Eviction Moratoriums: What Renters Need to Know
The COVID-19 pandemic caused economic hardship for many renters across the country, making it difficult to pay rent on time.
In response, federal, state, and local governments implemented temporary eviction moratoriums to prevent people from losing their homes during the public health crisis.
However, most of these protections have now expired, leaving renters once again vulnerable to eviction.
In this article, we will provide an overview of eviction moratoriums, focusing on states like California, and explain what options renters have if they are struggling to pay rent.
The California eviction moratorium prohibited landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent between March 2020 and June 2022.
Tenants had to demonstrate COVID-19-related inability to pay rent and repay any unpaid amounts within 6 months after the moratorium expired. This measure kept thousands of Californians housed during the pandemic.
With the moratorium over, tenants must once again pay rent on time or face eviction. However, resources exist for those still financially impacted by the pandemic. The key is to act quickly and know your options.
If you are behind on rent, immediately apply for rental assistance if available in your area. Funding from the federal government enabled many cities and states to set up rental assistance programs.
Submitting an application can protect you from eviction while your case is reviewed.
You may also want to negotiate directly with your landlord, especially if rental aid is unavailable. Offer partial payments, a repayment plan, or reduced rent. Landlords often prefer to make a deal rather than go through the eviction process.
Finally, understand your legal rights. Many states and cities have enacted new tenant protections limiting reasons for evictions. Consult local tenant advocacy groups to fully understand the eviction process and your rights. Acting quickly and negotiating in good faith can help renters stay housed even after moratoriums end.
The COVID-19 pandemic underscored issues of housing affordability and stability in America. While eviction moratoriums provided temporary relief, more work is needed to ensure everyone has access to safe, affordable housing.