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COVID-19 Temporary Ban on Evictions

State and Local Protections Against Evictions

The State of California (State) and the City of San Diego (City) have adopted laws to provide protections against evictions in certain circumstances to help renters during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. An Eviction Prevention Program also is available in the City.


 

State of California Eviction Protections Extended

California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis on March 31, 2022, signed into law legislation (Assembly Bill 2179) that extends eviction protections for renters who applied for emergency rental assistance by March 31, 2022.

Under this new law, a renter cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent if a court determines that they applied for government help to pay their rent by March 31, 2022, and the application has not been denied. To proceed with an eviction, a landlord would be required to file a statement under penalty of perjury that that the determination on an application for rental assistance is not pending. This protection would remain in effect until June 30, 2022.

The new law also extends additional protections that were enacted June 28, 2021, through State Assembly Bill 832:

  • Tenants generally are protected from eviction for nonpayment of rent due between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2022, if that nonpayment is the result of a hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the tenant has paid any required portion of the rent.
  • Tenants cannot be evicted for unpaid rent accrued March 1, 2020, through March 31, 2022. Unpaid rent during this period converts to consumer debt.
  • Tenants who paid landlords at least 25 percent of any rent owed between September 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021, OR have a completed application for emergency rental assistance on or before March 31, 2022, may be protected from eviction for nonpayment of rent.
  • Landlords are required to provide a notice to tenants who have not paid one or more months of rent during this time period.
  • Tenants are required to provide their landlord a Declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress within 15 days, excluding Saturdays/Sundays/other judicial holidays, of receiving notice from their landlord.
  • Beginning November 1, 2021, for the Superior Court to process an Unlawful Detainer action (eviction) for unpaid rent accrued during the period October 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022, the landlord must provide:
    • Proof that an application for emergency rental assistance was submitted and denied, or
    • That an application was submitted and after 20 days there was no notification received that the tenant completed their portion of the application, and the tenant has not otherwise informed the landlord of a submitted application.
  • If an eviction is court-approved, but the Sheriff has not yet initiated a lock-out, tenants may still submit to the court proof of rental assistance approval, and the court will determine within 5-10 days whether the rent can be paid and the eviction be avoided.
  • Local ordinances may take effect July 1, 2022.
  • Tenants may still be evicted for “just cause” throughout this time period, such as tenant lease violations, tenant criminal activity, or the owner withdrawing the property from the rental market.

 

City of San Diego Temporary Ban on Residential ‘No Fault’ Evictions

The San Diego City Council has adopted a temporary ban on residential “no fault” evictions, which Council President Sean Elo-Rivera proposed. It will take effect on May 22, 2022, which is 30 days after San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria signed the ordinance. Under this local law, “no fault” evictions would not be allowed in the City of San Diego until September 30, 2022, or 60 days after the end of the local state of emergency declared by the Mayor due to the COVID-19 pandemic, whichever date occurs first.

What is a ‘No Fault’ Eviction?

A “no fault” eviction occurs when a landlord ends a lease with the tenant for reasons that do not involve any alleged nonpayment of rent, wrongful behavior or lease violation by the tenant.

Tenants are still required to pay rent per their lease agreement with the landlord. Evictions are allowed for nonpayment of rent, wrongful behavior or lease violations.

When is a ‘No Fault’ Eviction Allowed?

The City of San Diego law, if approved, would continue to allow “no fault” evictions in any of the following circumstances:

  • The landlord intends to remove the rental units from the rental market and has provided all affected tenants written notice at least six months in advance.
  • The landlord wants to take possession of the rental unit for repair or construction work necessary to comply with a government or court order, and the work requires vacating the rental unit because it would threaten the immediate health and safety of the occupants.
  • The landlord, or the landlord’s parent, grandparent, child or grandchild intend to occupy the rental unit as their primary residence, and the landlord has provided written notice to the affected tenant at least 90 days in advance.

The term “rental unit” includes apartments, condominiums, single-dwelling units, and hotel rooms that are not used solely for transient occupancies.

What if a Landlord Attempts a ‘No Fault’ Eviction?

If the City law is approved at its second reading, tenants may use the protections in the City law as an affirmative defense if a landlord files an eviction action (unlawful detainer).

Enforcement

The City of San Diego also reserves the right to enforce the administrative remedies in Chapter 1, Article 2 of the San Diego Municipal Code and to pursue any other remedies legally available against individuals knowingly or intentionally violating the provisions of the City’s Ordinance or falsifying information to qualify for the relief granted in the Ordinance.

Tenants’ Rights

Tenants who have questions about their legal rights or pending eviction actions may call:

  • Legal Aid Society of San Diego (877) 534-2524 – www.lassd.org
  • San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program (SDVLP) (619) 235-5656 x127
  • Tenants Legal Center (858) 571-7100

Frequently Asked Questions


 

City of San Diego Eviction Prevention Program

Contact:

The City of San Diego Eviction Prevention Program (EPP) helps renters with low income in the City of San Diego who are facing eviction for not paying their rent due to the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EPP is operated by Legal Aid Society of San Diego through a contract with the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC). Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Community Development Block Grants fund this program.

Eligibility

Eligible tenants must:

  • Reside at a City of San Diego address;
  • Have household income at or below 80 percent of San Diego’s Area Median Income ($97,000/year for a family of four);
  • Have an obligation to pay rent; and
  • At least one member of the household has a reduction of income or other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Legal Assistance

EPP includes the following types of legal assistance:

  • Full legal representation for Eligible Tenants throughout the pre-eviction and eviction process, in settlement negotiations and through trial, if necessary.
  • Limited legal services for Eligible Tenants through clinics, hotlines or appointments (virtual or in person), such as help with:
    • Completing COVID-19-related declarations
    • Submitting formal responses to eviction notices
    • Formal responses to Unlawful Detainers
    • Requests for reasonable accommodations.

Locations

EPP services are available for Eligible Tenants Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the following locations:

  • Legal Aid Society’s Southeast San Diego Office
    110 S. Euclid Avenue
    San Diego, CA 92114
  • Legal Aid Society’s Midtown San Diego Office
    1764 San Diego Avenue, Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92110

Legal services clinics are available at the following locations:

  • Unlawful Detainer Clinic
    San Diego County Superior Court, Hall of Justice
    330 W. Broadway
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Walk-in Hours: Monday – Friday, except court holidays, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Landlord Tenant Dispute Clinic
    San Diego County Superior Court, Hall of Justice
    330 W. Broadway
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Walk-in Hours: Monday –Friday, except court holidays, 8:30 a.m. – noon