California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order banning eviction orders for renters who have been affected by the coronavirus, in an effort to provide immediate relief to those facing an April 1st rent payment. The moratorium is effective immediately and expires May 31.
The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19 for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts. Renters are also required to declare in writing that they cannot pay all or part of their rent due to the coronavirus no more than seven days after the rent comes due.
As part of the order, renters are also required to retain documentation but are not required to submit it to their landlord in advance and renters will still be obligated to repay full rent in a “timely manner” and could still possibly face eviction once the moratorium is lifted, according to Newsom’s office.
Newsom’s statewide ban follows a previous executive order on March 16 that authorized local governments to stop evictions for renters impacted by the pandemic. Three of California’s biggest cities—Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego—had already enacted eviction moratoriums before Newsom announced the statewide measure. Several other cities and states have put eviction bans in place this month as well, including Kansas, New York, Kentucky, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Delaware.
Leading industry associations like the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association have urged landlords to work with renters on payment plans and halt evictions for those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
“This crisis is testing all of us–every industry, every family. No one should lose the roof over their head during a pandemic,” the NMHC and NAA wrote in a joint statement March 27, following the passage of the $2 trillion stimulus bill.