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COVID-19 and the Court: Information and Sample Letters

The Judicial Council’s adopted temporary emergency rules to stay evictions on April 6, 2020 may be found here.

The Superior Court’s operations update, including the 30-day court holiday from March 17 to April 15, 2020, may be found here

Attention: All evictions in the city and county of San Francisco are stayed until June 19, except cases resulting from violence, threats of violence or health and safety issues. San Francisco Superior Court is closed for 30 days until April 15, 2020.

The Mayor’s Executive Order, related to evictions based on non-payment of rent, may be found here.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development’s updated Rules and Regulations for Tenants and Landlords to reflect the Mayor’s August 25 Order and enactment of AB-3088 may be found here.

MOHCD’s Summary of Protections for Residential Tenants in San Francisco may be found here.

Under the Temporary Moratorium on evictions a landlord cannot evict a tenant if all these requirements are met:

  • The rental payment first became due on or after March 13, 2020.
  • The tenant was unable to pay rent because of the financial impacts related to COVID-19.
  • The tenant notifies the landlord within 30 days of when the rent was due that tenant is unable to pay due to the financial impacts related to COVID-19.
  • Within 7 days after notifying the landlord, the tenant provides documentation or other verifiable information that the tenant is unable to pay rent due to the financial impacts of COVID-19. As outlined by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development’s “Guidance for Tenants and Landlords” regarding inability to pay rent due to the COVID-19 virus, no additional documentation is required beyond an explanation.


“Financial impacts” means a substantial loss of income due to business closure, loss of work or wages, or extraordinary medical expenses.  This may include needing to stay at home because the tenant is sick or needs to take care of a sick family member.

The Temporary Moratorium remains in effect until September 30, 2020 unless extended by an additional 30 days by the Mayor.

After the Temporary Moratorium expires, the tenant shall have up to six months to pay the rent owed before the landlord may recover possession.

If, after the Moratorium expires, the tenant is required to again pay the monthly rent as it becomes due, if the tenant is able to do so.  If the tenant remains unable to pay the rent due to the COVID- 19 virus, the tenant must, each month provide the notices and documentation set forth above.  In no event will this option be available to the tenant six months after the Moratorium has expired.

For information about Rental Assistance, click here.

Download Sample Letters

Common Questions About COVID-19 30 Day Halt of Residential Evictions

What does “If money is tight?” mean for consideration?
There must both be a substantial loss of income AND it must be related to COVID-19, to permit someone to delay paying their rent.

Is this amount forgiven?
No. The rent must be paid to the landlord within 6 months of the lifting of the emergency.

What’s the time frame?
You must tell your landlord that you cannot pay the rent when it is due. Within one week you must provide documentation.

The information EDC is providing on the website is not legal advice. 

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