SANTA MONICA- The City of Santa Monica issued a temporary moratorium on Saturday, March 14 for evictions due to non payment of rent by residential tenants impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The moratorium declares that a landlord is not permitted to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant is unable to pay rent due to:

  • Being ill with COVID-19
  • Caring for a household or family member who is sick with COVID-19
  • Job lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction issues resulting from business closure or other economic or employer impacts of COVID-19
  • Compliance with a recommendation from a government health authority to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency
  • Extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Child care needs arising from school closures related to COVID-19

Landlords cannot pursue a no-fault eviction unless necessary for the health and safety of tenants, neighbors, or the landlord.  The order suspends the discontinuation of water service for residents and businesses in the City for non payment of water and sewer bills, the imposition of late payment penalties, or and the imposition of late payment for parking violations for the next 60 days.

“Our community is over 70% renters, and this order provides our them the security of housing during this difficult time.  We recognize that the vast majority of landlords will act responsibly, but this order serves to ensure no renter loses their home due to a crisis beyond their control.” said City Manager and Director of Emergency Services Rick Cole.

Local emergencies can be declared by the City Manager, with ratification by the City Council within seven days. The local emergency is now in effect and will be confirmed by the City Council before March 20, 2020.