City of San Diego COVID-19 Temporary Ban on Evictions
To help San Diego residents who are experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19 pandemic, the San Diego City Council on March 25, 2020, adopted a temporary ban on evictions in the City of San Diego related to COVID-19.
This means that landlords cannot take action to evict a tenant for not paying rent that was due on or after March 12, 2020, if the tenant is not able to pay because of the financial effects of COVID-19.
The temporary ban on evictions lasts until May 31, 2020, unless the City Council takes action to extend it.
Two days after the City Council action, California Governor Gavin Newsom on March 27, 2020, also ordered a statewide temporary ban on evictions:
Requirement for Tenants
- A tenant must notify their landlord in writing that they are not able to pay their rent in a timely manner because of COVID-19. (Email and text communication are valid forms of written notice.)
- This written notice must be provided to the landlord on or before the date the rent is due.
- Within one week of providing this notice to the landlord, the tenant must provide the landlord with documents or objectively verifiable information that the tenant is unable to pay rent because of the financial effects of COVID-19. (Examples of documentation: note or letter from employer regarding tenant’s loss or substantial reduction in employment; payroll records showing substantial loss of income due to COVID-19; bank statements that illustrate a drop in income; or other documentation that proves that tenant has not been generating the same level of income due to COVID-19. A tenant may also show substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19.)
- If a tenant does not provide the required documents/information within one week, a landlord may pursue an enforcement action that is allowed by state or local laws.
- If a tenant moves while the City of San Diego’s temporary ban on evictions is in effect, all rent owed is due when the tenant moves out, unless the lease says this will be handled differently.
- Tenants who are protected from evictions by the City of San Diego’s Ordinance have up to six months from the date the ordinance is effective (March 25, 2020 – September 25, 2020) or the date Governor Newsom’s executive order is withdrawn, whichever occurs soonest, to pay their landlords all unpaid rent.
Examples of Financial Effects of COVID-19
Financial effects may result because of COVID-19 or any governmental response to COVID-19, including public health orders. These effects may include:
- Substantial decrease in household income (residential tenant) or business income (commercial tenant) due to a business closing
- Loss of work or hours of work
- Substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses
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
- Tenants Legal Center (858) 571-7100
The ordinance adopted by the City Council states that the protections the ordinance provides may be used as an affirmative defense in any unlawful detainer action through which a landlord may try to evict a tenant.
Frequently Asked Questions & Sample Letter
- March 12, 2020: Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer declares a local state of emergency due to COVID-19.
- March 16, 2020: California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that authorized local governments to halt evictions in their jurisdictions for residents affected by COVID-19.
- March 16, 2020: City Council President Georgette Gómez calls for emergency action to temporarily ban evictions related to the financial effects of COVID-19.
- March 17, 2020: Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Council President Georgette Gómez announce plans to take action to temporarily ban evictions.
- March 17, 2020: The City Council passes resolutions ratifying the Mayor’s March 12, 2020, declaration of a local emergency and directing the Mayor to present to the City Council a temporary ban on residential and commercial evictions during the local emergency due to COVID-19.
- March 18, 2020: Effective on this date, SDHC will not evict any residents at the affordable rental housing properties it owns or manages due to nonpayment of rent because of financial effects of COVID-19. SDHC’s action will remain in effect until the end of the City of San Diego’s temporary ban on evictions related to COVID-19.
- March 25, 2020: The City Council unanimously adopts an ordinance temporarily banning evictions due to nonpayment of rent because of financial affects of COVID-19.