Information on COVID-19 for Renters & Landlords

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Temporary Eviction Moratorium

On March 27, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom signed a moratorium on evictions related to the COVID-19 virus, if a tenant has documentation that they are unable to pay the rent because their income has been affected by the virus. See this California Apartment Association article for more information. 

Santa Cruz County Eviction Moratorium announcement (PDF)

This may or may not apply to your situation if you are not being evicted for non-payment of rent. Community Rentals encourages you to seek legal advice to see if it applies to your situation (see our Tenant-Landlord Advising Resources).

The order requires tenants to declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent comes due, that the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19.

The tenant would be required to retain documentation but would not have to submit it to the landlord in advance. The tenant also would remain obligated to repay full rent in “a timely manner” and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium ends.

This order states that if an unlawful detainer action is filed against a tenant for nonpayment of rent, and the tenant notified the landlord within at least seven (7) days after the rent became due that the tenant was unable to pay the rent for reasons related to COVID-19, the tenant will have 65 days to respond to the unlawful detainer complaint (instead of the usual 5 days) and no writ to enforce the sheriff lockout will be enforced. The order requires the tenant to “retain” verification of a COVID-19 related financial hardship which “may be provided to the landlord no later than the time upon payment of back due rent.”

The Governor’s order states that these protections shall be in place through May 31, 2020.

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 5/27/20

The Santa Cruz City Council unanimously voted to extend its March freeze on residential and commercial evictions for nonpayment of rent as a result of coronavirus-related economic losses, through June 30.

The California Judicial Council adopted emergency COVID-19 rules in April preventing court-ordered evictions, except for health- and safety-related reasons, extending through 90 days after the state emergency health order is lifted.

For more updates, please see

Viewing Residential Spaces During the Shelter in Place Order

Per the updated Shelter in Place Orders linked below:

Open houses are still not permitted, but with the consent of the occupant, and following the guidelines shown below, a property may be shown to a prospective tenant or buyer.


This is general guidance only. Be sure to consult legal counsel, public health information, all applicable executive orders, and federal, state, and local government and agency guidance for specific questions.

California Apartment Association Resources for Navigating the COVID-19 Outbreak

The California Apartment Association (CAA) has many resources to help landlords and renters, including videos, sample letters and agreements, COVID-19 safety information, government and community resources, and more.