Earlier in May 2021, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 in favor of a temporary ordinance that places restrictions on rent increases and residential evictions under certain circumstances in the county of San Diego. The ordinance restricts all ordinances without just cause only allowing specific cases of non payment of rent and cases where health and safety are in question. Along with the restrictions on evictions, come temporary rent increase bans throughout San Diego County. The idea behind the new measure is to maintain housing stability for the residence of San Diego.
Here are some key takeaways and important parts of the temporary eviction moratorium in San Diego.
- The new ordinance applies to all cities in San Diego County.
- All tenants who occupy a residential rental unit who live within the County of San Diego are protected under the new ordinance.
- The new ordinance begins 30 day from its final approval on June 3, 2021. It is set to expire 60 days after the state wide emergency order is lifted (which as of the writing of this article is planned for June 15th, 2021.)
- The San Diego ordinance does not supersede federal, state and other city/local ordinances in place.
- If parts of the new ordinance are either contradictive or silent on a particular situation, the more protective of either the federal, state or local ordinance will be enacted.
- Landlords cannot enter agreements with tenants that contradict with the new ordinance’s policies.
- Any eviction notices served to tenants during the California local emergency (currently defined as Feb 14, 2020 through 60 days as of the date the emergency order is lifted) are not valid unless the ordinance allows the eviction to proceed.
- The verbiage in the new ordinance does not conflict with SB 91, which means it does not change the landlords ability to recover unpaid COVID rental debt as of June 30, 2021, when SB91 is set to expire.
- The ordinance requires any new eviction actions as of June 3rd, 2021 to have a “just cause” for eviction which as been redefined as:
- An “imminent health or safety threat” “is a hazard to the health or safety of other tenants or occupants of the same property, taking into account (1) the risk of potential spread of coronavirus caused by the eviction, in case of a Local Emergency due to COVID-19, (2) any public health or safety risk caused by the eviction, and (3) all other remedies available to the landlord and other occupants of the property, against the nature and degree of health and safety risk posed by the tenant’s activity. An imminent health or safety threat cannot be the resident’s COVID-19 illness or exposure to COVID-19, whether actual or suspected.”
- Once the landlord has made sure they are not violating the new ordinance and can proceed with an eviction action, the following disclosure must be included in underlined, 12 point bolded text:
- The Emergency Eviction Moratorium is currently in effect. Other than for failure to pay rent or an imminent health or safety threat, evictions are restricted during the Local Emergency declared by the County of San Diego]. Tenants who are being evicted for failure to pay rent may have additional protections under California law. You may contact Legal Aid Society of San Diego (1-877-534-2524) or the Legal Referral and Information Service of the San Diego County Bar Association at 619-231-8585 or 800-464-1529. For additional information and referrals or visit https://www.lassd.org .”
- If the lease agreement with your tenant is in any other language other than English, the landlord is required to provide a translated notice in that language.
- It’s imperative the landlord is absolutely sure they are within the ordinances policies to start an eviction action against their tenant as non-compliance will quickly get their case thrown out in court giving way to the tenant being able to bring a lawsuit against the landlord.
- Tenants are still obligated to pay their rent and other financial obligations and does not restrict the landlord’s ability to recover rent owed.
If you have any questions or concerts, please contact your legal counsel or you can use my contact page and I will try to answer your questions.