Eviction moratoriums around the Bay Area during coronavirus pandemic: Ordinances city by city

BySimone Chavoor KGO logo
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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Judging by what DRONEVIEW7 captured over several Bay Area cities, residents are paying close attention to California's shelter-in-place order. Normally busy streets are empty, an extraordinary sight during extraordinary times.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On March 27, 2020, in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order putting a moratorium on the eviction of renters who are affected by the coronavirus and the downturn in the economy. However, nearly every county and city in the Bay Area has their own ordinances. Here's a city-by-city look at these eviction moratoriums.


Alameda (county):

On April 21, 2020, the county amended its previous eviction moratorium ordinance to ensure all tenants and homeowners Countywide can shelter-in-place during this crisis. This emergency ordinance now outlaws all evictions anywhere in the County with few exceptions. The ordinance allows tenants to repay overdue rent over 12 months. The ordinance will remain in effect for 90 days (July 20) unless otherwise extended.

Additional info here.

Alameda (city):

Started on March 1, Alameda's renter eviction moratorium will last for 30 days past when the state of emergency is lifted. Both residential and commercial tenants will then have 180 days to catch up on any deferred rent that was not paid from March 1, 2020 to 30 days following the end of the local emergency declaration. Landlords must include a copy of the ordinance when they serve their tenants with eviction papers. Tenants then have 15 days to provide documentation of hardship. Renters are encouraged to notify their landlords on inability to pay on or before rent is due. Landlords may not retaliate or shut off utilities.

On April 21, 2020, the City Council adopted an urgency ordinance that freezes rent increases for residential rent controlled units in Alameda.


Berkeley's moratorium will last until the state of emergency is lifted. Tenants must inform their landlords no later than 7 days past their rent due date that they have a "covered reason for delayed payment;" landlords may not evict or attempt to evict them. Tenants must pay their back rent within 12 months of the state of emergency being lifted, but landlords may not charge late fees.

Additional info here.


Started on March 19, Emeryville's moratorium will last until June 30. All residential evictions are prohibited, unless necessary to protect health, safety or welfare. Tenants will still owe the back rent. Landlords also may not evict a tenant if their lease agreement expires during the time when the ordinance is in effect.


Started on March 27, Fremont's moratorium will last until 30 days after the state of emergency has expired. Tenants must demonstrate financial hardship on or before the date their rent is due. The moratorium does not apply to tenants already delinquent or in default. Landlords may not charge late fees. The tenant must attempt to pay as much of their rent as they can, even after the moratorium is lifted: "A landlord shall not impose late fees or serve a 5-day notice for nonpayment of rent to an affected tenant provided the following: within ninety (90) days after the expiration of the declared local emergency, tenant has repaid fifty percent (50%) of any overdue rent and expenses; and within one hundred-eighty (180) days after the expiration of the declared local emergency, tenant has repaid all outstanding overdue rent and expenses accrued during the emergency."


Started on March 27, Oakland's moratorium will last until August 31, 2020 or until the Local Emergency is declared over (whichever happens first). Renters cannot be evicted if they live in a unit covered by Oakland's Just Cause Ordinance. Renters cannot be evicted for rent that became due during the Local Emergency if they suffered a substantial reduction of income or increase of expenses due to COVID-19. Rent may not be increased beyond 3.5% (the Consumer Price Index or "CPI"; note that beginning July 1, 2020 the CPI will be 2.7%) if the unit is covered by the Rent Adjustment Ordinance. Renters cannot be charged late fees during this local emergency.

Landlords may still evict if "the tenant poses an imminent threat to the health or safety of other occupants of the property." Renters must still pay their rent, although the ordinance does not specify any deadlines or processes. Renters do not have to provide documentation of hardship to their landlords, although the city of Oakland encourages residents to be open and communicative with their landlords.

Additional info here.


Contra Costa County:

Started on May 26, Contra Costa County's moratorium has been extended to September 30 and prohibits evictions for non-payment of rent. The ordinance also prohibits property owners from evicting tenants without cause or because they have allowed family members to live with them during this period due to the pandemic. Renters must give their landlords notice and documentation proving hardship no more than 14 days after rent is due. Renters will still owe back rent, and must pay before January 31, 2021. Landlords may not assess late fees. The moratorium also freezes rent increases in some cases; residences built within the last 15 years and single family homes are not included in the freeze.

Additional info here.


Started on March 25, Concord's moratorium will last until July 28. The ordinance protects tenants against evictions for failure to pay rent and establishes a 90-day repayment window for each month in arrears, beginning with the first day following the lifting of the moratorium. It also protects tenants against having their utilities shut off by their landlord for failure to pay rent and/or utilities. Landlords may not charge late fees, or raise the rent in most cases. Tenants must notify landlords seven days before rent is due.


Marin County:

Marin County's moratorium will last until June 30, and prevents residential evictions due to loss of income because of the pandemic. Renters must provide their landlord notice and documentation of hardship up to 30 days after rent is due. Renters will have 90 days to pay their back rent after the moratorium expires.


Napa County does not have its own eviction moratorium.


San Francisco:

Started on March 23, San Francisco's moratorium will last until August 30, but prohibits anyone from being evicted for missing rent during the pandemic, including evictions already in process. The order also prohibits late fees, interest, and other charges from being assessed.

Under this moratorium, landlords may not "attempt to recover possession of a residential unit unless due to violence, threats of violence, or health and safety issues." Tenants must notify landlords of their hardship within 30 days of the rent being due -- and they must notify their landlord each time they miss a payment. Tenants are still responsible for paying the rent; right now, the city of San Francisco says renters have until December 30, 2020 to pay their owed rent. Rent in city-regulated units cannot be raised before July 30; rent in rent-controlled units cannot be raised before June 23.


San Mateo (county):

Started on March 24, San Mateo County's moratorium will last until June 30. Landlords must serve tenants notice and include a copy of the moratorium. Tenants then have 14 days to provide documentation of coronavirus-related hardship. Tenants must pay as much of the due rent that they are able. Tenants have 180 days at the end of the moratorium to pay their back rent, but may request an extension. Evictions for other reasons are allowed, but landlords cannot evict tenants solely for having been diagnosed with coronavirus.


Santa Clara (county):

Santa Clara County's moratorium will last until July 28. Landlords may not evict tenants who have demonstrable hardship, such as loss of income or medical expenses, stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. Tenants have up to 6 months after the moratorium expires to repay at least 50% of the past-due rent, and up to 12 months to repay in full the past-due rent.

Palo Alto:

Started on March 23, Palo Alto's moratorium will last until the city's state of emergency is lifted. Landlords may not evict tenants during this time. After the state of emergency is lifted, renters have 120 days to pay back their full back rent. Residents must notify their landlords of hardship.

Mountain View:

Mountain View's moratorium will last until August 31. Renters must give their landlords notice within 7 days after rent is due, and must provide documentation verifying hardship within 14 days. Renters will have 180 after the moratorium ends to pay their back rent.

San Jose:

San Jose's moratorium will last until June 30. It prohibits evictions for nonpayment due to coronavirus-related issues; other just cause evictions are allowed (including evictions for delinquent rent already owed). Tenants must notify their landlords of loss of income affecting their ability to pay rent and provide documentation. Affected tenants who accrue unpaid rent during the eviction moratorium have until December 31, 2020, to pay back at least 50% of the unpaid rent, and until June 30, 2021, to pay back the remainder of their unpaid rent. Landlord may not assess late fees, interest, or other penalties.


Solano County

Solano County's moratorium applies to both late rent payment fees and evictions for renters, and stays in effect until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted. Renters must still pay their rent, but their landlords must negotiate a reasonable repayment plan, giving renters 12 months to pay any overdue rent. Renters must provide documentation to their landlords if requested to prove a "substantial reduction in household income" because of the pandemic. Renters may also break their lease without penalty with 30 days' notice, providing that their lease does not specifically disallow it, and if the renter is breaking the lease because of pandemic-related hardship.


Sonoma County:

Sonoma's moratorium will end 60 days after the state of emergency is lifted. The moratorium prohibits evictions due to non-payment of rent when a renter experiences demonstrable hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic. Rent is not forgiven for tenants, but landlords must work with tenants on a rent repayment program that will allow tenants to stay housed during this emergency.

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