On March 23, 2020, San Francisco Mayor London Breed amended the March 13 Order placing a moratorium on evictions for non-payment related to COVID-19.
The amendment modifies the procedures for protecting a tenant from an eviction for non-payment of rent. Importantly, the amendment also places a moratorium on all attempts to recover possession of rental units if the effective date of the notice of termination of tenancy falls within 60 days after the date the Order expires, except where the landlord is endeavoring to recover possession due to violence, threats of violence, or health and safety issues.
The new amendment states:
(1) It is necessary to amend the temporary moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent by residential tenants directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, as stated in Section 1 of the Second Supplement dated March 13, 2020, to clarify that it also applies to housing providers who are exempt from the Rent Ordinance because their rent is controlled or regulated by the City; to allow tenants to obtain extensions due to expenses that are non-medical in nature; and to modify the notification and timing procedures that apply when a tenant requires an extension. Accordingly, Section 1 of the Second Supplement is hereby withdrawn, and the temporary moratorium shall be as follows:
(a) Notwithstanding Section 37.9(a)(l) of the Administrative Code, if a residential tenant has not timely made a rent payment that was due on or after March 13, 2020, the landlord may not recover possession of the unit under Section 37.9(a)(l) if the tenant has provided notice to the landlord within 30 days after the date that rent was due that the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19. This eviction moratorium also applies to housing providers who are exempt from Chapter 3 7 on the basis that the rent is controlled or regulated by the City (including without limitation privately-operated units regulated by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development or the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing).
(b) For purposes of this Order, “financial impacts” means a substantial loss of household income due to business closure, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, layoffs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket expenses. A financial impact is “related to COVID-19” if it was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor’s Proclamation, the Local Health Officer’s Declaration of Local Health Emergency, or orders or recommended guidance related to COVID-19 from local, state, or federal authorities.
(c) Within one week of providing notice under subsection (l)(a), the tenant shall provide the landlord documentation or other objectively verifiable information that due to financial impacts related to COVID-19, the tenant is unable to pay rent. The landlord may attempt to proceed under Section 37.9(a)(l) if the tenant does not comply with this requirement to provide documentation of financial impact within one week. If the tenant has provided documentation, then the tenant shall automatically receive an additional month after the date the tenant provided the documentation to pay the rent. If the tenant does not pay the rent at that time, the landlord must inform the tenant of the breach in writing, and the landlord and tenant shall then attempt to discuss the matter in good faith in order to develop a payment plan for the tenant to pay the missed rent.
(d) This Order shall last for a period of 30 days, until the Proclamation of Local Emergency is terminated, or upon further Order from the Mayor, whichever occurs sooner. The Mayor may extend this Order by an additional period of 30 days if conditions at that time warrant extension. The Mayor shall provide notice of the extension through an Executive Order posted on the Mayor’s website and delivered to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
(e) Upon expiration or termination of this Order, a tenant who provided the notice required under subsection (l)(a) shall have up to six months to pay the rent owed to the landlord, before the landlord may recover possession due to those missed rent payments under Section 37.9(a)(l). The foregoing sentence does not prevent a landlord from providing a tenant additional time under a payment plan. During the six-month period, a landlord may request documentation of the tenant’s ongoing inability to pay, and the tenant shall pay if able to do so, but under no circumstances shall a tenant’s failure to
timely respond to a follow-up request for documentation invalidate the six-month extension period. At the end of the six-month extension period, if the tenant still has not paid all outstanding rent, Section 37.9(a)(l) shall apply.
(f) Nothing in this Order relieves a tenant of the obligation to pay rent, nor restricts a landlord’s ability to recover the rent due through means other than an eviction for non-payment.
(2) There shall be a moratorium on attempts to recover possession of rental units from residential tenants, if the effective date of the notice of termination of tenancy would fall within 60 days after the date this Order expires or is terminated, except where the landlord is endeavoring to recover possession due to violence, threats of violence, or health and safety issues. This Order shall apply to evictions under Section 37.9(a)(13) only if and when the Governor or State Legislature authorize such limitations on Ellis Act evictions during this state of emergency. The Executive Director of the Rent Board is directed to develop a form that landlords shall be required to include with any eviction notices, to inform tenants of the requirements of Sections (1) and (2) of this Order, and of the Superior Court Order.
The full March 23, 2020 Order can be found here.