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Posted on: April 6, 2020

Seaside Adopts Evictions Protections For Residential And Commercial Tenants


Eviction Protection Graphic

To assist residential and commercial renters who have been economically impacted by the Coronavirus, the Seaside City Council has adopted tenant protections on evictions in the City of Seaside. The full ordinance can be accessed online. Click Here

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. On March 19th the City Manager issued an Emergency Order which implemented measures to protect the public and contain the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, on March 19th the City Council adopted an urgency ordinance which issued a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent for residential and commercial property tenants who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More specifically, the ordinance provides no-fault eviction protection to renters that notify their landlords, in writing, within 30 days of rent being due, that they have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and can prove they are unable to pay the rent. This protection applies to both commercial and residential tenants and extends the repayment of any back due rent up to 6 months following the expiration of the local emergency. Tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent. 

These actions are designed to prevent unnecessary housing displacement and to prevent housed individuals from falling into homelessness.

To assist tenants to collaborate with their landlords, the City has created a city notification and a form letter to assist with notifying landlords of delays in paying rent during this emergency order period. The letter and notification form can be accessed here.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Not Able to Pay Your Rent During the "Shelter In Place" Emergency Order?

The City of Seaside has tenant protections in place to help prevent displacement of its residents that are renters. To assist tenants collaborate with their landlords, The City is providing a City notification and a letter form to assist in notifying your landlord of delays in paying your rent during this emergency order period. The letter and form can be accessed here.

Summary of the protections in place for residential tenancies

No owner can evict a residential tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant demonstrates they are unable to pay rent due to circumstance related to the COVID-19, such as:

  • Being sick with COVID-19, or caring for a household or family member who is sick with COVID-19;
  • Lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from business closure or other economic or employer impacts of COVID-19 including for tenants who are salaried employees or self-employed;
  • Compliance with a recommendation from a government health authority to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency;
  • Extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses; or
  • Child care needs arising from school closures related to COVID-19.

Tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent.

However, during the emergency period, tenants may not be evicted for failure to pay rent due to the financial impacts related to COVID-19. Tenants will have up to 6 months following the expiration of the local emergency to repay any back rent due.

No property owner shall exercise a No-fault Eviction during the Local Emergency Period. No-Fault evictions means those not based on an alleged fault of the tenant.

Tenants: Within 30 days after the date that  the rent is due, you must notify your landlord, in writing, of lost income and inability to pay full rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 and provide documentation to support the claim.

Landlords may not charge interest or late fees on unpaid rent due to COVID-19.

Who do the Eviction Protections apply to?

The Eviction Protections apply to all residential and commercial rentals in the City of Seaside, including apartments, duplexes, condominiums and single-family dwellings. The protection applies to all renters, regardless of immigration status.

Do the Eviction Protections apply to all evictions?

The current Emergency Order applies to:

  • Residential or commercial evictions stemming from failure to pay rent when the tenant is unable to pay the rent as a result of loss of income related to the Coronavirus as outlined above. This advisory covers residential and Commercial evictions.
  • All no-fault evictions. No-Fault evictions means those not based on an alleged fault of the tenant and include evictions for owner occupancy or installation of a resident manager.
  • Tenants may also not be evicted for having an additional tenant, pet or nuisance as a result of circumstances related to COVID-29.
  • The Eviction Protections apply to nonpayment eviction notices, served or filed on or after the date on which the local emergency was proclaimed, March 18, 2020.


Does this mean tenants do not have to pay their rent?

Tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent. However, during the emergency period, tenants may not be evicted for failure to pay rent due to the financial impacts related to COVID-19. Tenants will have up to 6 months following the expiration of the local emergency to repay any back rent due. Landlords and tenants may mutually work out a payment schedule or arrangements for repayment of rent.

Is there rental assistance available for renters who cannot pay their rent?

The City is reviewing options for a rental assistance program. At the moment there is no rental assistance available. If and when rental assistance becomes available, updates and information on how to apply will be posted.

Where can tenants obtain help or information regarding a ‘Notice to Pay Rent or Quit’?

First, the eviction protections give renters an affirmative defense to tenants facing eviction as a result of their inability to pay rent due to the loss of wages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Renters should seek assistance from legal services providers in responding to any Unlawful Detainer action filed by their landlords.

Any tenant of a residential property in the City of Seaside who is unable to pay rent should inform their landlord as soon as possible before the rent is due or within 30 days of the rent due date and try to work out payment arrangements.

If a tenant receives a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, they should inform their landlord that they are an Affected Tenant as a result of COVID-19 before the expiration of any Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. See letter from the City and Form that can be submitted here.

What is a “No-Fault” eviction?

A “No-Fault” eviction is one which is not based on any fault or action of the tenant. Examples of “no-fault” evictions include evictions when the landlord or his family intend to move into the unit or when the landlord wishes to withdraw the rental unit from the housing market. These evictions are not allowed during the Emergency Declaration.

Additionally, evictions are not allowed during the Emergency Declaration, if the reason for the eviction is that the landlord wants to withdraw the unit from the rental housing market (“Ellis”).

What is an “At-Fault” eviction?

A tenant “at-fault” eviction is one based on the tenant’s actions in violation of the lease or rental agreement, such as failure to pay rent, causing a nuisance, using the rental unit for an illegal purpose, or a breach of a provision of the lease.

Evictions for non-payment of rent are not allowed through the Emergency Declaration, if the tenant’s inability to pay the full rent is due to circumstances related to COVID-19 as described above. Evictions are also not allowed for having additional occupants, pets, or nuisance as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

What should I do if I cannot pay the rent or if my landlord tries to evict me?

If you are unable to pay your full rent because of circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, here is what you should do:

  • Do not leave your home.
  • Let your landlord know as soon as possible that you cannot pay full rent because of circumstances related to COVID-19 and try to arrange another payment plan.
  • It is best to alert your landlord before you miss a rental payment.
  • At minimum, you must inform your landlord within 30 days of the rent due date.

What is the process to file an eviction complaint?

Contact the City Attorney’s office at 831-899-6890. They will be keeping track of all complaints and may assist with notification to property Landlords.


What should tenants do if they receive an eviction notice?

Tenants should immediately inform their landlord that they cannot pay their rent or cannot pay their rent in full due to a loss of income arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. If the landlord does not withdraw the eviction notice, tenants should immediately file a complaint with the City Attorney’s office at 831-899-6890.


How long are the Eviction Protections in effect?

The eviction protections are in effect from the date of the declaration of the emergency through the expiration of the emergency.


What happens after the Declaration of Emergency is over?

Under the order, tenants have up to 6 months following the expiration of the local emergency to repay any back rent due. The tenant and landlord may mutually work out a payment schedule or arrangements for repayment of the rent.


Is there financial assistance for landlords who suffer a loss of income as a result of tenants’ inability to pay their rent?

Landlords may be able to apply for a disaster loan related to economic damage from the Coronavirus crisis through the Small Business Administration: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.


Best Practices for Tenants and Landlords / Property Managers

For tenants:

  • Communicate with your landlord about your inability to pay if your income is affected by the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Do not ignore any notices issued by the landlord or property manager.
  • All tenants are still responsible for any lawfully charged rents due.

For landlords and Property Managers: 

  • Work with tenants, during the Emergency Declaration period.
  • Communicate with the tenant about their ability to pay..
  • Do not ignore the tenant protections in place.
  • Thank you for helping to prevent the displacement of your tenants.

 

Tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent.


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