On March 16, California Gov. Gavin Newsom took Executive Action authorizing local governments to suspend enforcement of evictions in California during the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 18, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office announced that it would not be enforcing evictions “effective immediately until further notice.”
On March 27, Gov. Newsom took Executive Action to protect renters throughout the State of California. The new executive order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts. It also requires tenants to declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent comes due, that they cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19. These protections are effective immediately and extend through May 31, 2020. However, there are some things that renters should understand about these new protections:
- If you can pay your rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should. The new rules don’t excuse renters from backpaying on rent or being evicted after May 31, 2020.
- If you can’t pay your rent due to COVID-19, let your landlord know by text, email or letter no later than seven days after rent was due. Make sure you save a copy of the text, email or letter with proof of when you sent it. Be sure to include documentation of why you can’t pay your rent. (For example, you might have a doctor’s note showing you were ill with the virus and needed to stay home, or a letter from your employer showing that you were laid off due to COVID-19.)
- If you receive an eviction notice during the COVID-19 pandemic, please do not ignore it. You can reach out to Legal Services of Northern California or the Humboldt Superior Court for more help.
- Finally, local cities and jurisdictions may have passed additional protections for renters, but none of the local protections waive rent. You will still need to pay when you are able. You can call Legal Services of Northern California to find out more about what’s going on in your city.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Humboldt County Legal Services of Northern California office in Eureka is no longer taking walk-in clients. You can contact them by phone at 707-445-0866 or go to https://lsnc.net/ for more information. To read the Governor’s news release, click on the link https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/27/governor-newsom-takes-executive-action-to-establish-a-statewide-moratorium-on-evictions/.
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