Gov. Gavin Newsom announced an executive order banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters impacted by COVID-19 through May 31.

The order goes into effect on April 1.

The order prohibits landlords, law enforcement and courts from enforcing eviction notices through May.

This order does not relieve the tenant of their liability to pay unpaid rent. The tenant will eventually be required to pay all the rent owed.

It requires tenants to declare in writing that they cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19 related hardship. The declaration must be submitted up to seven days after the rent comes due.

COVID-19 related reasons for not being able to pay to include the tenant being unavailable to work because the tenant was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or caring for a household or family member who was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. It also included tenants that experienced a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19 and if the tenant needed to miss work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19.

The tenant is required to have verifiable documentation on why they cannot pay. This includes documentation on termination notices, payroll checks, pay stubs, bank statements, medical bills, or signed letters or statements from an employer or supervisor explaining the tenant’s changed financial situation. This documentation may be provided to the landlord no later than the time upon payment of back-due rent.

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