Covid-19 eviction moratoriums have now ended.
Imagine a scenario where the entire population of Fremont, CA is evicted from their homes. That’s one (of many) dire predictions as the pandemic continues and federal COVID-19 rent relief funds languish in confusion and inefficiency. On October 1, 2021, an estimated 240,000 renters will exhaust their COVID-19 emergency eviction protections unless they act fast.
An Affordable Housing Shortage, Slow Rent Relief
The door will open for landlords to enact eviction notices and filings. Renters who have failed to pay minimum rent of at least 25%. Any tenant not completely current with rent may now face eviction.
The burden of financial hardship during COVID-19 disproportionately impacts communities of color, single mothers, seniors and disabled individuals. The lack of affordable housing compounds the threat of displacement for thousands of Californians. What can tenants do now?
Tenants Must Take Action Quickly
Stay in your home until all steps of an eviction process play out. There is most often no requirement to immediately vacate! Apply for COVID-19 rent relief immediately if you have not already done so. In California, this protection is available until March 31, 2022 for those who make less than 80% of their median county income.
Make sure you apply within 15 days, even if you receive an eviction notice after September 30, 2021. You cannot be evicted with a pending application; Applications are available in English, Spanish, Hmong and Punjabi.
Your Landlord Must Follow The Rules:
- They cannot lock you out and dispose of your belongings
- Your landlord must apply for rent relief before than can evict you for unpaid rent. They must also attempt to assist tenants with the rent relief application process.
- Late rent notices will be shortened from 15 days to just 3 days. Landlords must give you proper Notice of Termination, and they must serve that notice in person or by mail.
- If you are being evicted for unpaid rent after September 30, 2021, you are being evicted for fault. You must pay the back rent owed, apply for rent relief, or face eviction. Contact a rental assistance organization or a tenant attorney to confirm your status. An eviction could easily take a long time due to back-ups in the court system, but fast action on your part is still urgent.
- If you have lived in your own unit for less than 1 year, you must be provided a minimum 30-day notice. If you have lived in your unit for more than 1 year, a 60-day notice is required.
- If you move, remember it is illegal for a potential new landlord to discriminate against you on the basis of source of income. If you received COVID-19 rental assistance funds prior to an eviction this cannot be held against you. However, your former landlord my still attempted to recover unpaid rent in court.
You Are Not Alone
If you are a tenant caught in the COVID-19 eviction crisis, or you are facing non-COVID-19 related issues with your landlord, contact a professional tenant attorney.
Know your rights. Protect yourself.