With the Coronavirus outbreak and the disease it causes – COVID 19 – rapidly spreading throughout San Jose and the greater Bay Area, many local government officials have announced recommendations to reduce the spread and prevent person to person transmission. These measures range from small, such as frequent hand washing, to colossal, including urging the cancelation of upcoming professional sporting games and the cancelation of an environmental job fair slated to occur in the City of San jose.  With Corona-panic impacting tourism and the local economy, many Bay Area tenants are at risk of significant financial strain resulting from loss of income.  In response, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo announced on Friday plans to introduce legislation to ban evictions of tenants affect by Coronavirus and loss of income associated with the Coronavirus.

How Will the Proposed Coronavirus Tenant Protections Help San Jose Tenants?

Although not yet law, the proposed San Jose eviction moratorium will prevent landlords from evicting San Jose tenants based on loss of income associated with COVID-19. Specifically, the San Jose eviction moratorium would protect San Jose tenants who are unable to pay rent due to Coronavirus.  The San Jose eviction moratorium will only last thirty-days, but city officials can pass an extension.  Please check our blog later for more information, as we will update it as the story develops.

What Other Bay Area Cities Are Passing Coronavirus Tenant Protections?

On Friday, San Francisco District-5 Supervisor Dean Preston also proposed eviction protections for San Francisco tenants who suffered wage loss after missing work due to COVID-19, or for following government-recommended health precautions. San Francisco tenants will also likely soon have Coronavirus tenant protections.  The proposed law heads to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

What Steps Must San Jose Tenants Who Suffer Loss of Income Related to Coronavirus Take to Prevent Eviction?

The proposed San Jose Coronavirus eviction moratorium requires tenants to notify their landlords of an inability to pay rent due to the Coronavirus before the rent becomes due. Further, the tenant is required to provide documents, such as paystubs or employer notes or notices, relating loss of income or reduction in work to the Coronavirus outbreak.

San Jose tenants who suffer loss of income due to Coronavirus should, in writing, have employers relate any loss of income or loss of work to Coronavirus.  Request that your supervisor or human resources department furnish a note indicating that you have lost work or income due to the Coronavirus.  Further, saving any company memos or notices indicating that shift cancelations due to Coronavirus have or will occur.  Finally, if you work for a major employer that has received press coverage related to Coronavirus store or operations closures, save copies of any articles.  Obtaining at least one of the abovementioned items will help protection you from an eviction.

Please note that San Jose tenants are not yet protected from evictions arising out of loss of income due to the Coronavirus.  This event is developing, and Astanehe Law will provide an update accordingly.

If you are a San Jose tenant with questions about your rights under the likely prospective San Jose Coronavirus eviction moratorium or have questions about the San Jose Rent Ordinance, California Rent Control (AB 1482), contact Astanehe Law to speak with a tenant attorney.