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Renter must notify landlord within a week of when rent is due, if they can’t pay due to COVID-19, to be eligible for the eviction freeze

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2020 (Sacramento)--Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday issued an executive order banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters in California affected by COVID-19 through May 31, 2020.

The order prohibits landlords from evicting residential tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts.  It does not protect commercial tenants, however.

It also requires residential renters 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 such as because of job layoff, cuts in hours, business closures, medical expenses, childcare due to school closures for parents still working in critical jobs, or other impacts related to the pandemic.

The tenant would be required to retain documentation that their inability to pay rent is due to COVID-19, such as termination notices, pay stubs, bank notices, medical bills, or other proof.

The tenant would remain obligated to repay full rent in a timely manner and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium is lifted on May 31st. Renters who are able to make at least partial rent payments may wish to do so, in order to prevent a balloon payment of two or three months, and also to help landlords pay their own bills.

The executive order comes after the Governor negotiated agreements with several major lenders in California not to initiative foreclosures on mortgage holders during the crisis.

The order takes effect immediately, and provides immediate relief to tenants for whom rent is due on April 1st.

The action builds on Governor Newsom’s previous executive order authorizing local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the pandemic.

A copy of the Governor’s new executive order can be found here and the text of the order can also be found here.

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