COVID-19 Eviction Protections – Updated 10/1/2020

Are you a San Francisco tenant who can't pay rent because of COVID-19?

Learn more about how you can be protected, and what you need to do.
(This information applies to tenants of all ages.)

Unpaid rent that was due between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020:

What you must do now:

  • For unpaid rent that became due during this time period, you are required to send your landlord a declaration stating that under the penalty of perjury that you were unable to pay rent during this time period because of COVID-19 related loss of income or expenses.
  • A copy of the necessary declaration for you to print and sign is available HERE. Please write down the time period for which the declaration applies, sign and date the form, and send the declaration to your landlord in the same way you would pay the rent. Make sure to keep a copy of the signed declaration for your records.

What if your landlord still tries to evict?

  • If you have unpaid rent from this period, it is possible that your landlord will serve you with a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit.
  • If so, your landlord is required to also serve you with a copy of the You have 15 days, not including weekends and holidays, to sign and return the declaration. If you do not, you could lose your protections under this law. Do not wait! Return the declaration as soon as you receive it. Remember to keep a copy of the signed declaration for your records.
  • If you are at all unsure about what to do, or if your landlord does not serve you with a copy of the declaration, seek advice for your particular situation. Scroll down for a list of tenant counseling organizations.

Unpaid rent due between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021:

What you must do each month:

  • For unpaid rent during this time period, you need to submit the same declaration [link] to your landlord for each month that you are not able to pay. We recommend that you send the declaration to your landlord instead of your rent, each time a rent payment is due. Keep a copy for your records. If you are sending it in the mail, use certified or registered mail so that you have a tracking number.
  • You must pay 25% of the rent that becomes due between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2020 by January 31, 2020.

Note: You do not have to pay 25% each month as rent becomes due, you just have to pay 25% of the total by January 31, 2021.

You can pay little by little, or all at once, so long as you have paid 25% of each missed rent payment by January 31, 2021. Keep detailed records of every payment you make, in case you need to later prove that you complied with the payment requirements.

What if your landlord still tries to evict?

  • If you have unpaid rent from this period, it is possible that your landlord will serve you with a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit.
  • If so, your landlord is required to also serve you with a copy of the You have 15 days, not including weekends and holidays, to sign and return the declaration. If you do not, you could lose your protections under this law. Do not wait! Return the declaration as soon as you receive it. Remember to keep a copy of the signed declaration for your records.
  • If you are at all unsure about what to do, or if your landlord does not serve you with a copy of the declaration, seek advice for your particular situation.
  • Scroll down for a list of tenant counseling agencies in San Francisco.

You will still owe the money but you cannot be evicted for nonpayment.

  • If you follow these steps, then your landlord will not be able to evict you for missed rent payments between March 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021.
  • However, you still owe this money to your landlord. Your landlord can still sue you in court to try to collect the money. But, your landlord is not allowed to evict you from your home because you owe the money

Declaration of COVID-19-Related Financial Distress (Forms)

Questions About the Moratorium?

If you are a senior or an adult with a disability, contact Legal Assistance to the Elderly at (415) 538-3333.

For others with questions, contact a tenant counseling agency:

Housing Rights Committee
(415) 703-8644
(English, Español, Русский)

Causa Justa
(415) 487-9203
(English, Español)

Chinatown Community Development Center
(415) 984-2728
(English, 广东话 , 国语)

How Will I Pay Back the Rent?

Even if you are currently protected from eviction for nonpayment of rent, you will eventually be required to pay back the rent you owe.

Tenants protected under the City’s moratorium (covering March – August 31, 2020) will be given six months from the date that Mayor Breed’s Order expires to pay back rent.

Tenants protected under AB 3088 (covering September 1, 2020 to January 31, 2020) must pay 25% of the total rent owed for these 5 months by January 31, 2020 to avoid an eviction case.

Click below for a list of rental assistance agencies serving San Francisco.

This page was last updated on October 15 at 1:00 p.m.