At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act. This law included a ban on most evictions, to help people stay in their homes even if the pandemic kept them from paying rent. The CARES Act eviction moratorium ended in July 2020, and was replaced by the CDC’s eviction ban in September of 2020. The US Supreme Court ended the CDC’s eviction ban in August of 2021. 

Even though federal law no longer prevents landlords from evicting their tenants, some states and counties have created their own protections for renters. SixFifty has compiled this list of areas where evictions may be prevented because of COVID, and how to access relief.

Update

As of August 2022, state-wide eviction bans have ended in California, Minnesota, and Virginia. New protections have taken effect in El Cerrito and Richmond, California, and in San Francisco County and parts of Marin County, California. SixFifty has updated Hello Landlord to reflect these changes. You can still use SixFifty’s free “Late Rent” tool to work with your landlord to avoid eviction.

HelloLandlord Renter Help

Oregon

Oregon has also implemented a moratorium on certain evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, like in Minnesota, renters must have a pending COVID-19 rental assistance application to qualify. Oregon has paused applications for rental assistance. Oregon’s eviction protections are scheduled to expire on September 30, 2022. 

If you have a pending application, you can use SixFifty’s free COVID Eviction Prevention tool to send a letter to your landlord. If you don’t have a pending application, or you prefer to ask your landlord for options to avoid eviction, you can use SixFifty’s free Late Rent Letter instead. 

Los Angeles County

The County of Los Angeles has implemented a moratorium on certain evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Known as the county’s “COVID-19 Tenant Protection Resolution,” the moratorium has two phases. Phase 1 lasts from February 1, 2022 until May 31, 2022. Phase 2 will begin on June 1, 2022, and end on December 31, 2022, unless repealed or further extended by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Landlords in Los Angeles County sought to end the eviction moratorium, but the US Supreme Court recently declined to hear their case.

Alameda County

The County of Alameda has implemented a moratorium on certain evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium temporarily bans evictions for renters throughout Alameda County. The ban started on March 24, 2020 and will last until 60 days after the local health emergency officially ends. Right now, there are no indications of when that might be. 

Alameda County’s eviction moratorium gives tenants up to 12 months, starting when rent was due, to pay any late rent. 

If renters provide documentation that a COVID-related matter prevented them from paying rent, the ordinance prohibits their eviction. No exceptions. Without that documentation, and for evictions not related to nonpayment of rent, there are three exceptions to the eviction ban: 

  • Eviction is necessary to comply with a government order, like your apartment being deemed unsafe to inhabit.
  • Your landlord takes your unit off the market. This kind of eviction is covered by the “Ellis Act.”
  • There is an imminent health or safety concern, not related to COVID-19.

Under this eviction moratorium, Landlords can’t charge late fees or otherwise punish tenants. Even after the 12-month repayment period ends, landlords cannot evict tenants for overdue rent. 

Find more information and resources for tenants as well as landlords here

San Francisco County

San Francisco County currently prohibits landlords from evicting residential tenants for non-payment of rent that originally came due on or after July 1, 2022 and was not paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also prohibits landlords from imposing late fees, penalties, or similar charges on tenants who are unable to pay their post-July 2022 rent due to COVID-19. This tool will generate a letter to your landlord that certifies that you are facing difficulties paying rent due to the pandemic.

Note that this legislation does not protect tenants against eviction for rental debt incurred before July 1, 2022.

See the San Francisco County website for more information.

El Cerrito, California

On March 25, 2020, the El Cerrito City Council adopted a local Urgency Ordinance enacting a temporary eviction moratorium for residential and commercial tenants financially impacted by COVID-19. The Ordinance is set to expire upon the termination of the City’s Local Emergency Declaration, and currently (August 2022) remains in place. The Ordinance does not establish rent forgiveness but provides temporary rent forbearance to those who qualify. The Ordinance also suspends late fees from being charged for qualified residential and commercial tenants who can demonstrate loss of income or revenue due to COVID-19.

For El Cerrito residents, under State Law AB 2179, the repayment period began on August 1, 2022 and tenants will have 6-months to repay unpaid rent.

The City encourages tenants to notify their property owner/manager to discuss a repayment plan if you are experiencing loss of income related to COVID-19. Residential tenants are encouraged to apply for financial assistance through the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program by visiting HousingIsKey.com or by contacting 833-430-2122 (toll free) daily between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

In Contra Costa County, the following providers have partnered with the State of California to support tenants:

See the El Cerrito City website for more information.

Richmond, California

On March 23, 2021, the Richmond City Council adopted Urgency Ordinance 02-21, establishing a temporary moratorium prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants in most circumstances during the Local Emergency and sixty (60) days afterward.

The Contra Costa County resources above are also available to tenants in Richmond, California.

See the Richmond City website for more information.

Unincorporated Marin County, and some Marin County towns and cities

Marin County adopted a resolution barring evictions of residential tenants for nonpayment of rent due to the ongoing impact of the Public Health Emergency arising from COVID-19 from July 1 through September 30, 2022. This Resolution applies only to renters in unincorporated Marin County. The following Marin County jurisdictions have also adopted eviction bans:

See the Marin County website for more information.

Bans that expired in 2022

Virginia

Virginia is another state with an eviction moratorium on certain evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like Oregon and Minnesota, this protection requires you to apply for rental assistance. Unlike Oregon and Minnesota, you can ask your landlord to apply on your behalf. Or you can apply yourself here.

Whether you apply for assistance yourself or want to ask your landlord to apply for you, you can use SixFifty’s free COVID Eviction Prevention tool to send the right letter to your landlord. If you don’t qualify for rental assistance, or you prefer to ask your landlord for options to avoid eviction, you can use SixFifty’s free Late Rent Letter instead. 

California 

Like Minnesota, Oregon, and Virginia, California has temporarily banned evictions for the approximately 100,000 renters with pending rental assistance applications. California has closed its rental assistance program for new applicants.

If you have a pending application, you can use SixFifty’s free COVID Eviction Prevention tool to send a letter to your landlord. If you don’t have a pending application for rental assistance, or you prefer to ask your landlord for options to avoid eviction, you can use SixFifty’s free Late Rent Letter instead. 

Minnesota

Minnesota has implemented a moratorium on certain evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify for this protection, renters must have a pending COVID-19 rental assistance application. The deadline to apply for rental assistance was January 28, 2022.

If you have a pending application, you can use SixFifty’s free COVID Eviction Prevention tool to send a letter to your landlord. If you don’t have a pending application, or you prefer to ask your landlord for options to avoid eviction, you can use SixFifty’s free Late Rent Letter instead.

San Diego and Other Potential Eviction Bans

Lawmakers in some areas are proposing “no fault” eviction bans, which are different from the COVID-related bans we’ve covered so far. In San Diego, a proposed no-fault eviction ban would prevent landlords from evicting tenants for a number of reasons. Landlords who wish to move back into their rental properties or take the properties off the market would need to provide tenants with sufficient notice—90 days in the case of moving into a unit, and 6 months before taking a property off the market. 

Landlords would be barred from evicting tenants in order to make upgrades to the property, unless those upgrades are needed in order to comply with building codes, or otherwise required by law. 

As of the writing of this article, the proposed no fault eviction ban in San Diego has not been signed into law. 

SixFifty Solutions

SixFifty wants to help tenants who are unable to pay their rent or mortgage due to difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether or not you live in an area where evictions are currently on hold due to COVID, it’s usually a good idea to start a dialogue with your landlord if you’re late on your rent. In addition to that conversation, people who are at risk of eviction in these above jurisdictions may use our free Eviction Prevention toolset to communicate lawfully with their landlord and apply for assistance.

The law is complicated. SixFifty makes it easy. And our pro bono tools make it easy for free!


Ransom Wydner

Written by Ransom Wydner

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