Governor Newson’s Executive Order Does Not Imply Rent Forgiveness

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Executive Order N-37-20

On March 4, 2020, Governor Gavin Newson of California released the Executive Order N-37-20 with the aim of minimizing evictions during this critical time in California. Among other things, it seeks to protect residents who may be unable to pay their rent as a result of the economic effects of the pandemic.

What does Executive Order N-37-20 do?

While Executive Order N-37-20 does not imply rent forgiveness, it protects residents from possible evictions and extends the deadline for served tenants for a period of 60 days. It does not relieve a tenant’s liability for unpaid rent. All it does is protect affected tenants from the possibility of eviction, pending the return to normalcy when COVID-19 must have been contained.

There are several important conditions attached to this order, these include:

  1. This Executive order only applies to tenants that have directly taken a financial hit as a result of COVID-19
  2. Tenants must have been paying their due rent prior to the pandemic and its economic effects
  3. Tenants must notify the landlord in writing before the due date, or within seven days afterward, of their inability to pay all or part of the rent
  4. Tenants must have substantial reason relating to COVID-19 why they are unable to meet up with their rent obligation (the reason could be sickness, caring for a sick person, loss of work hours, lay off, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19)
  5. Tenants must retain verifiable documents that proof changes in financial circumstances and should present the same to the landlord once rent is due.

Executive Order N-37-20 Purpose

Governor Newson’s Executive Order N-37-20 is clearly aimed at protecting affected Californians from evictions during the coronavirus crisis. It is tailored to protect genuine rent-paying tenants who can no longer meet their rent obligations because of COVID-19. The provisions of the order shall be in effect through May 31, 2020.


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