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San Diego Enacts Emergency Moratorium on Evictions

City Council Approves Mayor’s Small Business Relief Package; Law Temporarily Halting Evictions for Covid-19 Related Hardships Takes Effect Immediately

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – Continuing to take aggressive steps to protect the health and welfare of San Diegans, the City of San Diego today enacted an eviction moratorium that provides relief to residential and commercial tenants facing financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City Council also unanimously approved a multimillion-dollar Small Business Relief Fund proposed last week by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

With the backing of Mayor Faulconer and Council President Gómez, the emergency law temporarily halting evictions in the City of San Diego was passed unanimously and goes into effect immediately. It will last until May 31, 2020. Tenants must demonstrate a substantial decrease in income or medical expenses caused by COVID-19 in order to qualify. It will not relieve a tenant of their requirement to pay rent or restrict a landlord from recovering rent at a future time.

“San Diegans shouldn’t have to worry about losing their home or storefront during this public health emergency, and now relief is here,” Mayor Faulconer said. “The temporary eviction moratorium is accompanied by millions of dollars to help small businesses stay afloat and keep San Diegans employed. I applaud the City Council, City Attorney and City staff for taking quick action to help our community.”

The ordinance is necessary to prevent homelessness, maintain public health, and bring housing and business stability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week the State of California authorized local governments to temporarily halt evictions for residential and commercial tenants, but the state action does not provide relief unless cities adopt their own laws as San Diego now has.

The temporary eviction moratorium seeks to strike a balance between the interests of tenants, landlords and lenders. The emergency ordinance protects tenants against evictions if they can document their income has been substantially reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or if they are experiencing medical bills as a result of illness related to the coronavirus. If the tenant does not provide evidence of financial impact related to COVID-19 within a specified timeframe, the landlord may pursue enforcement action in accordance with state and local laws. All owed rent is due upon move-out if a tenant decides to relocate while this emergency ordinance is in effect.

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