Gov. Newsom bans all evictions for two months

Gov. Gavin Newsom. AP photo.

Gov. Gavin Newsom today (March 27) banned all evictions of renters for the next two months, his latest effort to offer a lifeline to the many millions in the state harmed by the economic fallout from the spreading coronavirus.

Newsom signed an executive order that prohibits landlords, law enforcement and the courts from enforcing eviction notices until May 31. The order takes effect for rents due on April 1. And it only applies to tenants who are not already behind on their payments.

To be eligible, renters must notify their landlords in writing up to seven days after rent is due. Tenants must be able to document why they cannot pay, which include termination notices, payroll checks, medical bills or “signed letters or statements form an employer or supervisor explaining the tenant’s changed financial circumstances.”

The order came two days after five of the nation’s largest banks plus hundreds of credit unions and state-chartered banks agreed to defer mortgage payments for people affected by the virus. Four of those banks — Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citi and JP Morgan Chase — agreed to defer payments for the next three months. Bank of America agreed to defer payments monthly until the crisis subsides.

About a third of the nation’s record 3.3 million unemployment claims are in California, where thousands of businesses have been forced to close following Newsom’s order for people to stay at home unless their jobs are deemed essential or they are buying food, medicine, visiting a doctor or exercising.

— By the Associated Press