COVID–19 Eviction Protections
UPDATED August 28, 2023
Please consider this information to be a general outline of existing protections and seek legal advice to understand your rights given your specific city and circumstances.
If you have additional questions or see information that looks out-of-date, please email email@example.com.
Residents of Alameda County are protected by the County’s eviction moratorium until 60 days after the expiration of the local health emergency. The County’s health emergency expired March 1st, meaning the eviction moratorium ended on April 29, 2023. This applies to renters and homeowners living in the cities of Alameda, Albany, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Piedmont, Pleasanton, and Union City as well as the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, San Lorenzo, and Sunol. Additionally, tenants of Oakland, Berkely, and San Leandro are entitled to the protections of Alameda County’s moratorium to the extent the County’s version is more protective.
While the eviction moratorium was in place, tenants were protected from ALL evictions except for those based on an imminent threat to public health or safety, a government order to vacate the building, or the Ellis Act, a law allowing your landlord to go out of business. You’re not required to show proof of economic hardship in order to qualify for eviction protections, but if your landlord requests it, it’s a good idea to provide some documentation or a self-declaration about your financial situation within 45 days of receiving that request to ensure that you’re as protected as possible.
Repayment of Rent
Even after the end of the moratorium, you cannot be evicted for rent that was due while it was in effect, between March 24, 2020 and April 29, 2023. However, it is best to prove COVID related hardship if you can.
While you cannot lose your home due to nonpayment of rent during the COVID-19 eviction moratorium, your landlord can still take you to civil court to retrieve the rent. You have 12 months from the date rent was due to repay before your landlord can pursue the rent in small claims court.
You may have been entitled to additional protections if you live in one of the following cities which had its own moratorium that expired after the County’s:
Berkeley: Berkeley ended its eviction moratorium in stages. From May 1st until August 31st , 2023, some evictions were allowed including those necessary for health and safety, owner move-ins for owners of only one rental property in the City, and evictions for non-payment of rent where the tenant had not provided documentation establishing a covered reason for delayed payment. After September 1, 2023, the moratorium has fully expired and evictions can proceed as normal.
San Leandro: San Leandro voted in June to end the City’s eviction moratorium on July 31, 2023, after previously extending to allow the City Council time to draft long-term tenant protections that will alleviate possible eviction pressures. Until August 1, 2023, the moratorium banned any eviction for nonpayment of rent due to a decrease in household income or substantial out of pocket medical expenses that results from the pandemic, if affected tenants have submitted written notification of their inability to pay to their landlords. Tenants are required to pay past due rent within 180 days of the expiration of the ordinance.
Contra Costa County
Residents of Contra Costa County are no longer protected by an eviction moratorium. This applies to renters living in the cities of Antioch, Brentwood, Clayton, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito (see below for more info), Hercules, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek as well as all of the unincorporated areas (e.g. Bay Point, El Sobrante, etc.). Renters living in Richmond may be protected under their own local ordinances outlined below.
Repayment of Rent
State law protects you from losing your home from falling behind on rent due between:
- March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, if the tenant gave their landlord a COVID-19-Related Declaration of Financial Distress by the 15-day notice deadline
- September 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, if the tenant gave their landlord a COVID-19-Related Declaration of Financial Distress and paid 25% of their COVID-19 rental debt by September 30, 2021
You may be entitled to additional protections if you live in one of the following cities:
El Cerrito: El Cerrito’s eviction moratorium expired more recently than the County moratorium, on February 28, 2023. Tenants have six months to repay unpaid rent accrued between August 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023 before facing eviction for missed payments.
Richmond: Richmond’s eviction moratorium ended on April 29, 2023, 60 days after the end of their Local State of Emergency. While the moratorium was in effect, tenants were protected from all evictions except for those based on an imminent threat to public health or safety, a government order to vacate the building, or the Ellis Act, a law allowing your landlord to go out of business. Richmond’s ordinance has no requirements around repayment of rent accrued during the moratorium.
If you receive an eviction notice or are facing another issue with your landlord, we strongly recommend you reach out to legal aid.
Do not self evict. You may be able to fight your eviction, but it’s important that you respond quickly. Tenants rights and legal aid services often have wait times, so reach out as quickly as possible.
The following organizations offer free or low cost legal aid, including legal information, consultations, and sometimes representation:
- Bay Area Legal Aid – (510) 250-5270
- East Bay Community Law Center – (510) 548-4040
- Centro Legal de la Raza – (510) 437-1554
- Eviction Defense Center (Alameda County & Richmond) – (510) 452-4541
Tenants Rights Counseling
These organizations provide tenants rights counseling services and legal references as needed:
- Tenants Together — (888) 495-8020
- Tenant and Neighborhood Councils (TANC) — (510) 671-5747
- Oakland Tenants Union — (510) 704-5276
For a complete list of resources, including legal aid, tenants rights counseling, emergency shelter information, and more please visit EBHO’s resource guide.
Tenant Power Toolkit
While you wait for a legal consult or counseling session, you can use this trusted resource from Debt Collective and the Los Angeles Tenants Union to learn more about your rights.
Fill out a short questionnaire in English or Spanish about your situation and the Tenant Power Toolkit will walk you through how to respond to an eviction notice.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Programs (ERAP) in the East Bay have now closed. However, you may be able to find more limited financial assistance depending on where you live.
Oakland — CLOSED
Oakland’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is now closed. You may also be able to access emergency financial assistance through Alameda County Housing Secure. You can apply by contacting any of the legal service providers listed on their website.
Fremont — CLOSED
Fremont’s program is now closed. You may be able to access emergency financial assistance through AC Housing Secure. You can apply by contacting any of the legal service providers listed on their website.
Alameda County (outside of Oakland and Fremont) – CLOSED
Alameda County’s program is now closed. You may be able to access emergency financial assistance through Alameda County Housing Secure. You can apply by contacting any of the legal service providers listed on their website.
Contra Costa County – CLOSED
The State’s program, which operated in Contra Costa County, is now closed.
If you have additional questions, or see information that looks out-of-date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on emergency tenant protections, see our page on COVID–19 eviction moratoriums. You can see a full list of housing support services in the East Bay, including how and where to apply for permanently affordable housing, in our resource guide.