlord in advance.
The tenant would also remain obligated to repay full rent in “a timely manner” and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium is lifted. If tenants fail to repay rent costs, landlords will maintain the jurisdiction to evict after the enforcement is lifted. The order takes effect immediately and provides immediate relief to tenants for whom rent is due on April 1st. F
riday’s action by the governor builds on his previous Executive Order issued March 16, 2020 which authorized local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the governor’s action in this regard was welcomed during this time of crisis the governor appeared to be following, rather than leading on this issue, as it came on the heels of moratorium orders already implemented in cities like San Jose, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.