Borton Petrini

Landlord/Tenant Rights in California during COVID-19 Restrictions: FAQ #2

Q: Can I still evict a tenant who doesn’t pay rent?

A: After March 27th, 2020, if all of the following apply, you cannot evict a tenant who doesn’t pay the rent until after May 31, 2020:

1. Their rent is paid up through March 27, 2020;  and

2. The tenant has notified you in writing within 7 days of their inability to pay the full amount of the rent due.  Valid excuses include, but are not limited to the following:

(a) They  are unavailable to work because they or a household member had a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19;

(b) They suffered a lay-off or loss of hours or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19, the state of emergency or related government actions; or

(c) They had to miss work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19; and

You may start eviction proceedings at any time, HOWEVER the tenant who is in compliance with the above doesn’t have to file an answer to the complaint until after May 31,2020.  If the tenant can prove with documentation that the above excuses applied, and they pay the back rent on or after May 31, 2020 along with current due rent, the eviction will fail.


Calvin Stead



Cal Stead is a Partner in the Bakersfield office of Borton Petrini, LLP.




Legal Disclaimer: Please be informed that legislation and laws are rapidly developing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Therefore, the legal analysis that is being provided is based on the analysis of the current legislation and current agency guidance, as it stands at this moment.  Additional legislation and/or changes to current legislation may impact the information being given herein.  This article is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


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