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Temporary Eviction Moratorium

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On March 24, 2020, the City of San Marcos enacted a temporary eviction moratorium to assist residential and commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19

The San Marcos City Council took action to protect residential and commercial tenants from the possibility of eviction by reason of financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and approved a temporary moratorium against such evictions. You can view a copy of the San Marcos ordinance enacting a temporary moratorium on evictions due to nonpayment of rent for residential and commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19 here. The moratorium is currently effective until close of business on May 31, 2020. 

For Tenants:

If there has been a substantial decrease in your household or business income caused by layoffs or significantly reduced hours, or if you have incurred substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses, and if the decrease in income and/or the medical expenses were caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and you comply with the requirements of the ordinance, the Council’s action temporarily prohibits your landlord from filing or pursuing an eviction action until after May 31, 2020.

What should you do if you are in this situation? To meet the requirements of the ordinance, within 30 days after your rent is due, NOTIFY YOUR LANDLORD IN WRITING that you have suffered a substantial decrease in your household or your business income (whichever is applicable) and cannot pay all or a portion of your rent, and provide your landlord with documents that show your substantial decrease in income is due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  
  

Please note: Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order on March 27, 2020, which requires notice to be provided to landlords no later than 7 days after the rent is due, and which may provide protection relating to eviction proceedings.  If possible, you should notify your landlord in writing that you cannot pay all or a portion of your rent within 7 DAYS after your rent is due, and retain the required documentation supporting your inability to pay all or a portion of your rent.

 This does not mean that you do not owe the rent to your landlord – it means that if you have suffered substantial financial loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and if you can document that you meet the requirements of the ordinance, your accrued unpaid rent will be payable after May 31, 2020.  If your rental agreement provides for a late payment fee, that fee will still be owed to the landlord if you defer your rent payment.
 
If your landlord has initiated or threatened such an action, and you can document that your inability to pay rent was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, please go to the City of San Marcos website (www.san-marcos.net) and click on the “Report A Concern” button, or select “Departments” and then “City Attorney,” and email the City Attorney from a link on that page. Your claim will be investigated and, if found to be substantiated, action will be taken against your landlord.

 

For Landlords:

If you receive notice from a tenant that they have experienced a substantial decrease in their household or business income caused by layoffs or significantly reduced hours, or if they have incurred substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses, and if the substantial decrease in income and/or the medical expenses was caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Council’s action prohibits you from filing or pursuing an eviction action against that tenant until after May 31, 2020.

This does not mean that the rent is not owed to you – it means that, if your tenant meets the terms of the ordinance, any unpaid rent will be payable after May 31, 2020. If your rental agreement provides for a late payment fee, that fee will still be owed to you if your tenant defers their rent payment.

If your tenant notifies you within 30 days after their rent is due that they have suffered a substantial decrease in their household or their business income (whichever is applicable) and cannot pay all or a portion of their rent, and provides you with documents that show that their substantial decrease in income is due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you are PRECLUDED from initiating or pursuing an eviction action against that tenant.

If the City learns that you have initiated such an eviction action and it is substantiated on review, you will be subjected to an enforcement action which will include the imposition of fines and orders. Please avoid this situation and work proactively with your tenants; in these difficult times it is important to work together to come to a mutually acceptable alternative payment schedule. If you have any questions, please go to the City of San Marcos website (www.san-marcos.net) and select “Departments” and then “City Attorney,” and email or call the City Attorney with the information provided on that page.


State Executive Order Issued March 27, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order on March 27, 2020 relating to residential eviction actions when the tenant is unable to work or must care for a family member as a result of a confirmed case of COVID-19, or suffers a job loss or income reduction as a result of COVID-19, or must miss work to care for a child because of a school closure in response to COVID-19.

Tenants must provide notice of that fact to their landlords, and advise they cannot pay their rent, within seven days after their rent comes due. When triggered, the Order extends the time for tenants to respond to an eviction action for a period of 60 days if they are served during the time the Executive Order is in effect, and also prohibits the enforcement of any writ for eviction during that period of time. The Order is effective until May 31, 2020. You can learn more here