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evictions March 13, 2020

Evictions To Be Paused During Outbreak

In response to the economic impact of the novel coronavirus on residents of San Jose, City Council plans to impose a temporary moratorium on evictions.

While initial plans suspend evictions for 30 days, San Jose City Council intends to revisit the situation when the period ends to assess potentially extending it. Residents that demonstrate the economic impact of COVID-19 reduced their income become exempt from landlord evictions.

Proof requirements include some form of documentation. For example, pay stubs, quarantine documents, or school letters explaining closures and thus a need for at-home child care substantiate tenant claims of hardship.

Mayor Sam Liccardo addressed concerns from property owners in the city. She urged understanding that “this pain is going to be broadly felt and we have to do everything in our power to try and soften the blow.”

Additionally, the moratorium only protects against evictions. Tenants still must pay their rent, and remain responsible for missed rent payments during the moratorium.

Though, future meetings include addressing the potential creation of a fund to support renters and small businesses. It would alleviate some of the financial burden during the coronavirus crisis.

Evictions Ban Draws Landlord Ire

Despite broad support, a slew of landlords penned letters to City Council lambasting the evictions ban. Some claimed the measure unfairly forced the burden onto their shoulders. The Mercury News, in their reporting of the ban, cited one landlord, John Fiebich, who wrote it was unfair to landlords to “shoulder the entire financial burden of a tenant that can not or will not pay the rent because of some loose connection to Covid-19.” Fiebech owns 1 rental unit in the city.

Further economic support measures are likely to follow. Today, President Trump addresses the nation and is expected to announce a national emergency. Such an announcement frees billions of dollars of federal funding to combat COVID-19. Additionally, the House of Representatives is presently working on an economic stimulus package to pass onto the Senate.

No one knows the ultimate economic impact of the outbreak. However, local, state, and federal officials hope measures in the coming weeks dulls its brunt.

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