Emergency COVID-19 measures rushed into place by Federal, state and local governments created a confusing patchwork of tenant protections. Now over two years into the Pandemic, many of these protections have expired. The main Federal eviction moratorium ended on 7/31/21, and California's eviction moratorium ended for most tenants on 3/31/22. Still, some tenant protections -- mostly local -- remain in place.
On 9/4/20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rolled out several nationwide residential eviction bans. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the CDC lacked the authority to issue these types of orders. Government-backed mortgage buyers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (FHFA) also temporarily stopped some multifamily evictions. The mortgage-based eviction moratorium ended on September 30, 2021. Currently, no Federal eviction-restrictions remain.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau maintains a helpful webpage of resources for tenants.
The State of California also enacted tenant protections. In September 2020 the California Legislature hastily passed the California COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (CA Relief Act) to stop landlords from evicting qualified residential tenants, and on 1/28/21 enacted Senate Bill No. 91 COVID-19 Relief: Tenancy and Federal Rental Assistance (SB 91), which beefed up tenant protections and added rental assistance. Effective 6/30/21 AB 832 (the "Rental Housing Recovery Act") provided money to reimburse landlords 100% of unpaid rent incurred by qualifying tenants.
Protections vary depending on when the past-due rent was due:
Although the statewide eviction moratorium no longer protects most tenants, local emergency ordinances still may.
Early in the pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom first allowed individual cities and counties to protect residential and commercial tenants suffering COVID-19 related financial hardships (3/16/20 Executive Order N-28-20) and then to extend those protections if they choose to do so. (6/30/20 Executive Order N-71-20 and 3/4/21 Executive Order N-03-21). Over 150 local entities quickly enacted ordinances banning either residential or commercial evictions, or both. Intended as short-term "stop-gap" measures, all of these local ordinance were created prior to the statewide protections, and most of them expired on 9/30/20 along with Executive Order N-71-20. Still, although the statewide moratorium was meant to replace the remaining local ordinances, roughly 40 local ordinances are still in effect:
Check the chart below to see whether your city or county enacted an emergency ordinance, if so whether it's still in effect, and what type of tenants it protects.
Landlord-tenant law has become incredibly complex. If you've been served with legal documents, you must take action to avoid being evicted-in some cases as quickly as three days! Contact an attorney or a tenants' rights organization as soon as possible.
CAUTION! This article and the ordinance chart below were last updated on 5/19/22, but this area of law is rapidly evolving. These local moratoriums change frequently, and many are contingent on states of emergency or related short-term authorizations .The material here can give you a broad idea of tenant protections - and protections apparently still in effect are listed in bold - but check your county and city government web pages and the actual ordinances/laws for the most recent information.