COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS – CAN MY LANDLORD/LENDER EVICT ME DURING THE PANDEMIC?
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted nearly everyone to a greater extent than others. Most people who have non-essential employment or business income have seen a great reduction in their net income to the point where paying rent or a mortgage becomes impossible. If you are impacted by the Covid-19 and need assistance dealing with an unreasonable landlord or lender the following information is pertinent to your concerns and you may contact the Law Office of Sam Walker for a free telephonic consultation to discuss your option.
MUST I PAY RENT/MORTGAGE PAYMENT DURING THE PANDEMIC?
The Governor of the State of California issued a State of Emergency on March 4, 2020, which essentially required non-essential workers to stay home. (Learn More) Other small businesses have been closed down completely and millions of Californian’s have been forced to file for unemployment or seek out a Small Business Loan. If you have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic you are still required to pay your rent/mortgage because there has not been as of the date of this blog any federal or State of California moratorium on rent/mortgage.
CAN I BE EVICTED BY MY LANDLORD OR LENDER FOR NON-PAYMENT OF MY RENT OR MORTGAGE?
The good news is that the Governor issued an executive order on March 27th limiting the legal rights of landlords and/or lenders to evict anyone from their home. The 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 the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19. The tenant would be required to retain documentation but not required to submit it to the landlord in advance. And the tenant would remain obligated to repay full rent in a timely manner and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium is lifted. The order takes effect immediately and provides immediate relief to tenants for whom rent is due on April 1st.
On April 6th, the California Judicial Council provided further protections to those persons impacted by Covid-19 by enacting Emergency Court Rules which would prevent any landlord or lender from initiating unlawful detainer proceedings. The pertinent parts of the Emergency Rules are as follows:
(b) Issuance of summons
A court may not issue a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer unless the
court finds, in its discretion and on the record, that the action is necessary to protect public health and safety.
(c) Entry of default
A court may not enter a default or a default judgment for restitution in an unlawful detainer action for failure of defendant to appear unless the court finds both of the following:
(1) The action is necessary to protect public health and safety; and
(2) The defendant has not appeared in the action within the time provided by
law, including by any applicable executive order.
Essentially until 90 days after the Governor lifts the State of Emergency which is currently set to expire at the end of May 2020 a Court may not issue a Summons or enter a Default Judgment against any person thereby preventing any use of the Courts to effect an eviction unless there are health and safety concerns under which an eviction may be justified.
If you have any questions or would like legal representation in any matter impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic you may contact us for a free telephonic consultation.