Moratorium Related to Covid – 19 Eviction Guidelines

Table of Contents

Eviction

INFORMATION ON COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL EVICTIONS

 

CALIFORNIA EXTENDS MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS UNTIL JULY 28TH

Are you currently a commercial tenant? Governor Newsom has issued an Executive Order implementing a statewide moratorium on evictions through July 28th. If you are currently renting and unable to pay rent due to financial hardship and the impact of COVID-19, we encourage you to inform your landlord by completing a Notice of Coronavirus-Related Inability to Pay Rent in order to preserve your rights as a tenant. For more information on Covid-19 moratorium related eviction guidelines in Ventura and Santa Barbara County please visit this website.

 

Attorney General Standard Form for communications with landlords

Update 5/3/2020

Attorney General issues a standard form for tenants to use in commuinications with landlords. Click here for PDF of form

Update 5/1/2020

Update April 1st: On March 27th, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-37-20 implementing a statewide eviction moratorium on evictions through May 31st. This order replaced previous guidance in Executive Order N-28-20.

Duration

  • Duration: The order extends the time residents have to respond to an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent detailed in Code of Civil Procedure section 1167 to 60 days. Resident must have kept current on rent payments prior to March 27th and has done the following:
    • Notification: Notify the landlord in writing before the rent is due or within a 7-day timeframe requesting a deferral of some or all of the rent due to a COVID-19 related impact.
      • COVID-19 Related Financial Impact: 1) an inability to work due to being sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or caring for a household or family member with a suspected or confirmed case, 2) being laid off, losing hours, or experiencing reduced income resulting from COVID-19, the state of emergency, or related government response, 3) missing work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19.
    • Supporting Documentation: The resident must show documentation, such as termination notices, payroll checks, pay stubs, bank statements, medical bills, or signed letters or statements from an employer or supervisor, supporting the resident’s assertion of an inability to pay. This documentation must be provided to the housing provider no later than the time payment of back rent is due.
  • No writ may be enforced while this order is in effect to evict a resident for nonpayment who satisfies the above requirements.

Renters are still responsible for rent during the moratorium period.

Ventura County

City Name Website Phone Number Specific Contact Duration Applicability Notification Required Deferred Rent Recovery Additional Information

Unincorporated areas of Ventura County

http://www.ventura.org (805) 654-5000 covid compliance hotline at 805-202-1805 or email covidcompliance@ventura.org March 31, 2020 – 5/31/2020, but modified to align with any State Declaration or extension. Residential and Commercial Owners/Owner’s representative are prohibited from evicting or attempting to evict or continuing with the eviction of a renter for non-payment of rent if the renter provides notification and documentation substantiating that the non-payment of rent is related to one or more of the substantial financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Renter must provide a written Notice of Documented Hardship to the owner that: (1)reasonably identifies the renter, the residential/commercial real property, and the due date of the rent payment and (2) includes documentation reasonably supporting the renter’s substantial loss of income or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses, within 30 days after the due date of the rent for which no payment or partial payment is or will be made. The Ordinance remains silent as to the repayment period. Renters are encouraged to notify their owners of their inability to pay the full amount on or before the date the rent is due. Renters are also encouraged to make partial payments of rent to the extent reasonably possible. Penalties.  Any person or entity that violates the Ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor/infraction, which is enforceable pursuant to sections 13 through 13-4 of the Ventura County Ordinance Code.

Thousand Oaks

http://www.toaks.org (805) 449-2100 Haider Alawami, Economic Development Manager 805-449-2135 halawami@toaks.org Residential and Commercial The Order applies to evictions and unlawful detainer actions served or filed on or after March 12, 2020. Evictions based on non-payment of rent, or a foreclosure, arising out of a substantial financial impact related to COVID-19 are prohibited. Residential and Commercial The Order applies to evictions and unlawful detainer actions served or filed on or after March 12, 2020. Evictions based on non-payment of rent, or a foreclosure, arising out of a substantial financial impact related to COVID-19 are prohibited. Renter must notify or make reasonable efforts to notify the owner/owner’s representative in writing, within 30 days after the date the rent is due, of lost income and inability to pay full rent due to substantial financial impacts related to COVID-19 along with supporting Renters must repay the unpaid rent within six (6) months of the termination of the COVID-19 local emergency or as directed by a court of competent jurisdiction. Penalties The order shall be enforceable as set forth in the Government Code Section 8665 and Section 4-4.09 of the Thousand Oaks Municipal Code. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to diminish or supersede the provisions of the Penal Code Section 396 and the penalties contained therein.

Ventura

http://www.cityofventura.ca.gov (805) 654-7800 Code Enforcement 805-658-4711 3/30/2020 until six (6) months after the termination of the local emergency Residential and Commercial The Ordinance applies to non-payment eviction notices, no-fault eviction notices, and unlawful detainer actions based on such notices, served or filed on or after March 15, 2020 until the date the local emergency terminates. Endeavors to evict based the following are prohibited. Evictions based on Non-payment of Rent if the renter demonstrates that the renter is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID19. “No-Fault” Evictions Evictions based on “no-fault,” unless necessary for the health and safety of renters, neighbors, or the owner. Renter must notify the owner in writing, within seven (7) days after the date rent is due, of lost income and inability to pay full rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19. Renters must also provide documentation to support the claim within 30 days after the date rent is due. Renter must repay the unpaid rent within six (6) months of the expiration of the local emergency. Renter should also pay partial rent to the extent that they are able. The Ordinance provides examples of what constitutes as supporting documentation.

Simi Valley

http://www.simivalley.org (805) 583-6700 Mara Malch – (Code Enforcement)
(805)583-6758
MMalch@simivalley.org
3/18/2020 – 5/31/2020, unless superseded by a duly enacted ordinance or resolution or further order. Residential and Commercial Evictions based on non-payment of rent if the renter demonstrates that the renter is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 are prohibited. Renter must notify or make reasonable efforts to notify the owner/owner’s representative in writing, within 30 days after the date that rent is due, of lost income and inability to pay full rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 along with supporting documentation. The Order does not relieve the renter’s obligation to pay the unpaid rent. The Order does not specify the time period in which the renter is required to pay the past due rent. Pursuant to the Simi Valley Municipal Code, violations of the Order shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not to exceed Five Hundred and no/100ths ($500.00) Dollars, or by imprisonment for not to exceed six (6) months, or both.

Santa Paula

http://www.ci.santa-paula.ca.us (805) 525-4478 Michael Leach, Chief Building Offical mleach@spcity.org 805-933-4218×252 James Mason, Community Economic Development Director jmason@spcity.org 805-933-4214 x251 3/18/2020 – 5/31/2020, unless superseded by another Ordinance adopted by Council. Residential, Commercial, and Non-Residential Residential and Commercial Evictions based on non-payment of rent if the renter is able to show an inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic are prohibited. Renter must notify the owner/owner’s representative in writing, within 30 days after the date that rent is due, of lost income and inability to pay full due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 rent along with supporting documentation. The Order does not relieve the renter’s obligation to pay the unpaid rent. The Order requires that rent be paid within six months after the expiration of the local emergency. Penalties.  Any person who violates any provision of this ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor unless, in the discretion of the prosecuting attorney, the violation is charged as an infraction or made subject to administrative citation and penalties pursuant to Section 111 of the Santa Paula Municipal Code.  Any misdemeanor violation shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months, or by both such a fine and imprisonment.

Port Hueneme

http://www.ci.port-hueneme.ca.us (805) 986-6500 City of Port Hueneme Community Development Dept., Yvonne Gonzales, 805-986-6553, ygonzales@ci.port-hueneme.ca.us. NA N/A N/A N/A N/A

Oxnard

http://www.oxnard.org (805) 385-8280 Rosie Ornelas Economic Development Manager (805) 616-6862 Rosie.ornelas@oxnard.org Jeffrey Lambert, Community Developmetn Director 805-385-7882 3/19/2020 – 5/31/2020, unless superseded by a duly enacted ordinance or resolution of the City Council or a further order. Residential and Commercial Evictions based on non-payment of rent if the renter demonstrates an inability to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 are prohibited. Renter must notify or make reasonable efforts to notify the owner/owner’s representative in writing, within 30 days after the date that rent is due, of lost income and inability to pay full rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 along with supporting documentation. The Order does not relieve the renter’s obligation to pay the unpaid rent. The Order does not specify the time period in which the renter is required to pay the past due rent. Penalties: Violations are punishable as set forth in City Code section 6-9.

Ojai

http://www.ojaicity.org (805) 646-5581 Code Enforcement 805-646-5581 ext. 117 Joe Fiss, Assistant City Manger fiss@ojaicity.org 805-646-5581 ext 1010 3/17/2020 through expiration of local emergency. Residential Evictions based on non-payment of rent if the renter is able to show an inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic are prohibited. Renter must notify or make reasonable efforts to notify the owner/owner’s representative in writing, within 30 days after the date that rent is due, of lost income and inability to pay full rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 along with supporting documentation. Renters will have up to six (6) months following the expiration of the local emergency to pay the unpaid rent. Penalties.  Violation of this Resolution shall be punishable as set forth in section 1.08.040 of the Municipal Code
icipal Code.

Moorpark

http://www.moorparkca.gov (805) 517-6200 Code Compliance 805-517-6232 mdouglass@moorparkca.gov 3/19/2020- 5/31/2020 or through expiration of local emergency, whichever date is sooner. Residential and Commercial The Order applies to evictions and unlawful detainer actions served or filed on or after March 13, 2020. Evictions based on non-payment of rent, or a foreclosure, arising out of a substantial decrease in household or business income or substantial out-ofpocket medical expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or related government response, are prohibited. Renter must notify the owner/owner’s representative in writing, within 30 days after the date that rent is due, of lost income and inability to pay full rent due to the circumstances set forth in the Order along with supporting documentation. Renter must repay the unpaid rent within six (6) months of the expiration of the local emergency. If the outstanding rent has not been paid after six (6) months following the end of the local emergency, the owner may charge or collect a late fee for the delayed rent payments and/or seek rent that is delayed through the eviction or other appropriate legal action.

Fillmore

http://www.fillmoreca.com (805) 524-3701 Dave Rowlands, City Manager 805-524-3701 3/24/2020 – 5/31/2020, unless extended. Residential The Resolution applies to non-payment eviction notices, no-fault eviction notices, and unlawful detainer actions based on such notices served or filed on or after March 13, 2020. Evictions based on Non-payment of Rent Evictions based on non-payment of rent if the renter demonstrates that the renter is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 are prohibited. “No-Fault” Evictions Evictions based on “no-fault,” unless necessary for the health and safety of renters, neighbors, or the owner are prohibited. Renter must notify the owner/owner’s representative in writing, within 30 days after the date that rent is due, of lost income and inability to pay full rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 along with supporting documentation. Renters must repay the unpaid rent within six (6) months of the expiration of the local emergency. Penalties:  Violation of this Resolution shall be punishable as set forth in section 1.08.040 of the Fillmore Municipal Code.

Camarillo

http://www.ci.camarillo.ca.us (805) 388-5300 Georg Winkler, Economic Development Coordinator gwinkler@cityofcamarillo.org 805-388-5369 3/18/2020 – 5/31/2020, unless superseded by another Ordinance adopted by Council. Residential, No Fault and Commercial: No evictions due to financial loss from COVID until emergency declared over by City Council. The Order applies to non-payment evictions, no-fault eviction notices, and unlawful detainer actions based on such notices served or filed on or after March 13, 2020. Evictions based on Non-payment of Rent Evictions based on non-payment of rent if the renter demonstrates that the renter is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 are prohibited. “No-Fault” Evictions Evictions based on “no-fault” reasons are prohibited.  Renter must notify the owner/owner’s representative in writing, within 30 days after the date that rent is due, of lost income and inability to pay full due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 rent along with supporting documentation. The Order does not relieve the renter’s obligation to pay the unpaid rent. The Order requires that the renter Must pay back landlord 120 days after disaster is declared over by the City Council. Penalties.  This order shall be punishable as set forth in the Camarillo Municipal Code

Santa Barbara County

Extended to track with State Disaster Declaration. On March 24, 2020, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors adopted an urgency ordinance, amending Chapter 44 of the Santa Barbara County Code, to suspend evictions arising from loss of income or substantial medical expenses related to COVID-19 until May 31, 2020 (the “Urgency Ordinance”).  The Urgency Ordinance, underlying 3/16/20 Governor Gavin Newsom Executive Order, and summarizing Staff Report can be found on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors’ March 24, 2020 Departmental Agenda .

Frequently Asked Questions

1.   I cannot pay my rent, can the Urgency Ordinance help?

If you paid rent to your landlord previously but cannot pay your current rent due to a loss of income attributable to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disaster, you may be able to remain in your current housing and defer rent payments until May 31, 2020.

2.   How does a tenant get protection under the Urgency Ordinance?

The Urgency Ordinance allows you to delay paying all or part of your rent by sending a written notice to your landlord within 7 days after your rent is due. For example, if your rent is due on April 1, 2020, you would need to send the notice on or before April 8, 2020.

3.   What does the written notice need to include?

The written notice must demonstrate inability to pay the full amount of rent due to reasons related to COVID-19, including by not limited to the following:

  • 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;
  • Tenant experienced a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19, the state of emergency, or related government response;
  • Tenant needed to miss work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19; or
  • Substantial out of pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19.

4.   What kind of documentation does a tenant need to include with their written notice?

Your written notice needs to include documentation or objectively verify a substantial decrease in income, such as medical records and bills, layoff or termination notices, income or revenue records, child care expenses, or other documents that show a substantial household income decrease as a result of COVID-19.

5.   What can a tenant do if a landlord tries to evict them?

The Urgency Ordinance creates an “affirmative defense” to eviction for nonpayment of rent. If a landlord files an action against a tenant for nonpayment of rent, the tenant can defend themselves in court by evoking the Urgency Ordinance and demonstrating they sent written notice and supporting documentation to the owner within 7 days after rent was due.  In court, the tenant will need to produce the documentation of substantial decrease in income related to COVID-19 that was contained in the written notice to landlord.

6.   How long will the Urgency Ordinance be in effect?

The Urgency Ordinance’s rent deferral and eviction protection expires on May 31, 2020.

7.   How long does a tenant have to pay back the rent that is deferred under the Urgency Ordinance?

The Urgency Ordinance does not specify a payback period at the present time. Owners and tenants are encouraged to work together to develop mutually acceptable repayment schedules.

City Name Website Phone Number Specific Contact Duration Applicability Notification Required Deferred Rent Recovery Additional Information Link

Unicorporated County of Santa Barbara

Through May 31, 2020, or until the Santa Barbara County local health ermgency proclimation is terminated, whichever is earlier Applies for commercial real property and residential real property. A tenant must provide written notice to the owner and demonstrate through documentation or other object verifiable means. Payment of Deferred Rent: Residents are still responsible for deferred rent but no timeline for payment is outlined. An Owner’s failure to comply with this ordinance does not constitue a criminal office but will subject an owner to civil fines and penalties as set forth in this code. https://santabarbara.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=8208305&GUID=9596F0DF-F167-4496-9221-C58DCFE5BCFD

Guadalupe

http://www.ci.guadalupe.ca.us (805) 356-3891 April 14th until June 30th, 2020, or until the City of Guadalupe’s Declaration of the Existence of a Local Emergency proclaimination is terminated Applies for commercial real property and residential real property. A tenant must provide written notice to the owner and demonstrate through documentation or other object verifiable means. A tenant has three months after June 30, 2020,  or until the City of Guadalupe’s Declaration of the Existence of a Local Emergency proclaimination is terminated, whichever is earlier, to pay the unpaid rent in full. If rent is unpaid by the deferred date, then the landlord may commence evicition procedures if ottherwise allowed by applicable laws. An owner’s failure to comply with this ordinance shall render any notice of termination of tenancy void. http://ci.guadalupe.ca.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/CC-Agenda-4-14-2020-Part-2-of-2.pdf

Solvang

http://www.cityofsolvang.com (805) 688-5575 March 30, 2020 and would expire on May 31, 2020, unless enacted by future Council action. The proposed moratorium ordinance would apply to residential and commercial tenancies, but with different financial hardship standards. For residential tenancies, the ordinance requires tenants to notify their landlord of a “Significant Negative Change to Their Household Financial Condition” in order to invoke eviction protections. For commercial tenancies, the ordinance requires tenants to notify their landlord of “Unforeseeable Emergency Commercial Conditions” by showing a substantial decrease in business income. Notify the property owner or the owner’s agent in writing Santa Barbara also used a 6-month payback period following the emergency for tenants who invoke the protections of the moratorium if an owner receives what they believe to be a fraudulent notice, they could pursue an unlawful detainer action. The tenant would have an affirmative defense, and the court action would determine the facts. https://cityofsolvang.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_03302020-510

Santa Maria

http://www.cityofsantamaria.org (805) 925-0951 March 16th until rescinded by the Director of Emergency Services. Residential: No landlord shall endeavor to evict a tenant in either 1) non-payment of rent if the tenant demonstrates that the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 or 2) for a no-fault eviction unless necessary for the health and safety of tenants, neighbors, or the landlord. Commercial properties: no landlord shall endeavor to evict a commercial tenant for non-payment of rent if a commercial tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19. A tenant must provide written notificiation for loss of income and inability to pay full rent due to COVID-19, and provide documentation to provide full support. Documentation is required within 30 days after the date which rent is due Landlord may seek after expiration of the local emergency and the tenant must pay within six months of the expiration of the local emergency. A landlord may not charge or collect a late fee that is delay to reasons related to COVID-19. Any failure to comply does not constitute a criminal offense nor give rise to civil penaltities under the Santa Maria Municipal Code. https://www.cityofsantamaria.org/home/showdocument?id=27196

Santa Barbara

http://www.santabarbaraca.gov (805) 963-0611 The Temporary Eviction Moratorium Ordinance (TEMO) went into effect on March 24, 2020, unless the City Council takes action to extend the law. The owner of residential/commercial real property or the owner’s agent (including a tenant with subtenants) shall grant a rent or lease payment deferral to a tenant who has notified the owner or the owner’s agent of a Significant Negative Change to Their Household Financial Condition/ Unforeseeable Emergency Commercial Conditions Tenants must provide written notice of their request for rent deferral within 20 days after the rent is due. The TEMO does not specify a payback period at the present time. The TEMO encourages owners and tenants to work together to develop mutually acceptable repayment schedules. However, the City Council specifically directed reconsideration of the ordinance, including repayment terms, at its meeting on May 12, 2020. The TEMO creates what is called an “affirmative defense” to eviction for nonpayment of rent. If the property owner files an unlawful detainer action against a tenant for nonpayment of rent, the tenant can defend themself in court by demonstrating that they sent the notice and supporting documentation to the owner within 20 days after the rent was due. https://www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/attorney/rental_housing_information.asp

Lompoc

http://www.cityoflompoc.com (805) 736-1261 March 24, 2020 until May 31, 2020 or any later date to which the Governor’s Order is extended. A temporary moratorium on evictions of residential and commercial tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic is imposed as 1) No owner or landlord of any commercial or residential property in the City of Lompoc shall evict or endeavor to evict a tenant for nonpayment or rent, or due to foreclosure. ((not provided)) ((not provided)) ((not provided)) https://www.cityoflompoc.com/home/showdocument?id=28474; https://www.cityoflompoc.com/home/showdocument?id=28450; https://www.cityoflompoc.com/home/showdocument?id=28452

Goleta

http://www.cityofgoleta.org (805) 961-7500 Passed, approved, and adopted this 17th day of March 2020. The local emergency shall be deemed to continue and exist until its termination is proclaimed by the City Council. As required by law, the City Council shall review the need to continue the state of emergency every 60 days until this resolution is terminated. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Goleta Municipal Code and uncodified regulations, during the period of local emergency declared in response to COVID-19, no landlord shall endeavor to evict a residential or commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant demonstrates that the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19. A landlord knows of a tenant’s inability to pay rent within the meaning of this order if the tenant, within 30 days after the date that rent is due, notifies the landlord in writing of lost income and inability to pay full rent due to financial impacts related to COVID- 19, and provides documentation to support the claim. Nothing in this order shall relieve the tenant of liability for the unpaid rent, which the landlord may seek after expiration of the local emergency and the tenant must pay within six months of the expiration of the local emergency. A landlord may not charge or collect a late fee for rent that is delayed for the reasons stated in this ordinance; nor may a landlord seek rent that is delayed, or the reasons stated in this ordinance through the eviction process. Violation of this order shall be punishable asset forth in Chapter1.02 of the Goleta Municipal Code. In addition, this order grants a defense in the event that an unlawful detainer action is commenced in violation of this order. http://astanehelaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Goleta-Coronavirus-COVID19-Eviction-Moratorium.pdf

Carpinteria

http://www.carpinteria.ca.us (805) 684-5405 Ordinance passed and approved on April 13, 2020 is temporary and shall expire no later than May 31, 2020, unless extended by the City Council following a lawful extension of Executive Order N-28-20 or related Executive Order as may be ordered by the Governor of the State of California. The moratorium is applicable to commercial tenants A landlord who knows of a commercial tenant’s inability to pay rent in full within the meaning of this ordinance if the commercial tenant, within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed seven (7) days after the date that rent is due, notifies the landlord in writing of lost income and inability to pay the full rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19, the state of emergency or government response. Landlord may seek after expiration of the local emergency and the commercial tenant must pay within one hundred and eighty (180) days of the expiration of the local emergency or termination of this urgency ordinance (“Repayment Period”). The Ordinance is an urgency ordinance adopted pursuant to a local, state and national state of emergency. This Ordinance grants a defense in the event that an unlawful detainer action is commenced in violation of this Ordinance. Violations of this Ordinance also shall be punishable as a misdemeanor as set forth in Chapter 1.08 of the Carpinteria Municipal Code. https://carpinteria.ca.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/741.pdf

Buellton

http://www.cityofbuellton.com (805) 688-5177 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Other Resources and Law

Rental and Utility Assistance

The California Employment Development Department has released an FAQ on the benefits eligible to workers impacted by COVID-19.

Per the Mercury News, Gov. Newsom has waived the one week waiting period for receiving benefits if an individual’s economic situation is a result of COVID-19.

Price-Gouging Law

Under California Code, § 396, it is unlawful to increase the price of rental housing by more than 10 percent above the determined rent prior to the declaration of emergency. For rental housing that was not rented prior to a declaration of emergency or its rent advertised, rent cannot exceed 160 percent of the fair market value as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The statute also prohibits housing providers from re-renting the property after eviction at a higher rate than would have been allowed under the price gouging statute.

State Judicial Council

State Judicial Council suspends virtually all evictions in California

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Judicial Council of California on Monday placed on hold nearly all evictions in the state.

The council’s vote at an emergency meeting effectively suspended all unlawful detainer actions until 90 days after California’s COVID-19 state of emergency ends.

The vote goes much further than Gov. Gavin Newsom’s eviction moratorium, which he declared through an executive order last month. That order banned the eviction of renters unable to pay the rent because of financial hardships tied to COVID-19. A previous order issued by Newsom expanded the Judicial Council’s emergency authority, making Monday’s sweeping action possible.

Specifically, the rules approved by the council do the following:

  • Suspend the issuance of a summons in an unlawful detainer action, unless the court finds there is a health and safety reason. This means new unlawful detainer cases cannot be filed in most circumstances.
  • Prevent entry of default and/or default judgments in unlawful detainer cases, unless the court finds there is a health and safety reason and the defendant has not appeared.
  • Mandates that unlawful detainer trials be set no earlier than 60 days after a request for trial, again unless there is a health and safety reason. All trials on calendar as of April 1 will be continued at least 60 days.