Guidance & Resources
March 9, 2023 UPDATE - City of Berkeley
The City of Berkeley Council is in the process of extending the city's Eviction Moratorium until August 31, 2023, thus activating a "Transition Period" in which some evictions may resume. They have extended the city's State of Emergency to March 31, 2023, at which time they will come back to session to decide whether to extend it further.
The Eviction Moratorium is still in effect.
There are two periods of time covered by the city's Eviction Moratorium:
1. "Covered Period" is from March 17, 2020, to April 30, 2023. Tenants who have not paid rent and can establish that they have a Covered Reason for Delayed Payment can never be evicted for non-payment of rent accumulated during the total time of the moratorium (March 17, 2020, to August 31, 2023).
2. "Transition Period" is from May 1, 2023, to August 31, 2023. During the Transition Period, tenants must pay regular rent. However, they are still protected from being evicted for any non-payment due to Covered Reason for Delayed Payment during the Covered Period. If they do not pay regular rent from May 1, 2023, and beyond, a standard 3-day notice for non-payment may be issued. Also, during the Transition Period, tenants cannot be evicted for any other reason, including breach of lease and nuisance behavior.
Q: How can the city extend the State of Emergency or the Eviction Moratorium when the state has declared the emergency is over?
A: Good question! We believe that it is a complete abuse of power by the City Council to extend either the local State of Emergency or the Eviction Moratorium. In the February 28th City Council meeting, the city's health official and the City Manager found no reason to continue the State of Emergency. They are Council's appointed experts, yet Council refused to listen to them.
Q: What can occur during the "Transition Period?"
A: Starting May 1, 2023, tenants must start paying regular rent. There will be no more "Covered Reason for Delayed Payment" for non-payment of rent. Any tenant who does not pay regular rent (according to the lease) during the Transition Period (and beyond) will be subject to a standard 3-day Notice for Non-Payment of Rent. Also, during this time, owners who wish to perform an Owner Move-in Termination of Tenancy may do so, as long as they only own one rental property (the law does not dictate where that is one unit or just one property). It is currently unclear whether qualified relatives may be moved in during this period.
Q: What evictions can start on March 1, 2023?
A: The exemption for "health and safety" remains. The violation must rise to the occasion of putting the property or other residents in harm's way.
Owners who intend to move in under the owner move-in provision may affect a 60-day notice (if the tenant has lived there more than a year) starting on March 1, 2023, and may be the basis for eviction starting May 1, 2023. However, you will need an attorney for this and may be subject to relocation fees. Contact the BPOA office for attorney recommendations.
Ellis Act evictions remain prohibited under Berkeley's Eviction Moratorium. While Ellis Act is a state law, and we maintain the City of Berkeley is in violation of that law, you would need to be prepared to fight the Rent Board on the ability to terminate a tenancy based on an Ellis Act eviction.
Q: What evictions can start on May 1, 2023?
A: Evictions for non-payment of rent for "regular" rent due and payable starting May 1, 2023, and owner move-in terminations of tenancy for those owners who only have one residential rental property. Evictions for those tenants who have not given a Covered Reason for Delayed Payment of rent during the Covered Period may start on this date. It is recommended that you immediately begin documenting non-payment and provide an opportunity for the tenant to provide a Covered Reason for Delayed Payment.
Q: When can standard evictions for lease violations and nuisance behavior start?
A: Presumably, on September 1, 2023, if the City Council does not extend the moratorium further.
Q: What are the "Covered Reasons for Delayed Payment" of rent?
A: Valid reasons are defined as:
- Decrease in household income caused by layoffs;
- Reduction in the number of compensable hours of work, or to caregiving responsibilities, or a material decrease in business income caused by a reduction in opening hours or consumer demand;
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses;
- Reduction in the number of tenants living in the unit (including due to difficulty finding new tenants and/or subtenants willing and able to cover a sufficient share of the rent), which reduces the ability of the remaining tenants to pay rent;
- Or a rent increase that exceeds the Annual General Adjustment for the current year.
February 28, 2023 UPDATE - Alameda County
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors did not take action to extend or end the Eviction Moratorium early. The State of Emergency in Alameda County ended on February 28th at 11:59 pm. The county's Eviction Moratorium says that it shall end "60 days after the county's State of Emergency ends." This means the Eviction Moratorium will end on April 29, 2023, at 11:59 pm. This end date does not impact Berkeley or Oakland as those cities have their own eviction moratoria.