This page was last updated July 1st.

With massive layoffs impacting tens of thousands of low-wage workers, we know that many will be challenged to pay bills, including rent. Immediate action is needed to ensure that these workers and their families do not lose their homes. Santa Clara County is already grappling with how to bring an estimated 8.000 homeless residents inside to shield them from COVID-19. It is up to us to ensure that this number does not grow.

At both the State and local levels, elected officials have taken action to protect tenants from eviction. It is important to note, however, that these responses only respond to the immediate challenge. A moratorium on evictions will not relieve tenants of paying rent in the long run. As a result, SV@Home is working with partners throughout the region and State to develop responses to ensure that tenants will not be displaced when the moratoria end.

Here are the actions taken to date:

Eviction Protections

Countywide Action

Santa Clara County Tenant Eviction Moratorium ActionThe County’s eviction moratorium has been extended through August 31, 2020.  On Tuesday March 24th, the County of Santa Clara adopted an eviction moratorium that applies to all 15 jurisdictions in the County and the County unincorporated area.

The County ordinance applies to all residential and small business tenants in Santa Clara County. It prohibits “no-fault” evictions and evictions for non-payment of rent for tenants who have incurred substantial income loss and/or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Any local ordinance that is more restrictive overrides the County ordinance.

It is important to note that the ordinance does not relieve tenants of their obligation to pay rent, but will allow for a 12-month period to pay back rent, with 50% of the back rent due in 6 months.

Read more here–

  1. County Eviction Moratorium Info Page for Tenants and Landlords
  2. County Ordinance
  3. Notice of Inability to Pay Document
  4. FAQ and More Resources (Law Foundation)

On Friday May 28th, SV@Home and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley hosted Facebook live info sessions on the county’s updated eviction moratorium ordinance in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. For more details and commonly asked questions, please refer to the videos.

Local Actions

San Jose Tenant Eviction Moratorium Ordinance San Jose has extended its eviction moratorium through August 31st. The City of San Jose was one of the first jurisdictions in the State to adopt an ordinance protecting tenants from eviction. The City’s moratorium applies to all residential properties in San José. This includes single-family homes, rooms rented in single-family homes, duplexes, condominiums, income-restricted apartments (i.e., affordable housing), rent-stabilized apartments, market-rate apartments, and mobilehomes.

It is important to note that the ordinance does not relieve tenants of their obligation to pay rent, but will allow for a 12-month period to pay back rent, with 50% of the back rent due in 6 months.

Read more here-

  1. Eviction Moratorium Website
  2. Fact Sheet. (in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese)
  3. Information for Landlords
  4. July 7th Informational Webinar

Palo Alto Eviction Moratorium Ordinance— On March 23rd, the Palo Alto City Council approved an ordinance protecting tenants from eviction for nonpayment of rent through May 31st. The ordinance was updated on April 7th to align with the County’s eviction moratorium.

The ordinance is broader than the County’s ordinance in that it is tied to Palo Alto’s local declaration of emergency (starting March 12th) but does not provide protection for renters struggling to pay rent due to significant medical expenses. Palo Alto renters struggling to pay rent due to significant medical expenses should reference the County ordinance, while renters who an eviction notice between March 12th and March 23rd should reference Palo Alto’s ordinance.

Eviction protections for small businesses in Palo Alto are provided by the county ordinance.

Santa Clara (city) Eviction Moratorium Ordinance— On March 24th, the Santa Clara City Council approved an ordinance protecting tenants from eviction. The City of Santa Clara has extended its eviction moratorium through June 30th.

  1. City of Santa Clara information page
  2. Information for Landlords
  3. Notice of Inability to Pay Document

Mountain View Eviction Moratorium OrdinanceMountain View has extended its eviction moratorium through August 31st. On March 27th, the Mountain View City Council approved an ordinance protecting tenants from eviction. In addition to the provisions covered by the countywide ordinance, the Mountain View ordinance explicitly includes mobile homes.

The City Council also dedicated $500,000 from the city’s affordable housing fund for rent relief for tenants.

Sunnyvale Eviction Moratorium Ordinance–On March 31st, the Sunnyvale City Council approved an ordinance protecting tenants from eviction (draft). In addition to the provisions covered by the countywide ordinance, the Sunnyvale ordinance explicitly includes mobile homes and has a 180-day grace period for repayment of any back rent.

State Action

Currently, the strongest statewide protection from eviction is the Judicial Council’s April 6th emergency rule. The Judicial Council ruling does not prevent landlords from filing evictions, but does say that no court action will be taken on evictions until 90 days after the Governor lifts the statewide declaration of emergency (currently set to expire September 30th). Evictions that are “necessary to protect public health and safety” are exempted from the rule. Read more from the Western Center for Law and Poverty’s summary here.

On June 30th, Governor Newsom issued an updated Executive Order allowing local jurisdictions to halt evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through September 30th.

Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order on Monday March 16th, recognizing the severe impact of losing one’s home during the pandemic, and authorizing cities to take action to stop evictions of tenants faced with eviction due  to COVID-19, though it fell short of requiring that all cities adopt ordinances or enacting a Statewide requirement.

On March 27th, the Governor issued an executive order that delays the enforcement of eviction orders for any tenant impacted by COVID-19 through May, 31, 2020. Read more here– Executive-Order-327.

On April 6th, the California Judicial Council adopted an emergency court rule that effectively stops prosecution or court enforcement of all evictions, other than those necessary to protect public health and safety, until 90 days after the end of the statewide COVID-19 declaration of emergency.

Information for Tenants

The Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) information page on the eviction moratorium contains information on the County’s ordinance, as well as forms for documenting loss of income.

On March 27th, SV@Home and the Law Foundation Silicon Valley hosted a live conversation about the County of Santa Clara County’s  Tenant Eviction Mortatorium. Check it out here in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Find out more by reading this Law Foundation of Silicon Valley FAQ.

The Santa Clara County moratorium does not apply to otherwise lawful or at-fault evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent due to a substantial loss and/or out-of-pocket medical expense as a result of COVID-19. However, the statewide Judicial Council ruling from April 6th effectively stops any court action or enforcement of all evictions, other than those necessary to protect public health and safety, for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

If you receive an eviction notice during this COVID-19 emergency, reach out to the Law Foundation at 408-280-2424.

If you are having difficulty paying your rent or other housing related costs, contact the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System  by calling (408) 780-9134 or emailing covid19help@sacredheartcs.org to get information about about temporary financial assistance (e.g., rent, deposit, or utility payments) and other supportive services available to low-income families or individuals. Please call first before venturing out to the office. As of March 27th, there is currently a waiting list for financial assistance.

 

Information for  Landlords

If you are a landlord and you initiate an eviction for non-payment of rent or a no-fault cause during the moratorium, you must:

You still have a right to collect rent if the tenant qualifies for protection under the moratorium. However, the tenant has until 120 days after the termination of the moratorium to repay the rent and the landlord cannot charge a late fee.

The Santa Clara County moratorium does not apply to otherwise lawful or at-fault evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent due to a substantial loss and/or out-of-pocket medical expense as a result of COVID-19. However, the statewide Judicial Council ruling from April 6th effectively stops any court action or enforcement of all evictions, other than those necessary to protect public health and safety, for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

 

Rent Relief

Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart Community Service is operating a countywide rent relief fund for extremely low income individuals in Santa Clara County. Details and how to apply can be found at https://sacredheartcs.org/covid19/

City of Santa Clara

As of June 16th, the City of Santa Clara has launched its Emergency Rental Assistance Program to assist low-income residents in paying their past-due rents which have accumulated due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the eviction moratorium. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program will accept applications only until June 30, 2020. Please visit www.santaclaraca.gov/rentrelief for more information and to apply.

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