• Patrick Tira

Governor Newsom Issues Order Protecting Certain Residential Tenants From Eviction

Minutes ago, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-37-20 creating state-wide restrictions on evictions due to the nonpayment of rent for certain residential tenants impacted by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

As you may recall, on March 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-28-20 which allowed local governments to place limits on certain residential and commercial evictions. Governor Newsom's March 27, 2020 Executive Order creates statewide restrictions on certain residential restrictions.

A copy of Executive Order N-37-20 may be found here.

Governor Newsom's March 27, 2020 Executive Order extends the deadline for certain tenants to respond to an evictions summons from five days to sixty days, if the tenant meets the following requirements:

  1. The tenant paid rent due to the landlord pursuant to an agreement, prior to the Governor's March 27, 2020 Order;

  2. The tenant notifies the landlord, in writing before the rent is due or within a reasonable time afterwards not to exceed seven (7) days, that he or she needs to delay all or some payment of rent because of an inability to pay the full amount due to reasons related to COVID-19; and,

  3. The tenant must retain verifiable documentation supporting the tenant's assertion of an inability to pay. The tenant must provide this documentation no later than the time upon payment of back-due rent.

Under the Executive Order, reasons for non-payment related to COVID-19 include, but are not limited to: (i) the tenant was unavailable to work because the tenant was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or was caring for a family member who was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19; the tenant experienced a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19, the state of emergency, or a related government response; or (iii) the tenant needed to miss work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19.

The Governor's Executive Order also prevents writ enforcement against residential tenants who satisfy the above requirements.

Notably, the Governor's Executive Order does not prevent a tenant who is able to pay all or some of the rent due from paying that rent in a timely manner or relieve a tenant of liability for unpaid rent.

The Governor's Executive Order will be in effect through May 31, 2020.

The Governor's March 27, 2020 Executive Order (N-37-20) supersedes the Governor's March 16, 2020 Executive Order (N-28-20) to the extent of any conflict.

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