The Temporary Eviction Moratorium

Updated: 4/7/21

In addition to the existing “just-cause” requirements of the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, residential tenants in San Francisco have new protections against eviction during COVID-19 originating from local, state, and federal law. 

Beginning in March of 2020, the Mayor of San Francisco issued several Orders that enacted a temporary “Eviction Moratorium” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In short, the Mayor’s Eviction Moratorium provided an extension on rent payments for tenants who were financially impacted by COVID-19, and temporarily banned most residential evictions. The San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) developed binding “Rules and Regulations for Tenants and Landlords” that implemented the local Eviction Moratorium.

In addition, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance (Ordinance No. 93-20) that permanently protects tenants from eviction for non-payment of rent that was unpaid due to COVID-19 if the rent became due between March 16, 2020 and September 30, 2020.

On August 31, 2020, after the local COVID-19 eviction protections went into effect, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB-3088, also known as the “COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020”. AB-3088 is a statewide law, which provides in part that residential tenants who are unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 cannot be evicted (now, or in the future) for unpaid rent that became due between March 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021, if certain requirements are met. On January 29, 2021, the Governor signed SB-91, which extends these tenant protections through June 30, 2021 and appropriates $1.5 billion dollars to a State Rental Assistance Program. A landlord may seek collection of any remaining unpaid rent in small claims court beginning on August 1, 2021.

At the federal level, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order on September 1, 2020 (and extended on January 20, 2021 and April 1, 2021), that delays some evictions until June 30, 2021, provided the tenant meets certain eligibility requirements. While the CDC’s Order provides less protection to tenants in general, it may be applicable in some circumstances where local and state eviction protections do not apply.

Finally, On November 30, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed Ord. No. 216-20, which was later extended, that prohibits the eviction of residential tenants before June 30, 2021, unless the eviction is based on the non-payment of rent (in which case the rules described above apply), the Ellis Act, or is necessary due to violence-related issues or health and safety issues.

For more information, please visit the website of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) or speak to a Rent Board Counselor by phone at 415-252-4600.