Contra Costa supes extend moratoriums on evictions, rent increases

Contra Costa supes extend moratoriums on evictions, rent increases
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The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously passed an urgency ordinance that extends moratoriums on evictions for residential tenants and small businesses countywide, as well as on certain residential rent increases, through Sept. 30.

Under the ordinance, a property owner cannot evict a residential tenant, small business or nonprofit tenant for failing to pay rent if the tenant demonstrates loss of income or out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19. Tenants are also given a grace period to pay back rent through Jan. 21, 2021, and cannot be charged late fees, the county says.

The ordinance also states tenants cannot be evicted for any “no-fault” reason “except to protect the health and safety of the owner or another tenant, to allow the owner or their immediate family to move into the residential unit or to remove the unit from the rental market,” the county said.

While there’s a moratorium on residential rent increases in the county, state law prevents the rent freeze from applying to commercial tenants and certain residential properties, including those built within the last 15 years and single-family homes.

This ordinance applies in all 19 cities in the county and in all unincorporated areas.

“The emergency is not over with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Supervisor Candace Andersen said. “We sincerely hope passage of this new ordinance to extend the eviction protection and rent freeze will continue to protect renters and small businesses, even as landlords and renters work together to have tenants pay what they can over a longer period of time.”

To view the full ordinance, click Ordinance No. 2020-20 (PDF). The County website will soon be updated with Frequently Asked Questions on this ordinance.