Housing – COVID-19 Issues

Last Updated 7/7/2020



There is a lot of different information about restrictions on evictions in California due to COVID-19. This short article provides an overview of how different state, federal, and local laws and rules work together.


The California Judicial Council issued emergency rules April 6 that describe various extensions and moratoriums on different types of court cases. Page 1 describes the orders that apply to evictions or unlawful detainer cases.

Emergency Rule 1(b) states: A court may not issue a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer unless the court finds, in its discretion and on the record, that the action is necessary to protect public health and safety.


Are you a tenant looking for help to explain to your landlord that your are having trouble paying your rent because of COVID-19 / Coronavirus? One tool that can help is The website has sample letters you can use and modify to explain your situation to your landlord.


City of San Diego:

Has passed an ordinance to provide an eviction moratorium. Tenants are still responsible for rent and landlord will be able to recover owed rent at a later time. On June 30, 2020, this ordinance was extended to September 30, 2020.

Here is an informational sheet and a sample letter to write to your landlord if you’re having difficulty paying your agreed-upon rent.

San Diego Housing Commission has a variety of resources.



County of San Diego:

Do you have questions about your landlord’s actions during the COVID-19 outbreak? The San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program is still available to assist with your landlord-tenant issues. You can contact them at 619-235-5656, ext. 127.


The County has issued its own resolution drastically restricting evictions. This ordinance was extended until June 30, 2020 by action of the Board of Supervisors on June 2, 2020.



The San Diego Legal Aid Society has put together guidance about San Diego City and County’s Emergency Rules relating to Evictions and Landlords.


Additionally, if you are either a landlord or a tenant, the San Diego Volunteer Law Program can answer your questions by calling 619-235-5656 x127. Their Tenant Rights Clinic is also available to answer your tenant questions at 760-429-6304.



Overview of Protections by County or City

The San Diego Legal Aid Society has put together guidance about California Judicial Council’s Emergency Rules relating to Evictions and Landlords.


This is a collection of protections in many counties or cities in California. It is not alphabetical so you’ll have to scan for your city or county. It was last updated March 25, 2020.


The California Lawyer’s Association prepared a video with an overview of California’s Eviction Moratorium.


CARES Act Protections:

Under section 4024 of the CARES Act, for 120 days beginning on March 27, 2020, lessors of “covered dwellings” cannot file a court action for an eviction or charge additional fees for nonpayment of rent if their dwelling is secured by a federally backed mortgage or participates in various federal programs.


Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

Webpage with updates on federal housing programs in light of the coronavirus.

March 18 – HUD suspends all foreclosures and issues an eviction moratorium for 60 days for anyone with a FHA-insured mortgage. See the article for full information. This has been extended to August 31. There is a more complete description of various protections and time periods here.



Are you having trouble paying your mortgage because of COVID-19 / Coronavirus, but you’re not sure how to talk to your lender? One tool that can help is The website has sample letters you can use and modify to explain your situation to your mortgage holder.



Many banks are waiving mortgage payments for up to 90 days for California residents who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. The banks include Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citi, and JP Morgan Chase. Bank of America has instituted a 30-day waiver which can be extended. Check here for more information.


CARES Act Protections:

The CARES Act created important protections for owners of 1 to 4 properties as well those who own 5 or more properties.


Are you having trouble paying your mortgage due to events related to COVID-19? Do you have questions about whether the CARES Act can help you? The National Consumer Law Center has put together a help page to help answer your questions about both the CARES Act and other programs.


They have also put together an overview of options if you are facing a foreclosure.



Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

They have created a in-depth guide to possible mortgage relief options if you’re having trouble with your mortgage due to COVID-19.




San Diego County’s Tax Collector announced that tax payers who could not pay their second property tax installment on time due to issues related to COVID-19 can request to have their penalty cancelled. The property tax amount still needs to be paid by June 30. Read the announcement here and check out the application and instructions here.