7 On Your Side talked with a Bay Area man who's been advocating for tenants for some 20 years. He says he's never seen so much stress among so many renters.
"So I think it's a very scary time for renters right now," said Tommi Avicolli Mecca of the Housing Rights Committee.
RELATED: Bay Area residents affected by COVID-19 crisis concerned about making April rent
The group's renters hotline received a record 75 calls recently in one day -- mostly from people like a couple of entertainers who lost 40 percent of their income due to the coronavirus shutdown, or a hairdresser who virtually has no money coming in right now.
"Like we've fallen off the Titanic and we're looking for a piece of wood to hang on to," said hairdresser Janice Lewis of Concord.
"They can't pay their rent. They're scared. They're worried. They don't understand that they have rights," said Avicolli Mecca.
Nearly one dozen jurisdictions in the Bay Area have passed eviction moratoriums. Those include San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda City, Alameda County, Concord, San Jose, Santa Clara County and Marin County.
RELATED: Bay Area officials add new restrictions on what people can do during extended COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders
The moratoriums buy you time, but will require that you eventually pay the landlord for any rent past due.
"Our recommendation is that you basically write the landlord. Let the landlord know what the situation is. It's really about all you can do right now," said Avicolli Mecca.
The bottom line: don't just ignore your landlord and try to work out a payment plan.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- Coronavirus and the new normal of living in the San Francisco-Bay Area -- COVID-19 Diaries
- Happy hour goes virtual as people try to be sociable while social distancing during COVID-19 crisis
- Coronavirus Outbreak: Here's why you should practice 'social distancing'
- DRONEVIEW7: What the Bay Area looks like during the coronavirus shelter-in-place
- ABC7's drive around San Francisco shows empty streets, businesses shuttered
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- Coronavirus in CA: Get resources and information about COVID-19
- Bay Area school closures related to coronavirus pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- How coronavirus compares with the flu
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Busting COVID-19 coronavirus myths: Facts from the Centers for Disease Control
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions
- Asian community fighting racism, xenophobia, bigotry as world fights COVID-19
Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.