Eviction Moratoria and Rent Payment Assistance
PAGE LAST UPDATED: June 10, 2021
On June 2, 2021, the Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance (SVEDA) hosted a webinar on how small business tenants and landlords can seek fair agreement to reconcile rent arrears and renegotiate leases. The following information is not intended as legal advice. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting upon or relying upon any provided information.
- Best Practices and Considerations During and After Moratoria for Tenants and Landlords
- Rent and Debt Reconciliation Calculation Manual
- View Rent Reconciliation Webinar
Rent Reconciliation Resources
- Small Business Webinars Hosted by Start Small Think Big
- Free Legal Help from the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
- Santa Clara County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
- Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center
County of Santa Clara Eviction Moratorium
Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-3-21 extends California's eviction moratorium for commercial tenants through June 30, 2021. For small business tenants who qualify for protection under the County of Santa Clara's ordinance, which has also been extended, small business tenants have up to six months after the moratorium expires or terminates to repay at least 50% of the past-due rent, and up to 12 months after the moratorium expires or terminates to repay in full the past-due rent. Civil fines and penalties, monetary damages and injunctive relief may be imposed on landlords who seek to retaliate or deny small business tenants of their rights and protections under the ordinance. Frequently asked questions, forms, resources and more are available on the County Office of Supportive Housing’sEviction Moratorium web page.
- Reason for Termination of Tenancy - Small Business Tenants' Rights
- Notice to Landlord of Eviction Protection
- Notice of Repayment Protections
- Legal Resources for Tenants and Landlords and Small Business Tenants
- Frequently Asked Questions
- County Eviction Moratorium Web Page
- Ordinances NS-9.288 and NS-9.289
Information for Small Business Tenants
Per the County’s moratorium, a small business tenant can provide the Notice to Landlord of Eviction Protection with documentation of substantial income loss and/or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses caused by COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Examples of substantial loss of income due to COVID-19 include:
- Temporary closure of or reduced operational hours
- Substantial decrease in business income
Examples of documentation tenants can provide include:
- Bank statements or financial documents showing your business' financial situation before and during the COVID-19 pandemic
Landlords must provide tenants with the Reason for Termination of Tenancy or Eviction explaining why they are being evicted, and what their rights are, as well as assistance programs if landlords try to evict tenants.
Information for Landlords
If you are a landlord of a small business tenant that qualifies under the County’s eviction moratorium ordinance and you initiate an eviction for non-payment of rent during the moratorium, you must:
- Provide tenants with the Reason for Termination of Tenancy or Eviction and Notice of Tenants’ Rights stating the reason for the eviction and notice of the tenants’ rights when serving the notice of termination; and
- Provide resources for rental assistance programs
Landlords still have a right to collect rent if the small business tenant qualifies for protection under the moratorium. However, the protected small business tenant has 6 months after the moratorium ends to repay at least 50% of the past-due rent and 12 months after the moratorium ends to repay in full the past-due rent. Late fees cannot be charged.
Before initiating any repayment plan with a small business tenant protected under the moratorium, landlords must first inform the small business tenant of repayment protections. The County ordinance prohibits negotiations between a landlord and small business tenant that result in the tenant’s waiver of its rights under the ordinance. Landlords may risk being subject to civil fines and penalties, monetary damages and injunctive relief if landlords do not comply with the moratorium.
This 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.
Landlords who participate in the California COVID-19 Rent Relief program can get reimbursed for 80% of an eligible renter’s unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, if they agree to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent during that specific time period. Landlords who have one or more eligible renters can apply for reimbursement.
Eligible renters whose landlords choose not to participate in the program may apply on their own and receive 25% of unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Paying this 25% by June 30, 2021 can help keep renters in their homes under the extended eviction protections in Senate Bill 91.
Eligible renters can receive future rent assistance equal to 25% of their monthly rent. Combined with the assistance available for unpaid rent, future assistance will help renters stay housed once the eviction protections in SB 91 expire on June 30, 2021.
Eligible renters may also receive assistance for unpaid utilities and future payments. Unpaid utilities accumulated from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021 will be compensated at 100% of cost, limited to a total of 12 months.
A renter is eligible if one or more individuals in their household meets all of the following criteria:
- Have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to COVID–19; and
- Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include:
- a past-due utility or rent notice or eviction notice
- unsafe or unhealthy living conditions; or
- any other evidence of such risk, as determined by the program
- Have a household income no more than 80% of the Area Median Income in Santa Clara County
Contact California's rent relief program at 1-833-430-2122 7 am to 7 pm, Monday through Sunday or Project Sentinel at 408-720-9888 ex. 8017 for assistance.
Rent Relief Resources
- Tenant Checklist
- Landlord Checklist
- California Rent Relief Program Flyer
- Folleto de Alivio de Alquiler Programa de California
- Tenant Resources
- Landlord Resources
- California Apartment Association
- Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
- Project Sentinel
Tenant, Homeowner & Small Landlord Relief Act
On August 31, 2020, the Governor signed, Assembly Bill No. 3088 that provides state-wide eviction and foreclosure protections for many residential tenants and property owners suffering from economic hardship due to COVID-19. The state law (Tenant, Homeowner & Small Landlord Relief Act of 2020), which took effect immediately replaced the County’s eviction moratorium for residential tenants, homeowners and small landlords. These protections have been extended through June 30, 2021, when Governor Newsom signed the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act (Senate Bill 91) February 1, 2021. Details are available from the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Protection guidelines are available from the Department of Real Estate.
More information about protections for residential tenants suffering from economic hardship due to COVID-19 and how residential tenants can receive the protections of the state law are available via FAQ's from the Department of Real Estate. Additional information for tenants, landlords and homeowners are available at DRE.CA.Gov.
While the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 does not cover commercial tenants, the County's Eviction Moratorium has been extended through June 30, 2021, for eligible small business tenants.
Federal Protections for Residential Tenants
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended its order temporarily halting residential evictions through June 30, 2021. More information on federal protections for residential tenants are available from the CDC.
Campbell Rental Increase Dispute Program
The City of Campbell encourages property owners to limit rent increases to fair and reasonable amounts, provide greater than minimum advance notice of increases, limit the number of rent increases in any one year to as few as possible, provide well maintained living units, discourage retaliatory evictions, and cooperate with their tenants toward resolving any disputes.
Project Sentinel is a non-profit organization that assists individuals with housing problems such as discrimination, mortgage foreclosure & delinquency, rental issues including repairs, deposits, privacy, dispute resolution, home buyer education, post purchase education and reverse mortgages.
Campbell renters and rental property owners may contact Project Sentinel which manages the Campbell Rent Mediation Program. Project Sentinel provides information and counseling regarding rights and responsibilities under California tenant landlord law and the Campbell ordinance.
Phone: (408) 243-8565
Business Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:00
Renters or owners of complexes with four or more units are also eligible for conciliation and mediation through the Rent Mediation Program.
Disputing a Rent Increase or Service Reduction
- A tenant must first contact the owner/manager and make a reasonable, good faith effort to resolve the dispute.
- If that effort does not resolve the dispute, the tenant may open a case by filing a petition with the Campbell Rent Mediation Program (petition forms are supplied upon request).
- If the petition is for a rent increase, the petition must be filed within 15 days of the effective date of the increase.
- If the petition is for a service reduction, a service reduction form must be filed with the petition forms.
- Once the Program receives the petition, a copy of the petition is mailed to the property owner/manager, for review. Then, the administrator of the program will contact the property owner/manager to begin dispute resolution discussions.