County of Marin - News Releases - Emergency Tenant Protections

For Immediate Release
March 19, 2020

County to Provide Emergency Tenant Protections

During COVID-19 pandemic, Board to issue moratorium on evictions

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Board of Supervisors plans to consider a resolution March 24 that would prevent residents and business owners from being evicted because of a sudden loss of income tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium would last until May 31.

The resolution and accompanying urgency order, authored by the Marin Community Development Agency, would temporarily augment the County’s existing ordinance that limits the reasons why a landlord can end a residential tenancy. The goal is to provide temporary protection to renters and commercial lease holders whose residency and businesses may be jeopardized by the loss of income related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other jurisdictions have adopted or are considering similar resolutions.

On March 18, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to implement an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.

The action comes after a statewide emergency was issued by Governor Newsom on March 4 and Marin County Public Health’s March 16 shelter-in-place order. The draft resolution states that if a residential tenant or commercial small business lease holder has not made a timely rent payment that was due on or after March 18, the landlord cannot evict if the tenant provides notice within 30 days after the rent was due that they are unable to pay because of financial impacts related to COVID-19.

Financial impacts include having a substantial loss of household income because of a business closure, a loss of work hours or wages, layoffs, or extraordinary out-of-the pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19. Also under the new resolution, a landlord may seek payment of unpaid rent after the expiration of the local emergency.

COVID-19 is causing, and is expected to continue to cause, serious negative impacts on the Marin economy and to residents. Additionally, with Marin’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing, residents are at high risk for homelessness, and in turn, less equipped to mitigate the risks associated with the virus.

As the County responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, public input at Board meetings for all agendized items is encouraged via emailed comments submitted to the Clerk of the Board. Comments received by 3:30 p.m. the day before the scheduled meeting will be shared with the Board members and will be placed into the record. Board meetings are live-streamed during the meeting on the County website and archived in the same location the next day.

To maintain compliance with Public Health Officer social distancing orders, members of large advocacy groups who wish to comment on an agenda item should consider commenting in writing or sending one spokesperson to speak on behalf of the group.


Leelee Thomas
Deputy Director, Housing and Federal Grants Division
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6697
Email: Leelee Thomas
Affordable Housing webpage