Can You Evict a Tenant in California During COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected one and all. Many people have lost their jobs, while others are reluctantly taking pay cuts to preserve their jobs. The unprecedented crisis has severely impacted people’s ability to pay rent and their daily lives.


California Eviction Moratorium


To protect the rights of tenants with financial hardship, California has made its eviction restrictions even more stringent. The State of California has banned almost all evictions from moving forward. Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that places certain restrictions on evictions.


Here are highlights of the order:


    • Tenants will have 60 days after being served with an unlawful detainer complaint subject to these conditions:
    • They have been duly paying their rent before the crisis.
    • The tenant notified the landlord that they need to delay full or part of the payment due to their inability to pay before the rent became due or seven days after the due date.
    • The tenant provided all necessary documents that support their claim to the landlord.
    • If the eviction is due to nonpayment of rent and the tenant provided necessary documents to the landlord, the Sheriff cannot execute on a Writ of Possession. The notice does not prohibit the Sheriff from executing on a Writ of Possession if the eviction was due to any other reason or the tenant failed to fulfill the notice requirement.
    • The order does not prohibit landlords from initiating an unlawful detainer action against their renters.
    • Evictions based on any other reasons can move forward.


Temporary Emergency Rule


On April 6, 2020, the State of California adopted a Temporary Emergency Rule that halts almost all evictions during the emergency period and 90 days after the emergency ends. The new rule bars courts from issuing summons on complaints. Courts are also prohibited from entering default judgments against tenants.


Trials in pending cases must be delayed for at least 60 days. An eviction case can now proceed only if a danger to public health and safety is deemed minimally acceptable.


Protection Offered to Tenants in Sonoma County


A moratorium has been placed on all no-fault evictions (residential tenants). Tenants must demonstrate an inability to pay rent during the emergency by providing necessary documents. They are required to pay back rent within 60 days from the conclusion of the emergency. The moratorium can be used as an effective defense against eviction.


Your search for a reliable landlord tenant attorney in Santa Rosa ends at The Law Office of Stephen M. Beckwith. Over the years, Stephen Beckwith has helped many clients successfully navigate the complex legal landscape. Known for his honesty and integrity, Stephen is an expert at crafting legal solutions. To consult with him, call us at (707) 526-5454.