The California Apartment Association on Friday filed a lawsuit challenging San Diego County’s new COVID-19-related eviction moratorium and rent control law.

The ordinance, approved by county supervisors Tuesday, May 4, 2021, was scheduled to take effect Thursday, June 3, however, CAA is seeking a temporary restraining order to halt its implementation. The court took up CAA’s request Thursday morning and is expected to issue a ruling on or before June 10, 2021. Unless the court steps in, the ordinance will apply to both the unincorporated areas of the county and within each of its 18 cities.

CAA contends the county’s imposition of the ordinance is pre-empted by state law and relies on an improper use of emergency powers.

“CAA recognizes the real economic challenges the pandemic has created for renters and rental housing providers. That is why CAA has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure that California provides fair rental relief and eviction protections for those renters affected by COVID-19,” said Joshua Howard, CAA’s executive vice president of local public affairs. “Unfortunately, San Diego County flouted state law and the state Constitution by overriding California’s comprehensive eviction protections and improperly used its emergency powers to enact policies that could harm all San Diego homeowners, renters and housing providers. We are asking the courts to step in and ensure the county follows the law.”