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Gov. Newsom enacts statewide eviction moratorium for those affected by COVID-19

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide moratorium on evictions Friday in response to the impact of the new coronavirus on incomes. The moratorium will be in effect until May 31 and does not preempt local ordinances that go further. (Kristie-Valerie Hoang/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Martín Bilbao

March 27, 2020 2:56 pm

California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered a temporary ban on statewide evictions Friday as the state grapples with the spread of the new coronavirus.  

The governor’s executive order is in effect until May 31 and comes amid statewide orders to stay at home, practice social distancing and shut down nonessential businesses. Such orders have caused some people to lose income, putting them at risk of failing to pay their rent. 

Newsom said at a press conference that his office allowed county and city governments to set limits on evictions March 16, but not all jurisdictions suspended evictions. 

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an eviction moratorium for commercial and residential tenants March 17 and extended protections Monday. The LA moratorium would have lasted until April 19.  

“Los Angeles has been a leader in this space. … Thirty jurisdictions had moved already or moved now more aggressively to establish this framework, but only 30,” Newsom said. “As a consequence of that, today we just established a new overlay for the state of California that denies the capacity for enforcement, court proceedings for any evictions through May 31.” 

Tenants unable to pay rent must notify their landlord up to seven days after payment is due; however, tenants must eventually pay their rent. 

Tenants can temporarily forgo paying rent if they have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, or if they are caring for someone confirmed or suspected of having the disease. 

Additionally, tenants can invoke the order if they have experienced a loss of income relating to COVID-19 and government “safer at home” orders. Lastly, the order applies to tenants who have to skip work to care for a child whose school was closed. 

Newsom added that his executive order does not preempt any local ordinances that go further in suspending evictions.

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Martín Bilbao
Bilbao is the Assistant News editor for City and Crime. He is a fourth-year political science student who previously worked as a News contributor for Features and Student Life.
Bilbao is the Assistant News editor for City and Crime. He is a fourth-year political science student who previously worked as a News contributor for Features and Student Life.
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