California Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order making it clear that local governments can impose eviction protections for tenants who are unable to pay their rent because of the coronavirus or loss of income as a result of the outbreak.

According to Newsom’s order, such ordinances should spell out that if a tenant cannot pay the rent because of COVID-19, that tenant’s rental payment is deferred for a reasonable period but not waived.

Newsom’s order also extended through May 31, 2020, a provision of the state’s anti-price gouging law that prohibits a landlord from evicting a tenant and then charging the new tenant a rent higher than could have been legally charged to the evicted tenant.

Already, a number of local jurisdictions have approved COVID-19 eviction moratoria. A full list of jurisdictions that have imposed or are considering temporary eviction prohibitions can be found at CAA’s COVID-19 resources page. Check this page periodically for updates.

Failure to act with compassion in dealing with residents who face coronavirus-related hardships in all locations, regardless of whether a moratorium on evictions is in place will definitely lead to legal consequences.