Frequently Asked Questions

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​The State of California legislature has enacted, and the Governor has signed, Assembly Bill No. 832, which took effect on June 28, 2021, that provides state-wide eviction and foreclosure protections for many residential tenants and property owners suffering from economic hardship due to COVID-19. The eviction protections now extend through September 30, 2021. State law has replaced local legislation, including the County’s ordinance, in providing protections for residential tenants facing evictions. More information about how residential tenants can receive the protections of the state law can be found here: http://housing.ca.gov/tenant/protection_guidelines.html​. ​

Low-income Santa Clara County residents who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can receive help paying rent here: www.sccgov.org/sites/osh/NeedAssistance/Rent/Pages/home.aspx​.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also issued an agency order temporarily halting residential evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission. More information on the federal protections for residential tenants can be found here: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-eviction-declaration.html.​ On August 26, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the CDC's eviction moratorium, however, California's statewide eviction moratorium for residential tenants under state law remains in effect until September 30, 2021.

For small business tenants who qualify for protection under the County’s ordinance, the County's eviction moratorium expired on August 19, 2021. Protected small business tenants have up to 6 months after the moratorium expires or terminates to repay at least 50% of the past-due rent, and up to 12 months after the moratorium expires or terminates to repay in full the past-due rent. 

The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions to better inform tenants, landlords, and small businesses about this eviction moratorium:

    On August 31, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill No. 3088 into law, which took immediate effect.  Under this state law, residential tenants who have suffered from “COVID-19-related financial distress” are protected from eviction under certain conditions. On February 1, 2021, Senate Bill No. 91 took effect, which extended many of these protections through June 30, 2021. On June 28, 2021, Assembly Bill No. 832 took effect, which further extended many of these protections through September 30,2021. More information about how the state law protects residential tenants suffering from economic hardship due to COVID-19 and how to receive the protections of the state law can be found here: http://housing.ca.gov/tenant/protection_guidelines.html​.

    The County’s eviction moratorium that protected small business tenants expired on August 19, 2021. Small business tenants who qualify for protection under the County’s ordinance have up to 6 months after the moratorium expires or terminates to repay at least 50% of the past-due rent, and up to 12 months after the moratorium expires or terminates to repay in full the past-due rent.

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    On March 23, 2021, the County Board of Supervisors enacted Ordinance No. NS-9.299, which extended the County’s eviction moratorium for protected small business tenants until the earlier of: (a) the date that Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-28-20 or similar executive order expires (which is currently September 30, 2021), or (b) August 18, 2021. This means the County’s eviction moratorium for protected small business tenants was extended through August 18, 2021.

    On August 25, 2020, the County Board of Supervisors enacted Ordinance No. NS-9.292, which extended the County’s ordinance until November 30, 2020 and clarified existing law that any waiver of a tenant’s rights under the ordinance are void. State law enacted on August 31, 2020 placed specific limits on local ordinances. The residential tenant protections of the County’s eviction moratorium are now deemed to have expired on August 31, 2020 and to be replaced by the state law protections.

    Yes, small business tenants are still obligated to pay rent.  However, if a small business tenant has suffered a substantial loss of income and/or a substantial out-of-pocket medical expense as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they will be able to delay paying rent and are protected from being evicted because they cannot pay rent on time while the temporary eviction moratorium is in effect. If a tenant cannot pay rent as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they should notify their landlord as soon as possible in writing, and support their claim using objectively verifiable means (including documentation), being sure to keep a copy and proof of delivery if possible.

    Landlords may still collect rent consistent with their rental agreements.  But landlords cannot evict small business tenants for non-payment of rent if the small business tenant has suffered a substantial loss of income and/or a substantial out-of-pocket medical expense due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

    The temporary eviction ban for protected small business tena​nts lasts until August 18, 2021​.

    What constitutes a “substantial loss of income” or a “substantial out-of-pocket medical expense” will depend on your specific situation.  Generally, a reduction in operating hours, closure of your place of business, a substantial decrease in business income, the need to miss work to care for a school-aged child or a family member who is infected with 2020 COVID-19 resulting in a substantial loss of income, or other similar cause of diminished income are all examples of substantial loss of income when it is due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic or related guidance or orders from the local, State, or federal government.

     

    A “substantial out-of-pocket medical expense” would be a medical expense for yourself or an immediate family member due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.​​

    Small business tenants who believe they have suffered a substantial loss of income or a substantial out-of-pocket medical expense due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic should provide their landlord with documentation, such as, but not limited to:

    • Bank statements;
    • Letters or notifications from schools the tenant’s dependent child attends that have closed due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and that have caused a substantial loss of income (because, for instance, a parent has had to stop working to take care of a child or children); 
    • Medical bills

    You may also provide any other documentation that demonstrates a substantial loss of income or a substantial out-of-pocket medical expense due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

    Protected small business tenants will have up to 6 months after the moratorium ends to repay at least 50% of the past-due rent deferred during the moratorium and 12 months after the moratorium ends to repay in full the past-due rent deferred during the moratorium.  A landlord may not charge a late fee for rent that was due during the eviction moratorium so long as the rent is repaid according to this timeline.​​​

    Commercial tenants are considered a small business if they meet the size standards for a small business under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s table of size standards by industry, codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 13 C.F.R. section 121.201.  The Code of Federal Regulations is available on the Internet at https://www.ecfr.gov/

    Yes, non-profit entities that satisfy all other requirements under the Ordinance are included under the definitions of “Tenant” and “Commercial Real Property”​

    Yes, the temporary eviction ban applies county-wide to both incorporated cities and unincorporated areas within the geographic boundaries of the County.  However, if a City has enacted its own anti-eviction regulation, the City’s own regulation applies within the City, except to the extent the County’s Ordinance provides stronger protections to small business tenants, in which case the stronger protections of the County’s Ordinance apply.​​

    Under the temporary moratorium, landlords of small business tenants must state the reason for the termination of tenancy.  For a small business tenant that qualifies for protection under the Ordinance, if a landlord tries to terminate your tenancy without complying with the terms of the temporary moratorium, the notice of termination is void.  If such tenants receive eviction papers, they can use the landlord’s failure to comply with the temporary moratorium as a defense in the landlord’s eviction lawsuit.  If a tenant receives lawsuit papers, they should immediately seek legal help to respond to the lawsuit.  Additionally, if a landlord tries to terminate your tenancy without complying with the terms of the temporary moratorium, a tenant may bring their own lawsuit in Superior Court against the landlord for violating the Ordinance. Civil fines and penalties, monetary damages and injunctive relief may be imposed on landlords who seek to retaliate or deny small business tenants of their rights and protections under the ordinance.

    Prior to initiating any repayment plan with a tenant protected by this Ordinance, a landlord must first inform the small business tenant of their repayment rights​ under the Ordinance (ie. the tenant has up to 6 months after the moratorium ends to repay at least 50% of the past-due rent and 12 months after the moratorium ends to repay in full the past-due rent).

     

    Any notice to terminate tenancy served on a small business tenant protected by this Ordinance during this temporary moratorium must include the reason for the termination, a notice of the tenant’s rights under this ordinance, and a notice of emergency rental assistance programs. A form of this required notice to a tenant can be obtained here​.​​

    The County Office of Supportive Housing is actively working with our local cities and community partners to provide information on rental assistance and other support for landlords and tenants affected by COVID-19.  Please visit here​ ​for more information on available resources.  The County will continue to update this website as resources become available.​​

    No.  If small business tenants voluntarily terminate their leases during the time the eviction moratorium ordinance is in effect, the county’s repayment terms and protections do not apply to them after their tenancies have been terminated.

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