On Monday, the Pittsburg City Council will discuss establishing an emergency regulation which would place a moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent due to loss of income because of COVID-19 or other “no fault” evictions.
The moratorium would apply to both commercial and residential property and if approved it would take effect immediately. The ordinance would not relieve any tenant of liability for unpaid rent and must be paid within six months of termination of the local emergency.
The intent of the eviction order is to give tenants who have suffered loss of income additional time to make rent, help small business from closing, avoid unnecessary housing displacement and increased homelessness, prevent no-fault evictions, reduce potential spread of COVID-19.
According to the Staff Analysis:
During this local emergency, staff believes it is in the interest of protecting the public health and preventing transmission of COVID-19, to avoid unnecessary housing displacement, as well as to protect businesses that may be affected by loss of income, particularly those businesses deemed to be non-essential and are not allowed to operate during the shelter-in-place order.
The proposed ordinances would place a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions due to inability to pay rent or for “no-fault,” meaning any eviction for which the notice to terminate tenancy is not based on alleged fault by the tenant. Tenants would be required to provide notice to landlords within 30 days after failing to pay rent and must pay rent pro-rated to financial impact. The ordinance would remain in effect for the duration of the local emergency, and would not relieve any tenant of liability for the unpaid rent, which the landlord may seek after termination of the local emergency and must be paid within six months of the termination of the local emergency
Update: Actions Taken Monday by the City Council
During a nearly 4-hour discussion that included 41-public comments, the council unanimously passed an eviction moratorium to protect residential and commercial tenants in response to COVID-19.
The council debated the timeline of 6-months all the way to 2-years at the request of Council Member Shanelle Scales-Preston who stated she recently bought a home and was renting it out. The rest of council thought 2-years was too long and focused most of the discussion between 6-months to 9-months.
Councilemember Merl Craft pushed for the 9-months where Mayor Jelani Killings and councilmember Juan Antonio Banales pushed for 6 which Craft then agreed. The council then moved forward in a 5-0 vote.
- A tenant must provide notice to a landlord of inability to pay within 15-days when rent is due (only during the “emergency”)
- No landlord shall increase rent for the duration of local emergency + 6 months with exceptions to be determined by City Manager
- Nothing in this ordinance shall relieve the tenant of liability for the unpaid rent, which the landlord may seek after termination of the local emergency and the tenant must pay within six months of the termination of the local emergency. A landlord may not charge or collect a late fee for rent that is delayed for the reasons stated in this ordinance.
- No landlord can evict a tenant for failure to pay rent due to financial impact of COVID-19 or no-fault eviction for the health and safety.
- A tenant must provide notice to a landlord of inability to pay within 15-days
- No landlord shall increase rent with exception of common area maintenance fees for duration of local emergency + 6 months
- Nothing relieves tenant of liability for the unpaid rent which landlord may seek after termination of local emergency and a tenant must pay CAM FEES within 2-months and rent within 6-months
- Note – on CAMS, this is actually maintenance, garbage, parking lot and other items related to shared cost of a facility.
The council will revist this after 6-months
Staff Report: click here
To view the virtual City Council meeting on Monday, April 6, 2020 at 7:00 pm, log on to our website (http://www.ci.pittsburg.ca.