COVID-19 Resources for Tenants
If you are a tenant feeling the impacts of COVID-19, the California Apartment Association is here to help. To ensure you are protected in the weeks and months ahead, we recommend taking the steps set forth below.
1. Tell your landlord if you are concerned about your ability to pay rent
It is very important to communicate with your landlord if you expect that you may have difficulty paying rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sooner you talk to your landlord about your inability to pay, the better. Some cities and counties require you to take specific actions to qualify for locally enacted tenant protections. These requirements may include a requirement that you provide notice of your inability to pay before the rent is due and/or to provide documentation demonstrating that your inability to pay is related to the pandemic. For more information on those local requirements, see step number 3 below or check with your local housing department.
2. Gather and retain documentation showing the COVID-19 impact on your ability to pay rent
In order to ensure that you obtain the full benefits of tenant protection orders, you should gather and retain documentation showing how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your ability to pay rent. Many local tenant protection measures also require you to provide this documentation to your landlord in order to gain the benefits of those measures. For more information on those local requirements, see step number 3 below or check with your local housing department.
3. Understand your protections under local ordinances
Many local governments throughout California have adopted temporary prohibitions on evictions of residents who have been affected by the government response to the pandemic. These measures don’t forgive the rent you owe, but they may give you extra time to repay the rent you owe without being evicted. Click the link below to see a list of cities and counties that have adopted these measures along with links to the relevant local website or ordinance. If you don’t see the city where you live listed, try checking for the county your city is located in – some counties, like Santa Clara and Los Angeles, have adopted ordinances that apply countywide, while other counties have ordinances that only apply in unincorporated (outside of city-limits) areas.
4. Take advantage of national assistance
Both the state and federal government have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with various forms of assistance, including expanded unemployment benefits and a website for displaced workers to find jobs in California. Private organizations have also implemented nationwide programs to provide support to workers in various industries. Many of these programs are listed below.
Direct Payments to Individuals: Under the CARES Act, the IRS will be sending one-time payments to taxpayers. Most adults will receive $1,200, although the actual amount depends on income and family size…(Read More)
One-stop shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations, and individuals impacted by the pandemic. Click here to access the guide.- NEW!
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund provides temporary cash gifts to restaurant workers, delivery drivers, or other tipped workers who are seeing their income decline during the pandemic or who aren’t able to work because of quarantines or other health concerns.
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United Restaurant Worker Relief Fund for financial assistance from the fund and from other national state and local programs.
Also see the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program from the USBG Foundation.
COVId19funding.org provides a compilation of financial relief opportunities for individuals impacted by COVID-19.
GoFundMe- Emergency Rent Assistance provides a compilation of charities and programs that can provide rent assistance.
Salvation Army serving people who have been impacted by COVID-19 all around the country click here to see what services are available in your area.
5. Take advantage of statewide assistance
Several statewide resources are also available to help residents through this challenging time. Those resources include a variety of support services from the state’s Employment Development Department to people who have lost their jobs, had their hours reduced, or had their businesses affected due to the impacts of COVID-19.
- Job Opportunities: The Governor joined Bitwise Industries and the Kapor Center to launch OnwardCa.org, a platform connecting displaced workers in the state with job opportunities in critical industries. Also see covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps/ for jobs for health professionals.
- EDD Programs: Information for the resources listed below can be found at labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019 and the Employment Development Department’s (EDD) COVID-19 Resource Page
- Disability Insurance: An individual unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness related to COVID-19 may qualify for disability insurance.
- Paid Family Leave: An individual unable to work because the person is caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 may qualify for paid family leave. Both the federal and state government have expanded access to paid sick leave for many employees.
- Unemployment Insurance: An individual who has lost a job or had hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19 may qualify for unemployment insurance.
- Paid Sick leave: If an individual or an individual’s family member is sick or undergoing preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine may be eligible for paid sick leave.
- Workers’ Compensation: An individual unable to perform usual job duties after contracting COVID-19 at work may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
6. Look for local assistance
Local governments and nonprofit organizations have provided resources to assist residents with a variety of needs, including food, housing, rent payment support, and medical assistance. Non-exhaustive lists of local resources are found below. Contact your local housing department for additional resources.