The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Sacramento City Council, separately, passed temporary moratoriums to protect residential renters and businesses from evictions during a stay-home directive ordered by the state to curb spread of COVID-19.
The County Supervisors adopted a resolution earlier this week for a temporary moratorium on residential tenant evictions across the county. The resolution goes into effect Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The resolution remains in effect for the remainder of the emergency.
Later that evening at City Hall, members of the City Council passed provisions that would stop evictions of commercial tenants. The City Council and Mayor Darrel Steinberg added the provision to the ordinance that placed a moratorium on residential evictions.
The residential eviction moratorium gives renters in the city 120 days to pay rent after the county’s public health’s emergency expired. Councilman Allen Wayne Warren voted against the city ordinance. The city could return in 30 days to reconsider the provision created to help an enormous amount of renters affected by the shutdown.
Who does the County resolution apply to?
The resolution applies to all residential, but not commercial tenants, within the unincorporated County. While not enforceable, the resolution states that no landlord shall evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant demonstrates that the inability to pay rent is due to the state of emergency regarding COVID-19 or by following government-recommended COVID-19 precautions.
What is a “covered reason for delayed payment”?
According to the resolution, a “covered reason for delayed payment” means a tenant’s loss of income due to any of the following:
- A tenant who is/was sick with COVID-19 or caring for a household or family member who is/was sick with COVID-19
- A tenant experiencing/ experienced a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19 or the state of emergency
- A tenant’s compliance with a recommendation from a government agency to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency
- A tenant’s need to miss work to care for a home-bound school-age child
- What should a tenant do to take advantage of the protections offered under the resolution?
To take advantage of the protections offered under the resolution, a tenant must do all of the following:
- Notify the landlord in writing before the date rent is due that the tenant has a covered reason for delayed payment
- Provide the landlord with verifiable documentation to support the assertion of a covered reason for delayed payment
- Pay that portion of rent that the tenant, as determined by the tenant’s financial situation, is able to pay at the time it is due
When does the tenant have to pay back rent?
A tenant experiencing/ experienced a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19 or the state of emergency
Tenants will have 120 days after the expiration of the Governor’s Executive Order, including any extensions, to pay their landlord all unpaid rent.
Tenants who have issues or need more information about their rights may visit the Sacramento Self Help Renters Helpline website or call (916) 389-7877.
By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer