Oakland Halts Evictions & Limits Rent Increases During Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic
Oakland tenants are protected from evictions during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 local state of emergency, Oakland landlords may not evict a tenant, except where the eviction is necessary to protect the health and safety of other occupants at the property.
The Oakland Coronavirus/COVID-19 eviction moratorium shall remain in effect until at least May 31, 2020. The Oakland City Council may extend it.
Oakland Landlords Cannot Evict Oakland Tenants for Non-Payment of Rent During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic
The Oakland Eviction Moratorium also allows tenants to defer rent due to Coronavirus/COVID-19 economic impacts. Where a tenant has not paid rent during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 local state of emergency, they are permitted to defer rent payments due to Coronavirus/COVID-19-related substantial income loss or expenses increases. To qualify for deferment, the tenant’s rent must have been late due to:
- Loss of employment, reduction in hours due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19;
- Inability to work because their children were out of school due tot eh Coronavirus/COVID-19;
- Inability to work due to contracting the Coronavirus/COVID-19;
- Inability to work due to caring for a family or household member with the Coronavirus/COVID-19;
- Complying with a government agency recommendation to self-quarantine; or,
- Incurring substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses related to Coronavirus/COVID-19.
No Late Fees for Rent Deferred due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19
Oakland landlords may not impose late fees on deferred rent. To qualify for late fee protection, the tenant’s rent must have been late due to:
- Contracting Coronavirus/COVID-19;
- Complying with a government self-quarantine recommendation;
- Substantial loss in income due to a reduction in hours or employment;
- Caring for children who were out of school;
- Caring for a household or family member who contracted Coronavirus/COVID-19; or,
- Incurring substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses due to Coronavirus/COVID-19.
Does the Oakland Coronavirus/COVID-19 Rent Deferment Apply to Unpaid Rent Due Before the Local Emergency?
No, the Oakland Coronavirus/COVID-19 eviction moratorium does not cover unpaid rent due before March 9, 2020, the date that the City of Oakland declared a local emergency.
Can Oakland Landlords Increase Rent During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic?
No, the Oakland Coronavirus/COVID-19 eviction moratorium also includes a rent increase limitation. The rent increase limitation only covers Oakland rental units covered by the Oakland Rent Ordinance. For a rent increase notice served or set to take effect on a covered unit on or after March 9, 2020, the rent increase may not be over 3.5%.
Additionally, all rent increase notices must, during the local state of emergency, include the following statement:
During the Local Emergency declared by the City of Oakland in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, your rent may not be increased in excess of the CPI Rent Adjustment (3.5% until June 30, 2020), unless required for the landlord to obtain a fair return. You may contact the Rent Adjustment Program at (510) 238–3721 for additional information and referrals.
Although Oakland tenants may defer rent payments during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 emergency, they will have to pay deferred rent in the future.
Oakland joins numerous other California cities that have, or will soon pass, Coronavirus/COVID-19 eviction moratoriums, including San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, Santa Monica, Culver City, Stockton, Sacramento, San Diego, Alameda, Burbank, Pasadena, Vallejo, Inglewood, Glendale, El Monte, South Pasadena, Richmond, Emeryville, Ojai, Palo Alto, Clearlake, Palm Springs, Goleta, Santa Ana, San Louis Obispo County, West Sacramento, Watsonville, Woodland, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Benicia, Camarillo, San Leandro, Union City and Los Angeles.
If you are an Oakland tenant with questions about your rights under the Oakland Coronavirus/COVID-19 eviction moratorium or have questions about the Oakland Rent Ordinance or California Rent Control (AB 1482), contact Astanehe Law to speak with a tenant attorney.
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