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Imperial County Board of Supervisors Extends Tenant Rent Freeze for Those Affected by COVID-19

-Editorial

Renters in the unincorporated area who lose their jobs or get buried in medical bills because of the COVID-19 pandemic are now shielded from being evicted from their homes until September 30, 2020.

The board met on Tuesday, July 7 to extend helps renters have peace of mind if they have been affected by COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, the board implemented this resolution but since the Imperial County has not advanced in the reopening of the economy, the board extended this eviction notice until September. California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered that Imperial County reinstate the Stay-At-Home order due to the high positivity rate.

The local ordinance offers protections to tenants in the unincorporated area of the County of Imperial by prohibiting the eviction of any tenant who can demonstrate that they have received a notice of eviction for failure to pay rent, and that such failure is related to a substantial loss of income and because of medical expenses. The ordinance includes commercial and residential properties in the unincorporated areas.

The ordinance provides a grace period of 120 days following for tenants to pay any past-due rent. It prohibits landlords from charging late penalties against any amount of rent owned during the term of the ordinance.

While the ordinance provides protections against evictions, it does not relieve a tenant of the obligations to pay rent, nor does it restrict the landlord’s ability to recover rent due.

On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom issued a proclamation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor issued an Executive Order which suspended any provision of state law prohibiting a local government from exercising its police power to impose substantive limitations on residential or commercial evictions. Following the issuance of this Executive Order, several cities and counties within the State issued moratoriums on COVID-19 pandemic related evictions.

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