City of San Diego Non-Payment of Rent Eviction Moratorium

Legislative Updates ,

Ordinance passed over a year ago quietly goes into effect July 1

An eviction moratorium that was passed a year and half ago in the City of San Diego is now in effect with the end of statewide eviction protections. The ordinance was approved in February 2021 but was pre-empted by state law. The city’s ordinance which applies to non-payment of rent is now in effect despite no noticeable communication from the City or its agencies to remind the community and housing providers.

SCRHA lobbied the Mayor and Councilmembers earlier this year urging them to rescind the ordinance or to at the very least assign an end-date to it. Instead, Council President Elo-Rivera piled on with the addition of a temporary moratorium on no-fault termination of tenancy. Click here to learn more about the no-fault ordinance.

Read on to learn more about the protections against non-payment of rent in the City of San Diego…

  • For rent due on or after July 1, 2022, a housing provider may not evict, or endeavor to evict, a tenant for not paying rent where the tenant’s failure to pay is due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 and the tenant provided written notice to the landlord on or within seven days after the rental payment due date that they are unable to pay rent in full. This DOES NOT apply to rent due prior to July 1, 2022.
    • Notice must be provided by the tenant each month they are unable to pay.
    • Housing providers ARE NOT required to provide any declarations or specific language in their notices.
  • Within seven days of the tenant providing notice, the housing provider may request the tenant provide documentation or objectively verifiable information that the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19.
    • The tenant shall have 14 days from the date of the landlord’s request to provide the requested documentation.
    • If the tenant does not provide timely notice or evidence of financial impacts related to COVID-19, the landlord may pursue any enforcement action in accordance with state and local laws unless the tenant can demonstrate timely compliance was impossible due to hospitalization or other incapacity.
    • “Financial impacts” means:
      • A substantial loss of household income due to business closure.
      • A substantial reduction in compensable hours of work or wages, layoff, or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses.
      • A financial impact is “related to COVID-19” if it is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including caring for an immediate family member with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, or if it is caused by any governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic, complying with any public health orders, school or childcare closures, or recommended guidance related to COVID-19 from local, state, or federal authorities.
    • “Written notice” includes email or text communications to a landlord or landlord’s representative or agent with whom the tenant has previously corresponded by email or text.
    • “Endeavor to evict” shall include taking or attempting to take any of the following actions based on the tenant’s nonpayment of rent:
      • Charge or collect any late fees for rent that is delayed for the reasons set forth in the Ordinance.
      • Threatening to or actually serving a notice, filing, or prosecuting any action to obtain possession of the property rented by that tenant or otherwise endeavoring to evict that tenant for nonpayment of rent.
      • Filing or prosecuting any unlawful detainer action based on a three-day pay or quit notice.
      • Or, pursuing a no-fault eviction.
    • Nothing in this Ordinance relieves the tenant of the obligation to pay rent or restricts the landlord’s ability to recover rent due.
    • The moratorium will remain in effect until 60 days after the local emergency is lifted by the Mayor. Tenants have until the expiration of the ordinance to pay past due rent.
    • Click here to read the full ordinance. Click here to read the guidance from Legal Aid San Diego.

SCRHA will be hosting a webinar in the near future to review the end of the most recent California Moratorium, the remaining moratoria in effect, and the status of evictions in the court system.