About the COVID-19 eviction and rent increase moratoriums

You cannot be evicted during the coronavirus pandemic. You can get more time to pay your rent. These and other protections do not include rent cancellation. In other words, you still owe your landlord any missed rent payments.

The Mayor’s Orders

On July 27, 2020, Mayor Breed issued an Executive Order. It is currently in effect until August 31, 2020 and imposes rules to protect residential tenants affected by COVID-19. These protections apply to all residential units, including residential units in residential hotels, regardless how long the resident has been living in their home. 

The original order was issued on March 13. The order may change again in the future.

The City has developed binding Rules and Regulations for tenants and landlords. 

Read the Rules and Regulations in Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino

You cannot be evicted during the coronavirus outbreak

The Mayor’s Order temporarily bans all residential evictions. This includes evictions currently in progress. This rule will stay in place until October 31, however, it will not protect you from eviction if the eviction is due to violence, threats of violence, or health and safety issues.

If you are staying in a tourist hotel or tourist unit of a residential hotel, protections under this Order do not apply to you. However, you cannot be removed if you are self-isolating or quarantining during the emergency. Guidance is available here

You have 6 months to pay your missed rent

If you missed a rent payment that was due between March 13 and August 31 due to financial impacts of COVID-19, you have until February 28, 2021 to pay. 

Financial impact means any loss of income due to:

  • Reduced work hours
  • Temporary business closure or slowdown
  • Layoffs
  • Increased expenses

It is a good idea, but not required, to provide your landlord written notice and supporting documentation that you cannot pay at the time the rent would normally be due or as soon as possible thereafter.  

You should pay rent on time if you can. If you cannot pay, you and your landlord should try to work out a payment plan, to give you more time or to waive all or some of the unpaid rent, but nothing you agree to verbally or in writing will waive your protections under the Order. 

When the extension period ends

If you are unable to pay the missed rent when the extension period ends, your landlord may be able to take you to housing court. If your landlord tries to evict you before then, you will have protection under the Order if you can show that you are unable to pay due to COVID-19.  Keep proof of the notice and documentation that you give the landlord, and any other proof of your inability to pay rent, in case you are taken to housing court.

If you need help reaching a payment plan with your landlord, contact the Conflict Intervention Service (CIS) of the Bar Association of San Francisco. You can call them at 415-782-8940 or email cis@sfbar.org.

You cannot be charged late fees

Under the Mayor’s order your landlord cannot charge you late fees or interest on your rent payments.

Your rent cannot be increased before September 30 if you live in a City-regulated unit

If you live in a unit regulated by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development or the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing your rent cannot be increased until one month after the order expires, September 30.

Your rent cannot be increased if you live in a rent controlled unit

On July 7, the Board of Supervisors passed emergency legislation that creates a temporary moratorium on rent increases for rent-controlled units through August 22.  Information is available on the Rent Board’s website.

Get help

Tenant Counseling Organizations

  • Call or email Bill Sorro Housing Program (BiSHoP) at 415-513-5177 or info@bishopsf.org
  • Call Causa Justa::Just Cause at 415-487-9203
  • Call Chinatown Community Development Center at 415-984-2730
  • Call Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco at 415-703-8634 
  • Call or email the South of Market Community Action Network at 760-913-8913 or tenantcounseling@somcan.org
  • Call or email the SF Tenants Union at  415-282-6622 or info@sftu.org  
  • Call or email Tenderloin Housing Clinic CEOP at 415-775-7110 ext. 1702 or allyn@thclinic.org

Counseling for residential hotel (SRO) tenants

  • Call Central City SRO Collaborative or La Voz Latina at 415-775-7110 or 415-983-3970
  • Call Chinatown SRO Collaborative or SRO Families United Collaborative at 415-984-2730 
  • Call Mission SRO Collaborative at 415-282-6209 ext. 150 

Legal help for tenants

Mediation (available to tenants and landlords)

  • Call or email the Bar Association of San Francisco CIS Program at 415-782-8940 or cis@sfbar.org

General information for tenants

  • Visit the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition’s website 

Counseling at the San Francisco Rent Board

  • Call 415-252-4631, Monday-Friday, 9 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 4 pm

Resources for landlords

  • Call or email the Bar Association of San Francisco CIS Program at 415-782-8940 or cis@sfbar.org
  • Call the San Francisco Apartment Association at 415-255-2288 or visit their contact page and reach out via email
Last updated July 30, 2020