Thousands of renters across the U.S. who have been unable to pay their rent because of financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic are now facing eviction following the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium Sunday. But for Californians, protection from eviction is still in place — for now.
For now, there is “no need to panic,” said Shanti Singh, communications and legislative director for Tenants Together, which advocates for renters’ rights statewide.
Renters are eligible for protection from eviction for nonpayment depending on the time period during which they were unable to pay their rent and whether they were able to fulfill the qualifications for the declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress form.
f you were unable to pay your rent between Sept. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021:
- Your landlord must provide a “pay or quit” notice to you with proper documentation.
- If within 15 days of receiving that notice you return to your landlord your declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress form, and are considered to be eligible under the guidance of the state, you cannot be evicted.
- Your landlord must provide this form to you in the language your rental agreement is signed in.
- You must return the form within 15 days.
- Your landlord may ask for supporting documentation to your form if your annual income is more than 130% of the median household income in your county and is more than $100,000. Documentation can include a tax return, pay stubs or a statement from your employer.
- If you can’t file the form with your landlord within the 15 days, you can file with the court as long as you have a “good reason” for not submitting it sooner. “Good reasons” include mistakes, inadvertence and surprise, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure.
- You must pay at least 25% of your rent between Sept. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, by Sept. 30 of this year.
- This can be paid either monthly or in a lump sum.
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