News

Local bans on residential evictions extended into August

County could preserve protections for commercial tenants through July 28

Update: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order late Friday allowing local eviction moratoriums for residential and commercial renters through July 28.

Cities and counties throughout California are racing to extend emergency rules prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent due to the coronavirus pandemic, with hopes of preventing mass displacement as millions of residents statewide have lost work.

Mountain View is no exception, passing an extension at a special meeting Friday evening.

The eviction moratorium put in place in Santa Clara County in March — a similar action taken in Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Jose that same month — was seen as a safeguard to keep renters housed during severe shelter in place rules. By some estimates, as many as 126,000 renters in the region may have been impacted by the pandemic and shutdown of all nonessential businesses.

Fearing that a wave of evictions could further exacerbate the public health crisis, county supervisors passed sweeping restrictions to prevent the eviction of commercial or residential tenants who can prove a loss of income due to the coronavirus. The rules extend to all of Santa Clara County, both cities and unincorporated areas.

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But with the moratorium set to expire on May 31 and only a limited easing of public health restrictions so far, county supervisors agreed last week to extend the moratorium until Aug. 31 -- though the scope of the moratorium remained murky. That's because Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order granting cities and counties broad authority to impose eviction moratoriums, and that order was set to expire on May 31. Newsom had not yet indicated whether he planned to extend the order.

Absent the executive order, cities and counties would still be empowered to impose an eviction moratorium for residential tenants, but would no longer be able to extend those same protections to commercial tenants.

Housing advocates say the county's protection of renters should not be contingent on Newsom's actions, and that the ban on residential evictions should proceed until August, independent of statewide edicts.

"In order to provide clarity and certainty to both tenants and property owners, we recommend that the county ordinance be decoupled from the governor's executive order," said Leslye Corsiglia, executive director of SV@Home, in an email to supervisors.

On Friday evening at 8 p.m., Newsom announced that the executive order would be extended to July 28.

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Several cities are following suit. On Friday, May 29, the Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to extend its own eviction moratorium through August 31, largely mirroring the county rules but with a few notable exceptions. The city measure covers mobile home renters and mobile home owners who rent space at a mobile home park.

City Attorney Krishan Chopra said cities including Mountain View are increasingly taking the ban on evictions into their own hands, due to the lack of clarity from Newsom on whether statewide protections will continue through the summer or suddenly lapse starting Monday next week.

"What has become clear as the COVID crisis evolves is that cities and counties are taking increasingly independent and individualized action under their own police powers and legal authority granted to them under emergency circumstances," Chopra said.

Other cities that have extended or plan to extend their own eviction moratoriums include Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose. Palo Alto's moratorium remains in effect until the city's state of emergency expires. Cities are allowed to impose stronger renter protections than the countywide ordinance, but cannot shift the rules in favor of landlords.

When is rent due?

What remains in flux is when tenants will have to pay off deferred rent payments, with the possibility that the deadline could be extended deep into 2021.

Under the original county ordinance in March, back rent accumulated since April had to be entirely paid off within 120 days from the end of the moratorium, prompting fears among housing advocates and nonprofit leaders that it could create a ticking time bomb of mass evictions in September. County officials are currently exploring ways to extend that period from 120 days to a full year, likely by making partial payments mandatory along the way.

In the case of San Jose's eviction moratorium, half of back rent owed would be due at the end of Jan. 2021, with the remaining amount due by the end of June 2021. Tenants can also ink a voluntary agreement with their landlord outlining a payment plan independent of city and county ordinances.

Mountain View took a more modest approach on Friday, extending the payback period from 120 days to 180 days. It's unclear whether a modified county grace period would supersede the city's adjusted rent relief schedule.

Emily Hislop, who manages Mountain View's landlord-tenant mediation and city helpline, said people from all walks of life have been calling with concerns about being unable to pay rent because of COVID-19. Everyone is panicked for a myriad of reasons, she said, and much of it has to do with uncertainty.

What has been clear, Hislop said, is that the city's grace period needs to be extended.

"One-hundred twenty days is not going to be enough time to repay the amount they have accrued during the shelter in place," she said.

Partly fueling the calls for an extension is that massive amounts of financial assistance are slowly making their way to needy renters, who may depend on public assistance in order to pay off otherwise insurmountable debt.

When the nonprofit Destination: Home launched an $11 million financial assistance program to help families behind on the bills because of COVID-19, demand far exceeded the available funding, and it took several weeks to get through the backlog. The latest data shows the money only made it to about 4,500 of the 17,500 households seeking help through the nonprofit's fund.

Mountain View's own $2.6 million rent relief program has been humming along, but has yet to reach many of the families that have applied thus far. As of last week, the nonprofit Community Services Agency (CSA) had helped pay the rent of more than 500 families in the city, totaling $1.2 million, but more than 1,000 applications remain in the queue.

In the lead-up to the Mountain View City Council meeting Friday, CSA Executive Director Tom Myers urged council members to support an urgency ordinance to give his nonprofit more time to help needy families. It would also stave off homelessness and increasing poverty that would result if the moratorium were to suddenly end on Sunday.

"When our residents are secure in their housing, the whole community is safer, healthier and in a better economic position," Myers said.

With the county rules shifting away from commercial tenants on May 31 and cities adopting their own versions of the moratorium, renters are being encouraged to stay informed and understand the extent of the protections. In a Zoom conference call Friday, Michael Trujillo of the nonprofit SV@Home said tenants faced with an eviction notice for nonpayment should have documentation ready to show that they have lost income as a result of COVID-19.

"This will allow you to access protections under the county's moratorium," Trujillo said.

Renters who aren't on the lease and rent a room are also protected under the ordinance, as are those renting units in homes or apartment complexes of any size, Trujillo said.

Renters and landlords in Mountain View seeking information or advice on the moratorium are encouraged to tap into the city's helpline services available online.

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Local bans on residential evictions extended into August

County could preserve protections for commercial tenants through July 28

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, May 29, 2020, 6:49 pm
Updated: Sat, May 30, 2020, 11:23 am

Update: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order late Friday allowing local eviction moratoriums for residential and commercial renters through July 28.

Cities and counties throughout California are racing to extend emergency rules prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent due to the coronavirus pandemic, with hopes of preventing mass displacement as millions of residents statewide have lost work.

Mountain View is no exception, passing an extension at a special meeting Friday evening.

The eviction moratorium put in place in Santa Clara County in March — a similar action taken in Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Jose that same month — was seen as a safeguard to keep renters housed during severe shelter in place rules. By some estimates, as many as 126,000 renters in the region may have been impacted by the pandemic and shutdown of all nonessential businesses.

Fearing that a wave of evictions could further exacerbate the public health crisis, county supervisors passed sweeping restrictions to prevent the eviction of commercial or residential tenants who can prove a loss of income due to the coronavirus. The rules extend to all of Santa Clara County, both cities and unincorporated areas.

But with the moratorium set to expire on May 31 and only a limited easing of public health restrictions so far, county supervisors agreed last week to extend the moratorium until Aug. 31 -- though the scope of the moratorium remained murky. That's because Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order granting cities and counties broad authority to impose eviction moratoriums, and that order was set to expire on May 31. Newsom had not yet indicated whether he planned to extend the order.

Absent the executive order, cities and counties would still be empowered to impose an eviction moratorium for residential tenants, but would no longer be able to extend those same protections to commercial tenants.

Housing advocates say the county's protection of renters should not be contingent on Newsom's actions, and that the ban on residential evictions should proceed until August, independent of statewide edicts.

"In order to provide clarity and certainty to both tenants and property owners, we recommend that the county ordinance be decoupled from the governor's executive order," said Leslye Corsiglia, executive director of SV@Home, in an email to supervisors.

On Friday evening at 8 p.m., Newsom announced that the executive order would be extended to July 28.

Several cities are following suit. On Friday, May 29, the Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to extend its own eviction moratorium through August 31, largely mirroring the county rules but with a few notable exceptions. The city measure covers mobile home renters and mobile home owners who rent space at a mobile home park.

City Attorney Krishan Chopra said cities including Mountain View are increasingly taking the ban on evictions into their own hands, due to the lack of clarity from Newsom on whether statewide protections will continue through the summer or suddenly lapse starting Monday next week.

"What has become clear as the COVID crisis evolves is that cities and counties are taking increasingly independent and individualized action under their own police powers and legal authority granted to them under emergency circumstances," Chopra said.

Other cities that have extended or plan to extend their own eviction moratoriums include Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose. Palo Alto's moratorium remains in effect until the city's state of emergency expires. Cities are allowed to impose stronger renter protections than the countywide ordinance, but cannot shift the rules in favor of landlords.

When is rent due?

What remains in flux is when tenants will have to pay off deferred rent payments, with the possibility that the deadline could be extended deep into 2021.

Under the original county ordinance in March, back rent accumulated since April had to be entirely paid off within 120 days from the end of the moratorium, prompting fears among housing advocates and nonprofit leaders that it could create a ticking time bomb of mass evictions in September. County officials are currently exploring ways to extend that period from 120 days to a full year, likely by making partial payments mandatory along the way.

In the case of San Jose's eviction moratorium, half of back rent owed would be due at the end of Jan. 2021, with the remaining amount due by the end of June 2021. Tenants can also ink a voluntary agreement with their landlord outlining a payment plan independent of city and county ordinances.

Mountain View took a more modest approach on Friday, extending the payback period from 120 days to 180 days. It's unclear whether a modified county grace period would supersede the city's adjusted rent relief schedule.

Emily Hislop, who manages Mountain View's landlord-tenant mediation and city helpline, said people from all walks of life have been calling with concerns about being unable to pay rent because of COVID-19. Everyone is panicked for a myriad of reasons, she said, and much of it has to do with uncertainty.

What has been clear, Hislop said, is that the city's grace period needs to be extended.

"One-hundred twenty days is not going to be enough time to repay the amount they have accrued during the shelter in place," she said.

Partly fueling the calls for an extension is that massive amounts of financial assistance are slowly making their way to needy renters, who may depend on public assistance in order to pay off otherwise insurmountable debt.

When the nonprofit Destination: Home launched an $11 million financial assistance program to help families behind on the bills because of COVID-19, demand far exceeded the available funding, and it took several weeks to get through the backlog. The latest data shows the money only made it to about 4,500 of the 17,500 households seeking help through the nonprofit's fund.

Mountain View's own $2.6 million rent relief program has been humming along, but has yet to reach many of the families that have applied thus far. As of last week, the nonprofit Community Services Agency (CSA) had helped pay the rent of more than 500 families in the city, totaling $1.2 million, but more than 1,000 applications remain in the queue.

In the lead-up to the Mountain View City Council meeting Friday, CSA Executive Director Tom Myers urged council members to support an urgency ordinance to give his nonprofit more time to help needy families. It would also stave off homelessness and increasing poverty that would result if the moratorium were to suddenly end on Sunday.

"When our residents are secure in their housing, the whole community is safer, healthier and in a better economic position," Myers said.

With the county rules shifting away from commercial tenants on May 31 and cities adopting their own versions of the moratorium, renters are being encouraged to stay informed and understand the extent of the protections. In a Zoom conference call Friday, Michael Trujillo of the nonprofit SV@Home said tenants faced with an eviction notice for nonpayment should have documentation ready to show that they have lost income as a result of COVID-19.

"This will allow you to access protections under the county's moratorium," Trujillo said.

Renters who aren't on the lease and rent a room are also protected under the ordinance, as are those renting units in homes or apartment complexes of any size, Trujillo said.

Renters and landlords in Mountain View seeking information or advice on the moratorium are encouraged to tap into the city's helpline services available online.

Comments

Make MV pay the rent.
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 9:59 am
Make MV pay the rent., Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 9:59 am
1 person likes this

The article is misleading and offers false hope, reality bites. I'm not a landlord, just woke.

Landlords: June 1st, send the 3 day notices to cure or quit for rent delinquencies (get it on file). Make a deal for past rent deficiencies (60/90/120/180 day repayment plan, and get it in writing). June rent is due, make that clear. Let tenants know once the eviction process starts, the process will not be stopped. Courts may be wrong/ confused/delay/refuse to schedule the eviction moment, but landlords are able to file and should file immediately. The sooner the better. Tenants have a responsibility to pay rent just like those who pay utilities, cell phone bills, mortgages, cable TV.........day care, etc. Remember we are all in the same boat. Landlords are not the enemy, Fox News maybe, but not working stiffs trying to keep their rental properties afloat.

Otherwise, (landlords) sell your property and move on. Interestingly enough, those looking to purchase newly constructed single family attached homes (make sure they are sold as "fee simple") will have more opportunity with coming expanded inventory. Fee simple means you own your property from the dirt to the sky and HOA restrictions are less cumbersome and less costly.

Lawsuits against the city and state are coming. Gavin opened churches for the very same reason. Landlords need to get there act together.


Landlords
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 10:41 am
Landlords, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 10:41 am
4 people like this

Thank you, Make MV Pay. Everyone will have a great post to look back on and remember the next time landlords start talking about how much they care about our community. The lack of compassion and humanity will be a useful reminder of what landlords think of their tenants and our city during this crisis.


Setting up for a mess
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 11:15 am
Setting up for a mess, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 11:15 am
4 people like this

I feel bad for renters who make less than $50k a year right now, but the resolution is a set up for a mess. The limited moratorium worked because it is feasible to repay a few months of back rent. Accumulating more than that will make it difficult for unemployed or underemployed renters to repay even with Covid assistance. What will happen if the moratorium is extended until 2021 and the renter's lease expires 5 months from now? How does the landlord go after the renter for the last 8 months of unpaid rent even if they already moved? Property owners will be set up for failure. Expect lawsuits.


The Business Man
Castro City
on May 30, 2020 at 11:16 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on May 30, 2020 at 11:16 am
2 people like this

In response to Make MV pay the rent. You said:

“The article is misleading and offers false hope, reality bites. I'm not a landlord, just woke.”

Actually, the article is very accurate. And in fact the shelter in place order is now indefinite in the county of Santa Clara, thus it will continue until the proper drugs or vaccines are made available and delivered to the citizens of Santa Clara County regarding COVID 19. The reality is that this is going to go on perhaps till next year. You said:

“Landlords: June 1st, send the 3 day notices to cure or quit for rent delinquencies (get it on file).”

Can you, given that the ourts are not processing any of these documents, and are likely not going to act until the shelter in place orders are lifted. This is nothing but INTIMIDATION which QULAIFIES as tenant abuse under the law. You are suggesting a very BAD idea. You said:

“Make a deal for past rent deficiencies (60/90/120/180 day repayment plan, and get it in writing).”

Not a bad idea, but no one can do so until the COVID crisis is over. NO ONE CAN MAKE ANY LEGALLY BINDING AGREEMENTS. If they are made, given the situation, they may be disqualified by the courts. You said:

“June rent is due, make that clear. Let tenants know once the eviction process starts, the process will not be stopped. Courts may be wrong/ confused/delay/refuse to schedule the eviction moment, but landlords are able to file and should file immediately.”

Now you are getting to the real point Bit the courts are NOT WRONG under these circumstances. You are just trying to encourage landlords into taking actions that will likely blow up in their faces. You are like the ones that encouraged the Mountain View Landlord now being prosecuted for a violent crime. And you are doing so under the cloak of anonymity. NO ONE should follow advice from an unidentifiable source. You aid:

“Tenants have a responsibility to pay rent just like those who pay utilities, cell phone bills, mortgages, cable TV.........day care, etc. Remember we are all in the same boat. Landlords are not the enemy, Fox News maybe, but not working stiffs trying to keep their rental properties afloat.”

However, you neglect to understand that utilities, cell phones, and even cable tv have already stated they will not discontinue service for non payment. And many mortgages that are federally insured are not required to be paid eith at this time. You are making very misleading comments here. You said:

“Otherwise, (landlords) sell your property and move on. Interestingly enough, those looking to purchase newly constructed single family attached homes (make sure they are sold as "fee simple") will have more opportunity with coming expanded inventory. Fee simple means you own your property from the dirt to the sky and HOA restrictions are less cumbersome and less costly.”

That may be the only way out for those who borrowed money to own properties that are not federally insured. Many are forced to at this time. Air BnB owners are selling their hosted units because they cannot afford the loans they took out to make their “property” management business. There are many landlords that are way over their head in debt, and this is likely the only way out, including bankruptcy. You said:

“Lawsuits against the city and state are coming. Gavin opened churches for the very same reason. Landlords need to get there act together.”

However the U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that Gavin was right and had the authority to close churches. You are not really suggesting that landlords would fare better with the U.S. Supreme Court?

Please be more careful regarding what you post here, you are encouraging very dangerous actions that will harm those who do it.


too funny
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 3:24 pm
too funny, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 3:24 pm
2 people like this

... the Corona, no matter whatever reason for not paying market rent, rent control means fewer affordable units. Subsidies are the only answer at the expense of taxpayers. And, unless MView, SClara or Sacramento decides to get into the public housing business, it's over. Interestingly enough, the Corona will accelerate the demise of rent control.

This was a prior comment on a similar thread.

"This will continue. It is what Mountain View voters voted for. Majority rules. Voters were informed that the rent control ordinance would cause the conversion of naturally affordable rental housing into higher-cost for-sale housing and that's exactly what happened"


The Business Man
Castro City
on May 30, 2020 at 5:03 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on May 30, 2020 at 5:03 pm
2 people like this

In response to Posted by too funny you said:

“... the Corona, no matter whatever reason for not paying market rent, rent control means fewer affordable units. Subsidies are the only answer at the expense of taxpayers. And, unless MView, SClara or Sacramento decides to get into the public housing business, it's over. Interestingly enough, the Corona will accelerate the demise of rent control.”

SUBSIDIES DO NOT MAKE AFFORDABLE HOUSING< THEY RAISE PRICES.

There has been subsidies since the 90s, there are many reports indicating that SUBSIDIES or incentives are not useful at all. All they do is create a means for politicians and lobbyists to inflate housing costs and make inequitable profit margins for those who already have properties built. That has been proven wrong.

SECTION 8 housing is a program that was supposed to build housing, but that law doesn’t work. There are fewer affordable housing unit per capita today than when it was passed. Many other laws have also resulted in the same problem.

I agree, that public housing should be given all the money that was designed for subsidies, and that housing providers be taxed to pay for them. Thus the increased housing supply will drive down costs for residents. Which will cause a market correction on prices.

Now you will say, don’t do that, you will hurt the private sector housing market.

But the private sector housing market doesn’t work. It is insanity to expect a different result to occur by doing the same thing over and over again.

TIME TO KILL ALL SUBSIDIES AND DIRECTLY FUND HOUSING, AND SINCE THESE ARE PUBLIC PROJECTS, SIMPLY TAKE OVER PRIVATE HOUSING SPACES AND KICK THE PRIVATE OWNERS OUT. THEY ARE ONLY ENTITLED TO THE LAND VALUES AND NOT THE PROPERTY VALUES AT MOST.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 1:37 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 1:37 am
Like this comment

Well, it looks like there is a eviction ban in place until August 31, passed by the city council.

The report can be found on their website.

Web Link

Until the COVID 19 has a treatment or a vaccine this is going to be renewed, why cant the City Council just say that until notice of a treatment or a vaccine this will be the way it is?

Making band aid statements only makes it more difficult for the property owners because the keep being given false hope of a quick fix.

WE ALL are being hurt by COVID, and unfortunately landlords are NOT immune. You are just going to get used to this situation and expect it will go on indefinitely.

You may want to just declare bankruptcy if your debts are too high, this is an Ellis Act option. The losses are going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

OR you can get your creditors to grant you a holiday, which under this situation should have been enacted months ago by the U.S. and State Governments.

We all have to work together on this, but it appears many simply feel if they can't get what they want, they want to punish those not even responsible for the problem. the problem is the VIRUS. 1 out of 4 people are out of work now. BY NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN.

When will we see say the California Apartment Association to get to work at preparing a moratorium on its members to adjust to this problem?

They should have worked it out so landlords can provide rent holidays until the virus is controlled.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:26 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:26 am
Like this comment

NOW IS THE TIME TO FIX HOUSING IN MOUNTAIN VIEW, HOW? BY BANNING AR BNB AND OTHER SHORT TERM RENTALS.

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a California City Ordinance prohibiting short term rentals due to the housing crisis.

THe story can be read here (Web Link)

STR and outsourced unit management has crushed the inventory for normal rental business.

Thus driving rents up.

Time for the City of Mountain View to do the same.


Robyn
another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:45 pm
Robyn, another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:45 pm
Like this comment

Landlords have bills to pay, too. Unpaid principal earns interest for the lender. Interest continues to accrue.
People who received money from unemployment and the federal funds should pay their bills.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:25 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:25 pm
4 people like this

In response to Robyn yous said:

“Landlords have bills to pay, too. Unpaid principal earns interest for the lender. Interest continues to accrue.”

NOT UNDER THE CARE ACT INTEREST IS SUSPENDED. Of course you mislead the people by making this claim. Now if you used a non federally insured lender, you probably did not qualify for a normal mortgage, and by taking that action, you chose to make yourself vulnerable to loss. That is not the responsibility of the tenants that is yours. So when you said:

“People who received money from unemployment and the federal funds should pay their bills.”

If they do not have the funds, and when is there going to be an end to this situation?

Sorry, but this situation is SEVERE, and it is not feasible to make any repayment arrangements until tenants can get back to work. You are trying to penalize people for a situation way out of their control.

You should be pushing to get mortgage service companies to arrange it so that until the situation is resolved, they will give the landlords a break. You should be working with the U.S. and State governments to arrange some kind of relief that works for both the landlord and the tenant.

Robyn you are angry because this situation is THAT bad.

NO ONE IS IMMUNE TO THE COST NO MATTER WHAT.


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