Santa Monica issued a moratorium on evictions Saturday as the effects of coronavirus rippled across businesses in the area.
Under the order signed by City Manager Rick Cole, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for not paying rent if the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19, including loss of income, caring for a household or family member with the virus, taking care of a child attending a school that has closed, extraordinary medical expenses or if residents are ordered to self-quarantine.
The order also enacts a temporary ban on water and sewer shutoffs for all residents and businesses and a 60-day suspension of late fees on parking tickets.
Additionally, landlords will not be able to pursue a no-fault eviction unless necessary for the health and safety of tenants, neighbors or the landlord.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Santa Monica will continue to enact policy changes that will ensure that our residents can weather this crisis,” Cole said. “Our community is over 70% renters and this order provides our them the security of housing during this difficult time. We recognize that the vast majority of landlords will act responsibly, but this order serves to ensure no renter loses their home due to a crisis beyond their control.”
City spokesperson Constance Farrell said the order follows President Trump’s national emergency declaration earlier Friday where it was announced that $50 billion in emergency funding would be made available to assist state and local governments in preventing the spread of and addressing the effects of COVID-19.
Public health officials announced Saturday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County has reached 53.