FAQs: Property Management

Updated on March 27, 2020

Note: On March 27, Governor Newsom passed Executive Order N-37-20, establishing a statewide moratorium on evictions through May 31. We are in the process of updating this page to reflect the new order.

 

Is a tenant required to allow entry into a property for purposes of showing it when the tenant fears being exposed to the coronavirus? 

Yes, the tenant is required to allow entry. There is no law that would give the tenant the right to refuse entry based upon an unfounded fear that a prospective buyer might infect them with the coronavirus. If the tenant is refusing entry on this basis, then the agent may obtain a statement from the prospective buyer that they have no signs of any cold, flu or other respiratory illness. This may reassure the tenant. But whether or not such a statement is given to the tenant, the tenant would still be required to allow entry. 

Ultimately, an agent needs the cooperation of the tenant since the legal remedy against a tenant who refuses entry is to evict through an Unlawful Detainer action. This can be a lengthy and cumbersome process that most sellers are simply not going to undertake. 

 

Is there a current moratorium on evicting a tenant?

There is no statewide moratorium, but there may be some localities that have imposed a freeze on all evictions. The Governor’s state of emergency prohibits price gouging in the form of increasing rents above 10 percent. But the declaration of emergency on its own does not freeze evictions.

Landlords should carefully monitor laws passed at the local level since many cities are currently considering the adoption of a moratorium on evictions. 

 

Can a landlord evict a tenant who is suffering from the coronavirus?

First, the statewide just cause eviction law does not list infectious illness as one of the 15 just cause reasons on which an eviction may be based. But even if the property were exempt from the state just case eviction law, a landlord could not evict on this basis since it would likely constitute illegal discrimination.    

 
 
 

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