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State Approves Temporary Prohibition on Evictions for Residential Tenants Affected by COVID-19; City Ordinance No Longer in Effect

At its meeting on March 24, 2020, the Duarte City Council passed an Urgency Ordinance, placing a moratorium on evictions of residential and commercials tenants for non-payment of rent due to reasons associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19). The moratorium went into effect immediately, but has now been replaced by Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-37-20, issued March 27, 2020.  The City’s urgency ordinance is therefore no longer in effect.

 

The Governor’s Executive Order N-37-20 relates only to residential tenants.  It extends residential unlawful detainer deadlines for sixty (60) days, and contains a number of provisions allowing affected tenants to forestall eviction if they meet the following requirements:

 1. Prior to the date of this Order, the tenant paid rent due to the landlord pursuant to an agreement.

2. The tenant notifies the landlord in writing before the rent is due, or within a reasonable period of time afterwards not to exceed 7 days, that the tenant needs to delay all or some payment of rent because of an inability to pay the full amount due to reasons related to COVID-19, including but not limited to the following :

(i)  The tenant was unavailable to work because the tenant was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or caring for a household or family member who was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19;

(ii)  The tenant experienced a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19, the state of emergency, or related government response; or

(iii)  The tenant needed to miss work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19.

3. The tenant retains verifiable documentation, such as termination notices, payroll checks, pay stub s, bank statements, medical bills, or signed letters or statements from an employer or supervisor explaining the tenant's changed financial circumstances, to support the tenant's assertion of an inability to pay. This documentation may be provided to the landlord no later than the time upon payment of back-due rent.

These are conditions to the assertion of a defense a residential tenant might raise in an eviction proceeding; the City will not itself be involved with any eviction proceeding, or individual landlord/tenant matter.

Parties who may be interested are encouraged to consult the Executive Order in its entirety, by clicking here, or check with an attorney or tenant advocacy group.  The City will be considering re-enactment of commercial tenancy eviction protections at one of its City Council meetings in April  2020.