Help Us Help You! Testimony on COVID Eviction Moratorium Needed
In Summer of 2021, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors narrowly passed an eviction moratorium ordinance that went far beyond what was reasonable. It was essentially a de facto ban on Evictions and Termination of Tenancy. It had very little to do with a resident’s ability to pay and was more a political stunt to keep everyone in their homes, regardless of whether they complied with rules or not. Simply put, it was not fair to housing providers or residents who had to suffer through nuisance behavior from their neighbors.
Help Us Help YOU! Here are some scenarios which might have applied to you or your property while the ordinance was in effect, June 3, 2021, to August 14, 2021.
- In that time, you could not terminate tenancy for any reason other than a health and safety threat to other residents at the property. That meant that even if you or your staff (or a third party) were harassed or assaulted by a tenant, you could not move to terminate tenancy or evict. You couldn’t even serve a notice referencing eviction or termination of tenancy in that time period.
- The threshold created by the ordinance meant that your problematic tenant could not be easily removed. Housing providers had to wait until it reached crisis level (violent crime) before any steps could be taken to properly address the issue. In the meantime, your good residents may have moved leaving you with unexpected turnover costs.
- Even if you served a notice prior to the ordinance’s effective date, if your notice expired between June 3 and August 14, it was rendered null and void. Your problematic tenant got a reprieve, and your good tenants were left to suffer. If you had a remodel or sale planned, you had to put plans on hold. Then you had to redo noticing after August 14, adding months to your timeline.
- Owners could not move into their own homes! Military families, families suffering their own COVID hardships and more could not move themselves or immediate family members into their own properties. This ordinance favored one party’s needs over another while denying property owners their private property rights. Many property owners shared that they had to couch surf or pay for alternative accommodations for many months because of the law.
These are just a few scenarios. The County of San Diego repeatedly tried to get our dismissed, and only recently, a federal court said our lawsuit may go forward. We will be amending our complaint soon, and it is important for us to add more and updated testimony from owners and managers who had concrete (financial or other) injuries due to the moratorium. If you were harmed by the inability to remove a tenant as a result of the moratorium, please contact David McDonald at Pacific Legal Foundation (a public interest law firm that has expressed interest in potentially assisting in the case) to share your story: email@example.com, 202-888-6881.