OAKLAND, Calif. - Many eviction moratoriums across the Bay Area have been extended, some indefinitely, and many others through the end of September.
But tenant protections will vary depending on where you live.
In all Bay Area counties, renters have strong protections relative to the rest of the country. Certain cities, such as Oakland, where no one can ever be evicted due to nonpayment of rent during the pandemic, have their own rules, and the strongest protection prevails.
The amount of time tenants will have to pay their rent varies from 90 days in Marin County to one year in Alameda County.
“When the courts open is when we're going to see all of this play out—the difference between living in Alameda County and living in San Mateo or Contra Costa,” said Leah Simon-Weisberg, the legal director for anti-displacement and land use programs at the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. “So, whether you live in Albany or El Cerrito is going to make a huge difference.”
Susana Orozco, an Oakland-rights based services counselor and organizer with Causa Justa Just Cause, a tenant rights organization, said that despite the existence of coronavirus-related eviction protections across the Bay Area, some landlords take advantage of the fact that people are not aware of their rights.
She said she has been hearing from many tenants who call the Causa Justa help hotline for assistance with landlord harassment, including illegal lockouts and intimidation due to nonpayment.
“In places like Oakland, people are definitely protected by this moratorium,” she said. “But landlords don't make that clear to their tenants. And a lot of people are still learning about their rights, are still learning that there's an eviction moratorium.”
Here are the facts about your protections as a residential tenant. Certain counties also provide eviction protections for commercial tenants and small businesses:
Alameda County has an eviction moratorium for renters, homeowners and those living in mobile homes through Sept. 30. If you cannot pay rent, you cannot be evicted for not paying before the end of the moratorium, and will have 12 months to repay back-owed rent.
Contra Costa County has an eviction moratorium for residential tenants and small businesses through Sept. 30. Renters will have until Jan. 31, 2021 to pay past due rent.
Marin County has an eviction moratorium for residential tenants through Sept. 30. Renters have up to 90 days after the expiration of the resolution to repay back rent.
Napa County has an eviction moratorium for residential tenants through September 30, according to the Napa Valley Register. Rents due March 1, April 1 and May 1 are to be paid by Oct. 26, rents due June 1 by Nov. 28, rents due July 1 by Dec. 28, rents due Aug. 1 by Jan. 28 and rents due Sept. 1 by Feb. 28. There are variations for rents not due on the first day of the month, the Register reported.
San Francisco County has an eviction moratorium for residential tenants through Aug. 31, but it may be extended. Tenants have six months, currently until Feb. 28, 2021, to pay the back-owed rent.
San Mateo County has an eviction moratorium for residential tenants through Aug. 31. Tenants will have 90 days to pay back-owed rent, but may be eligible for further 30-day extensions based on their circumstances, up to 180 days.
Santa Clara County has an eviction moratorium for residential tenants and small businesses through Aug. 31. Tenants have six months after the moratorium expires to repay at least half of the past-due rent, and up to 12 months after the moratorium expires to repay the full back-owed rent.
Solano County has an eviction moratorium for both residential and commercial tenants until 60 days after COVID-19 state of emergency expires. Tenants have one year after the state of emergency ends to pay back rent.
Sonoma County has an eviction moratorium for residential tenants until 60 days after COVID-19 state of emergency expires. Tenants have 60 days after the state of emergency ends to pay back rent.