Sacramento passes emergency eviction moratorium in response to COVID-19

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After Sacramento County issued a “stay at home” directive Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council unanimously adopted an emergency ordinance temporarily banning the eviction of tenants unable to pay rent due to a loss of income caused by COVID-19.

The ordinance took effect immediately and will run until the governor’s executive order N-28-20 issued Monday terminates May 31, unless it is extended. The ordinance covers all units in the city of Sacramento, states the tenant’s loss of income must be related to COVID-19 and outlines the following wage-loss reasons:

  • The tenant is sick with COVID-19 or has to care for a member of the household who has the virus.
  • The tenant experienced a layoff, loss of hours, or other income reduction due to COVID-19.
  • The tenant complied with a recommendation from a government agency to stay at home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others.
  • The tenant had to miss work to care for a home-bound school-age child.

Additionally, the ordinance clarifies that a tenant that has suffered a loss in income due to COVID-19 may pay a landlord less than the full amount of rent owed if the tenant:

  • Notifies the landlord in writing before the day rent is due that the tenant has suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19 and will be unable to pay the full amount of rent due.
  • Provides the landlord with verifiable documentation to support the loss of income claim.
  • Pays the remaining portion of rent owed based on the amount of income received.

Tenants afforded eviction protection will have up to 120 days after the expiration of the governor’s executive order N-28-20, including any extensions, to pay their landlord all unpaid rent. During that 120-day period, the protections against eviction apply for such tenants. The ordinance does not prevent a landlord from evicting a tenant who failed to pay rent that was due before the ordinance was adopted or for any other lease violation.

  • Read the city’s FAQ here.
  • View the full ordinance here.

CAA worked with city staff and the City Council to ensure that the industry’s perspective was considered in the crafting of these regulations and encouraged the city to create financial assistance for rental owners.

In response, the city has established a $1 million economic relief fund for small businesses affected by COVID-19. The fund applies to businesses with less than 25 employees and will provide 0% interest loans up to $25,000 per business. Online applications will be available by 5 p.m. March 18 at www.cityofsacramento.org. The city also will answer questions at the following hotline: (916) 808-7196.

To help rental housing providers respond to the coronavirus pandemic, CAA has posted information from the Centers for Disease Control and has created webinars addressing specific challenges facing the rental housing industry. CAA urges rental housing providers to act with compassion in dealing with residents who face coronavirus-related hardships.

For more information regarding COVID-19, visit CAA’s resource page: caanet.org/coronavirus

Tagged: Sacramento Valley