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The COVID-19 Pandemic has made it strikingly clear how vulnerable low income and working-class tenants are in a housing system that prioritizes profits. This website is dedicated to sharing information for San Jose tenants and organizing efforts for community defense and health.
We join state and national housing justice calls for:
An Immediate Moratorium on Rent Increases, ALL Evictions, Foreclosures and Sheriff Lockouts;
Rent and Mortgage Cancellation;
A Moratorium on Encampments Sweeps, Closure and Vehicle Tows;
Homes For All
STATE LAW ON EVICTIONS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
• As of June 28, 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB832, the COVID-19 Rent Relief Assistance Program, extending current non-payment eviction protections until September 30, 2021.
• Tenants will have until September 30, 2021 to pay 25% of owed rent from September 1, 2020, thourgh September 30, 2021, in order to be protected from eviction for nonpayment of rent.
• Both tenants and landlords will be eligible for rent relief coverage, up to 100%, that was accrued starting from April 1, 2020. Landlords or tenants who already received funds can still get to 100% of rental assistance.
• Tenants are able to apply on their own if their landlord does not apply.
• Eligible tenants can get 100% of prospective rent up to a maximum of 18 months of total rental assistance to the tenant and 12 months of utility assistance.
• Santa Clara County has extended the eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent through September 30, 2021, for unincorporated areas of the county.
• The City of San Jose has also extended its eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent due to COVID impact through the end of August 2021.
• Understanding California's COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act
• There are two programs for residents of Santa Clara County to receive rental assistance.
2. The Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System which was specifically designed to assist the lowest-low income residents.
• DO NOT SELF-EVICT
• If you receive an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent or "Notice to Quit" you MUST sign and return A Declaration of COVID-19-related financial impact that SHOULD be included with the notice within 15 days of getting it and returning it to your landlord.
• You cannot be evicted for ANY unpaid rent from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020 if you have been COVID impacted. This debt becomes 'civil debt' v.s. 'rent debt' so you cannot be evicted for it BUT you have until February 28, 2021 to pay 50% of the civil debt and until August 31, 2021 to pay 100%.
• You cannot be evicted for unpaid rent from September 2020 to June 2021 as long as you complete a declaration that you have COVID-related economic impacts and cover 25% of the rent from September 2020 to June 2021 by June 30, 2021. Make sure to specify in writing to your landlord what month you are paying for and what percentage of the rent you are paying, for example, “25% of Sept. 2020 rent.”
• Under AB3088 Landlords face increased penalties if they illegally lock out tenants, shut off utilities like hot water, or engage in other extreme harassing behavior. So document EVERYTHING.
NOTICE TO PAY OR QUIT
• If you have received a “Notice to pay or quit'' because of missed rent, try your best to stay calm and take it step by step. Evictions are a legal process that takes time. Under AB 3088, notices to pay or quit must now be 15 days, where they used to be 3 days. If a landlord sends a notice to pay or quit you must follow these steps to obtain the protections listed above:
• First, DO NOT SELF EVICT. Landlords are required to attach a “Declaration of COVID-19-related economic impacts”. You must respond using the attached declaration within 15 business days. This confirms your economic impacts from COVID, such as lost income or increased costs.
• Send it immediately and keep a copy of the notice and the declaration. Keep careful records of all rent payments, receipts/notices, and any communication with your landlord.
• A lease termination is not an eviction. A lease termination comes in the form of a 30 or 60 day notice.
• If you have received a lease termination in San Jose and have been a resident for over 1 year, your notice must be at least 60 days. San Jose’s Tenant Protection Ordinance applies to most rental properties applying to most buildings built more than 15 years ago, including single family homes if they are owned by a corporation and prohibits “no-cause” notices of any kind. In San Jose a lease termination must have a “just cause”. Landlords must submit all notices of termination to the city’s rent stabilization program.
• San Jose’s Tenant Protection Ordinance https://www.sanjoseca.gov/home/showdocument?id=45535 site lists what is an appropriate "just cause" and most require a written warning first. In some situations, if the Landlord wants you to leave they may have to compensate you for moving costs.
• Those not in San Jose the statewide Tenants Protection Act https://sfrb.org/article/summary-ab-1482-california-tenant-protection-act-2019 AB 1482’s protections apply to most buildings built more than 15 years ago, including single-family homes, if they are owned by a corporation. If you have lived in the unit for more than a year (even though they are currently on a month-to-month lease), the Just Cause protection of AB 1482 would prohibit no-cause notices.
Nationally there have been different bills and initiatives regarding Rent Cancellation. This is what we mean when we say "Cancel Rent"
• All tenants would not have to pay rent during the crisis & recovery period as well as no owed rent debt at the end
• All required paperwork would be the landlord's responsibility, tenants shouldn’t have to prove or show anything
• For folks who have partially paid, they would have the remainder forgiven
• All repayment plans would immediately be canceled and void
• Eliminates rent increases and locks in mortgages at current rates. THEY CANT RAISE THE RENT
• In San Jose: there is a rent freeze for apartments under rent control and mobile homes
• A rent strike is a tactic used to get a demand met by withholding rent.
• In this crisis, many are already on "strike", because they have no other option but to not pay rent. In saying they are striking they are demanding their situation be addressed.
• Although there are current protections under the moratorium, the obligation to pay after it is lifted is not realistic for those without work, through no fault of their own. Declaring a rent strike after the moratorium alongside thousands of others will be a more powerful force to propel rent cancellation.
JOIN THE COMMUNITY DEFENSE
Sign up if you need support, are interested in organizing with neighbors, or to be on
call for emergency eviction response.
SOUTH BAY MUTUAL AID
• We don't offer any monetary support, but community members in the south bay have created and are facilitating an ongoing effort to give support in a multitude of different ways. If you need support reach out and if you can also give a kind if support offer to help.