SAN LEANDRO, CA: The San Leandro City Council yesterday unanimously passed an urgency ordinance with the goal of temporarily halting evictions for non-payment of rent due to a substantial loss of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rules are effective immediately and remain in place through May 31, 2020 or the expiration of the local emergency or the Governor’s proclamation of a state of emergency, whichever is later. The ordinance provides all commercial and residential tenants, including mobile home tenants and recreational vehicle owners, a defense in an eviction proceeding for failure to pay rent.
“For many community residents and businesses, coronavirus has the potential to be devastating not only to our personal health, but also to our savings accounts,” noted Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter. “That’s why our City Council passed this urgency ordinance to protect people who are being impacted. San Leandrans can now rest assured that no one in our City is going to lose their housing or place of business during this crisis because COVID-19 prevented them from paying rent”.
Many tenants are experiencing sudden income loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Statewide Shelter-In-Place Order. Additional impacts are anticipated, leaving tenants vulnerable to eviction. The ordinance has been crafted to avoid unnecessary displacement, business closures, and homelessness during the state of emergency.
Examples of COVID-19-related income losses that would trigger protections under the ordinance include:
- the need to remain off work due to COVID-19 illness or symptoms
- the need to self-quarantine because of exposure
- a reduction in work hours
- job loss due to closure of the business that employed the tenant
- the need to care for a child or children whose school is closed
- inability to operate a non-essential business because of the shelter-in-place order
- lack of business due to no customers
The new ordinance is consistent with Governor Newsom’s March 16th Executive Order that allows cities to stop residential and commercial property evictions due to non-payment of rent. The ordinance does not relieve tenants from paying any unpaid rent within 120 to 180 days after the ordinance expires.
Find the full staff report from yesterday’s session online. A recording of the special Council meeting is also available on the Council agenda page. For more information, please contact Tom Liao, Community Development Director, at email@example.com 510-577-6003.