Housing Resources

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  1. Renters
  2. Homeowners
  3. Utilities
  4. Stay Housed
  5. Aid for Tenants & Property Owners

Protection for Tenants

A number of temporary measures to protect tenants during the public health emergency have been enacted at state, county, and city levels. Making sense of this patchwork of overlapping, sometimes contradictory legislation and policy can be challenging. Bay Legal recommends that tenants:

  • Consult the web page, "Resources and News for Tenants During the COVID-19 Emergency," which lays out essential first steps to protect yourself if you are having trouble paying rent during the emergency, and provides links to self-help resources, news, and updates. Check back frequently, as we are updating the page as changes affecting housing law emerge. 
  • Consult this useful Q&A published by the San Jose Mercury News on April 14, 2020, which quotes housing law attorneys including Bay Legal Senior Attorney Hilda Chan. (The Mercury News’ coronavirus-related coverage is being made available free of charge during the state of emergency). 
  • Seek legal advice and counsel. Tenants concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their housing issues: 
    • [Alameda County residents]: Please call our Tenants Rights Line at 1 (888) 382-3405. 
    • [All other Bay Area residents]: Please call our Legal Advice Line at 1 (800) 551-5554. 
  • Read the FAQs for Alameda County Renters’ Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Moratorium on Evictions

On March 24th, the City Council voted unanimously in favor of a temporary suspension of evictions for qualifying residential and commercial tenants in Union City. 

The Ordinance prohibits evictions for residential and commercial tenants that can show:

1. Inability to pay rent due to, or arising out of a substantial decrease in household or business income or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses; and

2. The decrease in income, or out-of-pocket medical expenses, was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19, and is documented in writing. 

Qualifying impacts on residential tenants related to COVID-19 include:

• COVID-19 illness or caring for a household or family member with COVID-19 illness 

• Work closures, layoffs, job loss, a reduction in the number of compensable hours or other economic or employer impacts

• Missing work due to a minor child’s school closure, compliance with government health authority orders, or other similarly-caused reasons.

Qualifying impacts on commercial tenants related to COVID-19 include:

• Work closures

• Reduction in staff reporting to work 

• Reduction in opening hours

• Reduction in consumer demand

• Compliance with government health authority orders 

• Other similarly-caused reason resulting in loss of business income

Stipulations:

• Tenants have 10 days after rent is due to notify landlord

• Tenant that meets the requirements of the ordinance has an affirmative defense in unlawful detainer proceeding

• The moratorium on rent for a tenant that meets the requirements of the ordinance is in effect until May 31, 2020, the expiration of the local emergency or the Governor’s proclamation of a state of emergency, whichever occurs last

• Tenants will have ninety (90) days from the end of the moratorium to pay any back-due rent

Read the full ordinance here.