Category Archives: California

Legal Q & A: My Tenant Claims He Can’t Pay Rent Because of COVID-19. What do I do?

Question: My tenant just told me that he was let go at work because of the Shelter-in-Place Order and he can’t pay rent for April. Is he allowed to do that? Do I just lose the rent?

Answer: This is about to become a common question, as many are affected by COVID-19 and the related Shelter-in-Place Order. This is perhaps the most rapidly that landlord-tenant law has changed, and there are overlapping (sometimes inconsistent) rules emerging at the local, state and federal levels. But at least for the moment, there is a clear path forward for this particular issue.
Continue reading Legal Q & A: My Tenant Claims He Can’t Pay Rent Because of COVID-19. What do I do?

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Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order Prohibiting Price Gouging and Evictions for the Purpose of Evading Price Limits, Amid COVID-19 Quarantine

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Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-28-20 on March 16, 2020, based on the sustained impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) following his March 4, 2020 proclamation of a state of emergency.

Unfortunately, this proclamation is becoming an increasingly common tool to regulate housing supply and pricing, as California has witnessed frequent and significant regional and statewide emergencies in recent years. Among other things, it invokes Section 396 of the California Penal Code, which prohibits increasing rent above 10 percent for a period of 30 days following the proclamation of a state of emergency.

Its anti-price-gouging provisions also prevent evictions for the purpose of re-renting and evading the above price-limitations (but it does not apply to “an eviction process that was lawfully begun prior to the proclamation or declaration of emergency”. Executive Order N-28-20 extends the application of the eviction prohibition to May 31, 2020. It also empowers local governments to prevent evictions for non-payment of rent for both residential and commercial tenants.

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