Drastic times call for drastic measures. Drastic measures have been enacted on the state and local levels to protect tenants from eviction for the non-payment of rent due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The City of Santa Clarita passed an Eviction Moratorium on March 31, 2020, similar to other Moratoriums passed by the State of California, the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, and other Municipalities.
Santa Clarita’s Ordinance prevents evictions in the City of Santa Clarita for the non-payment of rent due to the COVID-19 coronavirus until May 31, 2020, unless extended.
Under the Ordinance, commercial and residential tenants will have to demonstrate an inability to pay rent due to the financial impact from the coronavirus. A renter will have to communicate in writing to the landlord the inability to pay the rent due to the financial impact resulting from the virus at the earliest opportunity.
The writing can be in the form of a letter, text, or email.
The State and County Moratoriums require this writing be provided to the landlord no later than seven (7) days after the rent is due.
The Moratoriums do not mean that a tenant does not owe rent to the landlord during the time the Moratoriums are in effect. Rent will still be owed to the landlord.
Santa Clarita’s Moratorium allows for any unpaid rent during the Moratorium to be repaid to the landlord together with the then current rent over a 6- month period without interest or late fees.
The State Moratorium also prohibits the courts or law enforcement from enforcement of eviction cases during the Statewide Moratorium which is also presently set to expire on May 31.
Unpaid rent for this period will have to be re-paid in a timely manner. Nothing in the state law prohibits evictions once the state-wide moratorium is lifted for unpaid rent during the Moratorium.
However, other rules or clarifications are expected.
Los Angeles County also enacted an Eviction Moratorium on March 19, 2020 for the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The County Order does not apply to incorporated cities such as the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Burbank, and Santa Clarita.
Those cities have enacted their own ordinances.
As a result, in the Santa Clarita Valley, regardless if your home or business are within the limits of the City or are in the unincorporated area of the Valley, there is a ban on evictions for both residential and commercial tenants through May 31, 2020.
As a tenant, you need to provide your landlord with a writing that your financial situation is adversely affected by the coronavirus no later than seven (7) days after your rent is due.
Once the Moratoriums are lifted, you will have to repay the unpaid rent to your landlord within 6 months of the expiration of the Moratorium.
The courts are not presently enforcing evictions. Once the Moratoriums are lifted evictions can proceed.
Nothing in the ordinances prevents a landlord and a tenant from reaching an agreement on the payment or repayment of rent owing during the Moratorium. Both landlords and tenants are encouraged to communicate, cooperate, and reach a fair agreement for the payment of rent during this unparalleled time.
Jeff Hacker of Hacker Law Group is an attorney in Santa Clarita who specializes in business and employment, real estate and catastrophic personal injury. The Santa Clarita attorney received Martindale-Hubbell’s esteemed AV Preeminent peer review rating, which demonstrates the highest level of professional excellence in a variety of areas. If you’re looking for an “attorney near me” or the best attorney in Santa Clarita, Hacker Law Group is committed to fight for their clients and provide outstanding results. To learn more, contact the attorneys in Santa Clarita today.
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