Eviction protections for unpaid rent during COVID-19

The law protects some tenants from eviction for unpaid rent due from March 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022. Local cities or counties may have their own protections.

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COVID-19 eviction protections for unpaid rent

Some tenants are protected from eviction for COVID-19 rental debt

COVID-19 rental debt is rent and other payments required under the rental agreement, like utilities or parking fees, that came due between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.

The law protects tenants from eviction for not paying COVID-19 rental debt due between:

Tenants still owe COVID-19 rental debt. A landlord can sue their tenant for COVID-19 rental debt in small claims or civil court.

Protections while waiting for a decision on a government rental assistance application

If a tenant is waiting for a decision on a completed government rental assistance application, the landlord can't get a Summons or a Judgment in an eviction case for the unpaid rent. 

If the landlord does file and serve an eviction Complaint while their tenant is waiting for the decision, the tenant can use the fact that they completed the application and are waiting for a decision as a defense to the eviction. This only applies to leases or rental agreements that started before October 1, 2021. 

Tenants may be able to stop an eviction case if they are approved for government rental assistance 

If a tenant is approved for rental assistance money after an eviction case (unlawful detainer) is started, they can ask the court to stop the eviction process.

The tenant can file an Application to Prevent Forfeiture Due to COVID-19 Rental Debt (form UD-125). This form is used if a landlord filed the eviction case for past due rent or other rental agreement fees for between either: 

  • March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021

  • October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 (only if the lease started before October 1, 2021) 

What about other reasons not related to paying rent?

Tenants may still be evicted for reasons such as not following the rental agreement, nuisance, committing a crime on the property, or if the owner has a justified reason for taking back the property.


What's next?

Select one of the options below to get specific instructions and information for landlords or tenants for residential evictions: eviction from a home, duplex, condo, apartment, or room.


For information about commercial (business), mobile home/RV, hotel/motel, transitional housing, animal, boat, or other non-residential evictions talk to a lawyer.