Shelter in place orders

On March 19, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, which directed all California residents to heed the order of the state public health officer.  The order of the state public health officer, also issued March 19, 2020, orders all residents to stay at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations for operations of federal critical infrastructure sectors, as defined by the federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

CISA has identified the Commercial Facilities Sector as one of 16 critical infrastructure sectors. The Commercial Facilities Sector includes real estate (e.g., office and apartment buildings, condominiums, mixed-use facilities, self-storage). As professionals in the real estate industry, providers of rental housing are permitted to continue operating to the extent necessary to maintain continuity of operations. Additional information regarding the order of the state public health officer can be found here.


Several public health officials have issued “shelter in place” orders and recommendations, specifically in the following areas
(the relevant order/recommendation is linked to each area):

This list is intended for informational purposes and is updated as frequently as possible. CAA expects that many City and County tenant protection ordinances and orders will be extended or updated prior to the end of May. Be sure to check with your local City and County for the latest information. 

Generally speaking, these orders require individuals living within these areas to stay in their homes and mandate that most businesses cease all activities, subject to certain limitations. The orders allow “essential businesses” to continue operating, and allow people to leave their residences only for “essential activities,” which includes engaging in tasks essential to their health and safety, purchasing groceries, and engaging in outdoor activity like walking, hiking, or running, subject to social distancing rules. “Essential activities” also include performing work providing “essential products and services at an essential business.”

It appears that engaging in limited functions necessary to operate rental housing are considered essential business functions and essential activities under these orders.  Moreover, businesses – including rental housing providers – remain free to take measures necessary to maintain “Minimum Basic Operations” so long as they follow social distancing requirements.

Several cities and counties have revised their shelter-in-place orders to require essential businesses that continue to operate to prepare, post, and implement a Social Distancing Protocol at each of their facilities. A link to the Social Distancing Protocols prepared by each city and/or county health department that has mandated this requirement in provided under the name of the city or county above. One of the requirements of these Social Distancing Protocols is to post a sign at each entrance to the facility. CAA has created a sign that can be used to comply with this requirement.

These local shelter in place orders may be enforced by local sheriffs or police departments and violation could be a crime. Fact-specific questions regarding the orders should be discussed with your attorney.

Below, CAA has also developed recommendations including signage, payment and security deposits, walk through processes, move-in recommendations and much more…

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