Effective immediately and in time for rents due April 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom today banned the eviction of renters unable to pay the rent because of COVID-19.

The statewide executive order runs through May 31 and prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts.

“Although CAA is still reviewing the details of the new executive order, the association continues to appreciate Gov. Newsom for his continued leadership during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Debra Carlton, CAA’s executive vice president of state public affairs.

The order requires tenants to declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent comes due, that the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19.

The tenant would be required to retain documentation but would not have to submit it to the landlord in advance. The tenant also would remain obligated to repay full rent in “a timely manner” and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium ends.

Earlier this month, Newsom issued an executive order clarifying that local jurisdictions can enforce eviction moratoria. Thus far, dozens of localities have passed such measures, which remain in effect concurrently with Newsom’s order.  

Independent of government mandated moratoria, CAA also encouraged owners of rental housing to show compassion toward renters affected by COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought frightening and uncertain times, leaving many Californians with health challenges and economic difficulties. CAA believes rental housing providers have an obligation to stay informed, to look out for each other and their residents, and work together to weather this storm,” Carlton said. “That is why the California Apartment Association asked rental housing providers last week to support CAA’s Safe at Home Guidelines. Already, property owners are adopting these guidelines to help renters keep a roof over their heads and stay healthy during this pandemic.”