At a special Board meeting on May 26, 2020, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an urgency ordinance that continues an eviction moratorium for residential tenants and small businesses in the County through July 15, 2020. The urgency ordinance also continues a moratorium on certain residential rent increases through July 15, 2020.
The new ordinance temporarily prohibits evictions of residential tenants in Contra Costa County impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The eviction moratorium also applies to tenants who are small businesses or non-profit organizations. A small business is an independently owned and operated business that is not dominant in its field of operation, has its principal office in California, has 100 or fewer employees, and has average annual gross receipts of $15 million or less over the previous three years.
“The economic difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have not gone away. The fear of eviction brought on by job losses remains a real one for many of our residents,” said Supervisor Candace Andersen, Board Chair. “We hope the passage of this new ordinance continues to protect renters and small businesses, including nonprofit organizations, against eviction and the freeze on rent increases will give residents the support they need during this unprecedented emergency.”
“We continue to recognize the impact on landlords and urge them to work together with tenants to have the owed rent paid over a longer period of time,” said Supervisor Andersen. “We’re counting on renters to pay what they can and when they can. We’re counting on landlords to do their part and to work with renters fairly.”
This law applies to properties in all 19 cities in the County and in all unincorporated areas. To the extent that a city has adopted a law on the same subject matter, then its provisions would apply in that city.
Protections granted to residential renters and small businesses include:
- Prohibition on Evictions Due to Unpaid Rent – A property owner cannot evict a residential tenant or small business tenant for failure to pay rent if a tenant demonstrates loss of income or out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19. This prohibition lasts through July 15, 2020.
- Ban on No-Fault Evictions – A property owner cannot evict a residential tenant or small business tenant for any “no-fault” reason except to protect the health and safety of the owner or another tenant, or to allow the owner or their immediate family to move into the residential unit. This ban lasts through July 15, 2020.
- Grace Period to Pay Back Rent – Residential tenants or small business tenants who demonstrate loss of income or out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19 have until November 15, 2020 to pay past due rent. This does not relieve a tenant of their obligation to pay rent.
- No Late Fees – A property owner may not charge or collect late fees for unpaid rent from a residential tenant or small business tenant who demonstrates loss of income or out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19. This ban on late fees extends until November 15, 2020.
- Moratorium on Residential Rent Increases – A property owner may not increase rent on a residential property through July 15, 2020. State law prevents this freeze from applying to commercial tenancies and to certain residential properties, including residences built within the last 15 years and single family homes.
Read the full document Ordinance No. 2020-16 (PDF). Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding this ordinance will be available and updated on the County website soon.