Entrance to City Hall
The entrance to San Diego City Hall. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego City Council on Monday extended the COVID-19 moratorium on no-fault evictions until Sept. 30 to help local tenants.

Last week the Legislature extended a statewide moratorium on evictions through June 30 for tenants who had already applied for state or local rental assistance.

However, under the city’s no-fault rules, tenants can still be evicted even if they did not violate their lease, remained current on their rent, and lived lawfully within their home. This can happen if a landlord wants to move into the residence or take the home off the market to make improvements.

The council voted 5-1 in favor of the moratorium, with only Councilmember Chris Cate in opposition. Councilmembers Raul Campillo and Joe LaCava recused themselves. The measure requires a second vote to become law.

Council President Sean El-Rivera proposed the moratorium last month to “prevent homelessness and avoid lives from being disrupted” as the pandemic wanes.

“We must protect San Diego families and their ability to remain in their homes,” said Elo-Rivera after the vote. “The passage of this moratorium means that every renter in San Diego will have a bit more security in this far too expensive city and fewer people will be at risk of experiencing homelessness.“

The Southern California Rental Housing Association had criticized the plan, saying that with increasing employment and continued COVID assistance there’s no need for a moratorium.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.