COVID-19 Renter Protections

Community Development Agency

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COVID-19 Renter Protections 

Updates and Announcements

 State Eviction Protections Extended to June 30, 2021

  • In September 2020, the State of California passed AB 3088 which barred eviction for nonpayment of rent through January 2021 due to COVID-19 financial hardship. On Friday January 29, 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 91, which extends the statewide COVID-19 eviction protections until June 30, 2021. To be protected, tenants should submit a signed declaration of financial hardship (EspañolTiếng Việtрусскийفارسی) to their landlord, and pay at least 25% of total rent due between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 by June 30, 2021. While there are additional eviction protection laws passed at the local and federal level, SB 91 will generally take precedence.
  • By February 28, 2020, landlords are required to send noticing language (additional languages coming soon) about this new law and the availability of rental assistance to all tenants that owe one or more rental payments between March 1, 2020 and February 1, 2021.

 Marin County Rental Assistance Program is Open

  • Check out this new webpage for more information. An online application is now open.

 COVID-19 Rent Freeze

  • On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved an urgency Ordinance enacting a temporary moratorium on rent increases for tenants residing in certain residential units and in census tracts most disproportionately impacted by, or at risk of, COVID-19. This is in place until December 31, 2021. In the unincorporated areas of Marin, this would apply to census tracts 1290 (Marin City) and 1330 (West Marin, including Dillon Beach, Tomales, Marshall, Point Reyes Station, Nicasio and areas of unincorporated Novato). The cities of San Rafael and Novato have passed urgency rent freeze Ordinances in their most disproportionately impacted communities.

Questions?

Additional information is available in the panels below. If you have any outstanding questions about the emergency ban on evictions, contact the Housing and Federal Grants Division staff by email or telephone at (415) 473-7309.

 

State of CA COVID 19 Eviction Protection SB 91

Overview and State Rental Assistance

On January 29, 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 91, which extends the existing statewide eviction protection law for terminations related to nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 financial hardship until June 30, 2021.

For rent due between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, a tenant may not be evicted for nonpayment of rent if they have done the following:

  1. Provide a signed declaration of financial hardship (EspañolTiếng Việtрусскийفارسی) to the landlord indicating that the tenant cannot pay rent due to COVID-19 related financial hardship.
  2. Pay at least 25% of total rent due between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 by June 30, 2021.

If your household income is more than 130% of the median household income in your county and more than $100,000, your landlord may demand proof of your COVID-19 related hardship be provided to support your declaration. There are several things you can use to satisfy this requirement, such as a tax return, pay stubs, and a statement from your employer, among other things.

SB 91 also includes the use of federal funds to pay up to 80% of a households' back rent between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. To qualify for this, the tenant household would need to earn below 80% area median income (AMI). In Marin County, this would equate to the following by household size:

Household Size Annual Income at 80% AMI (updated 04/12/21)
1 $102,450
2 $117,100
3 $131,750
4 $146,350
5 $158,100
6 $169,800
7 $181,500

A landlord who accepts funds to cover 80% of the tenants' back rent would need to forgive the remaining 20%. If a landlord does not accept funds, then the maximum assistance they would qualify for is 25%. The remaining 75% of rent will be considered consumer debt, and can be collected by the landlord through small claims court on or after August 1, 2021. Marin County will be opening an online application for rental assistance. Interested tenants and landlords can visit the Rental Assistance web page for more information. 

Other Things You Need to Know

  • By February 28, 2020, landlords are required to send notification language (additional languages coming soon) about this new law and the availability of rental assistance to all tenants that owe one or more rental payments between March 1, 2020 and February 1, 2021. 
  • Until July 1, 2021, a landlord can only evict a tenant if they provide a legally valid reason. It is illegal for a landlord to give a tenant a 30 or 60 day eviction notice without a stated reason. This is commonly known as a "no-cause" eviction. The stated reason must match one of the valid reasons allowed by the law, a "just cause" eviction.
  • Landlords who do such things as lock tenants out, remove personal property or shut of utility services to evict a tenant, rather than going through the required court process, could faces fines of between $1,000 and $2,500. These penalties are in effect until July 1, 2021.
  • If you believe you have been unlawfully evicted or if you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. See resources below.

Documents and Resources

Local Marin County Eviction Protection

Overview

On January 12, 2020, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved Resolution 2021-03, which bars evictions related to nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 financial hardship from February 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021 and provides a 90-day repayment period at the end of the moratorium. On Friday January 29, 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 91, the statewide eviction protections against evictions for COVID-19 related nonpayment of rent, which will generally take precedence over the local Resolution.

If a landlord is attempting to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent, they must first provide a 15-day notice, which includes this noticing language, a copy of Resolution 2021-03, and a blank declaration of financial hardship form (EspañolTiếng Việtрусскийفارسی). Under this resolution, “COVID-19 financial distress” is defined as:

  • Loss of income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Increased out-of-pocket expenses directly related to performing essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Increased expenses directly related to health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Childcare responsibilities or responsibilities to care for an elderly, disabled, or sick family member directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic that limit my ability to earn income;
  • Increased costs for childcare or attending to an elderly, disabled, or sick family member directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Other circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic that have reduced income or increased expenses.

Documents

COVID 19 Rent Freeze

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved an urgency Ordinance enacting a temporary moratorium on rent increases for tenants residing in certain residential units and in census tracts most disproportionately impacted by, or at risk of, COVID-19. In the unincorporated areas of Marin, this would apply to census tracts 1290 (Marin City) and 1330 (West Marin, including Dillon Beach, Tomales, Marshall, Point Reyes Station, Nicasio and areas of unincorporated Novato), and would be in effect from February 9, 2021 until December 31, 2021.

The City of San Rafael approved an urgency Ordinance in census tracts 1122.01 and 1122.02 (Canal neighborhood). Additionally, the City of Novato approved an urgency Ordinance to be applied to census tracts 1022.03, 1032 and 1042. 

You can use this searchable map to determine if an address is located in one of the identified census tracts.

map of Marin County showing census tracts subject to rent freezes passed by the County, City of San Rafael and City of Novato. This includes census tracts 1122.01, 1122.02, 1022.03, 1032, 1042, 1290 and 1330.

Resources

Community Resources

COVID-19 and Eviction Resources