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Evictions and Foreclosures Frequently Asked Questions

Find questions and answer for the Urgency Interim Ordinance Imposing a Temporary Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions and Providing Relief for Utility Discontinuances and Late Fees in the City of Elk Grove.

On March 25, 2020, the Elk Grove City Council enacted an ordinance imposing a temporary moratorium on evictions in the City of Elk Grove. The moratorium also provides City residents relief from certain utility discontinuances and late fees. In both cases, the moratorium provides protections for financial impacts due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium is in effect through May 31, 2020, unless extended or earlier terminated by the City Council.

Read the moratorium ordinance.

Residential and Commercial Evictions

Residential and Commercial Mortgage Holders

Utility Customers


Residential and Commercial Evictions

What does the eviction moratorium mean for Elk Grove tenants, both residential and commercial?

Qualifying residential and commercial renters who cannot pay their rent due to financial impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be protected from eviction by their landlords or property owners. (See “How do I know if I’m eligible for protection under this ordinance?” below.)

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Does the ordinance provide protections to both residential and commercial renters?

Yes. The moratorium applies to all residential rentals and many commercial tenants in the City of Elk Grove, including businesses, apartments, duplexes, condominiums, and single-family dwellings. The moratorium applies to all eligible renters, regardless of immigration status.

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Does the ordinance provide protection to all commercial renters?

No. The ordinance does not provide protection to commercial renters whose annual gross sales company-wide exceed $25 million for the year 2019. These would typically be large chain stores and restaurants. The ordinance would protect franchisees of a regional or national company, so long as the franchisee’s gross annual sales for the store or restaurant do not exceed $25 million for the year 2019.

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Does the moratorium protect against evictions due to foreclosures?

Yes. The moratorium also applies to evictions of homeowners as a part of a foreclosure proceeding, meaning if you are being evicted as part of a foreclosure proceeding, you may have protections under this moratorium.

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How do I know if I’m eligible for protection under the ordinance?

Tenants are eligible for eviction protection under the ordinance if they have experienced a substantial decrease (20% or more) in household or business income due to COVID-19 or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses (20% or more of your monthly household income) caused by COVID-19. Some examples include:

  • You lost income because your job has closed or reduced hours due to COVID-19.
  • You lost income because you had to stay home with a school-age child due to school closures.
  • You have unexpected health care costs related to COVID-19 because you or a member of your household is ill with COVID-19.
  • State or local emergency actions prevented you from working or prevented you from keeping your business open.

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What counts as a substantial decrease in household income?

Your household’s gross monthly income must have decreased at least 20% when compared against your average gross monthly household income from December 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020. When thinking about your income, include all sources, such as wages, tips or commissions, unemployment assistance, alimony, and child support.

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What counts as a substantial decrease in business income?

Your business’ gross monthly income must have decreased at least 20% when compared against your average gross monthly business income from December 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020.

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What counts as substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses?

Your household’s total medical expenses are 20% or more of your household’s gross monthly income. Medical expenses must be COVID-19 related.

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If I cannot pay my rent, what do I need to do?

To establish eligibility for this moratorium, you must:

  1. Notify your property owner or landlord in writing before your rent is due that you are unable to pay rent because of a substantial loss of income or medical expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Use this form to request a Delay of Payment to your landlord.

    Note: Residential tenancies have additional protections under a recent Governor’s executive order, including being allowed to notify landlords within seven days after rent is due for matters covered by the Governor’s order. See below, “How does the Governor’s recent executive order on residential evictions affect the City’s ordinance?
  2. Provide your property owner or landlord with verifiable documentation to show that you have a covered reason for delayed payment.
  3. Pay the portion of rent that you are reasonably able to pay. If you pay at least 50% of the rent due, you will be presumed to have paid a reasonable amount.

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Does this mean tenants do not have to pay their rent?

No. Tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent. On a monthly basis, you are still required to pay what you are reasonably able to pay. If you comply, during the moratorium period, you may not be lawfully evicted for failure to pay full rent due to substantial financial impacts related to COVID-19.

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What is verifiable documentation to show I have a covered reason for not paying my rent?

You must provide documentation to your landlord showing you have experienced a substantial loss of income or substantial out-of-pocket medical costs due to COVID-19. Examples of documentation include:

  • Letter from an employer citing COVID-19 as a reason for reduced work hours or termination;
  • Paycheck stubs from before and after March 25, 2020;
  • Bank statements showing your financial situation before and after March 25, 2020;
  • Medical bills showing charges for medical visits or hospital stays; or
  • For businesses, financial statements showing decreased revenue for the current month, as compared to the average of the months December 2019 through February 2020.

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Does the eviction moratorium prevent my landlord from charging late fees if I haven’t paid my rent in full?

No. Your landlord may still charge a late fee and/or interest on late payments in accordance with your lease agreement.

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Does the moratorium apply to all evictions?

No. Property owners or landlords can pursue an eviction for any lawful purpose other than COVID-19 financial impacts, including other lease violations, such as prior or chronic nonpayment of rent unrelated to COVID-19, or illegal or criminal activity at the rented property.

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What happens after the eviction moratorium is over?

Tenants will have up to 120 days after May 31, 2020 to repay any back rent due, including any late fees and/or interest on late payments. The tenant and landlord may mutually work out a payment schedule or arrangements for repayment of the rent. If they cannot come to an agreement, the total of all the delayed payments, including any late fees and/or interest, must be repaid in four equal payments to be paid in 30 day intervals beginning on June 1, 2020, or when the moratorium expires if extended. If the tenant fails to make any one of these payments, the landlord may commence eviction proceedings.

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If I was behind on my rent before March 25, does the eviction moratorium apply to me?

The moratorium does not apply to pre-existing past due rent you may have owed prior to March 25, 2020. If you already owed back rent, the City’s ordinance would not provide you with eviction protection. But you might be entitled to protection under the Governor’s executive order (see below).

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What should I do if I receive an eviction notice?

If you meet the criteria of the ordinance, you should immediately inform your landlord that you cannot pay your rent in full due to a loss of income arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. If your landlord does not withdraw the eviction notice, you can file a complaint with the City online (select 'Code Enforcement' under 'Issue Type') or by calling (916) 687-3023. Tenants can also raise protection under the ordinance as a defense in court to an eviction proceeding.

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What happens if my landlord moves forward with an eviction?

A landlord cannot lawfully force you to move without a court order. If you meet the requirements of the ordinance, you can explain your situation to the judge in court in your eviction case, which may provide a legal defense to the eviction.

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How does the Governor’s recent executive order on residential evictions affect the City’s ordinance?

On March 27, 2020, the Governor issued an executive order providing certain protections on residential evictions. (Executive Order N-37-20). Read the executive order. The Governor’s order provides similar protections to residential tenants as the City’s ordinance, with some differences. The City’s ordinance remains effective, and the Governor’s order and the City ordinance work together. Some features of the Governor’s order that provide additional protection to residential tenants are the following:

  • The Governor’s order provides a 60-day extension of time to respond to an eviction complaint filed in court by the landlord against the tenant. Without this extension, tenants typically have only five days to respond to a complaint served on them.
  • The Governor’s order allows a tenant up to seven days after rent is due to notify the landlord of the tenant’s qualifying COVID hardship. The qualifying hardship under the Governor’s order is similar to the City ordinance, but not identical.
  • The Governor’s order provides that, for any residential tenant meeting the protection criteria under the Governor’s order, a landlord cannot enforce a court order to evict the tenant.

Unless terminated earlier or extended, the Governor’s order remains in effect until May 31, 2020 (the same current effective date of the City’s ordinance).

Note: The Governor’s order applies only to evictions from a residence or dwelling; not commercial tenancies.

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Who do I contact for more information about eviction protection?

If you have questions or need additional information regarding a residential tenant issue, please contact the City’s Code Enforcement Division at (916) 687-3023 or codeenforcement@elkgrovecity.org. You can also contact the Renters Helpline, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing advice on landlord/tenant matters, at (916) 389-7877 or rentershelpline.org. If you have questions or need additional information regarding a commercial tenant issue, please contact the Office of Economic Development at (916) 627-3338 or econdev@elkgrovecity.org. If you need to report non-compliance, please contact the City’s Code Enforcement at (916) 687-3023 or codeenforcement@elkgrovecity.org.

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Where can I get help or information regarding a 'Notice to Pay Rent or Quit'?

The City’s eviction moratorium provides a legal defense to tenants facing eviction as a result of their inability to pay rent due to a loss of wages or medical expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Renters should seek assistance from legal services providers in responding to any eviction (unlawful detainer) action filed by their landlords. Call 2-1-1 for a list of free or low-cost legal services providers operating in Sacramento County.

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Is there financial assistance for landlords who suffer a loss of income as a result of a tenants’ inability to pay their rent?

There are a number of federal and state COVID-19 emergency financial resources available for businesses (which may include residential and commercial property owners). Visit elkgrovecity.org/covid19biz for more information

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Residential and Commercial Mortgage Holders

Will evictions for mortgage foreclosure be impacted?

Yes. The moratorium applies to evictions following foreclosure proceedings.

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If I can’t pay my mortgage, what options are available?

On March 25, the Governor announced financial relief provisions for homeowners suffering financially as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. You may be eligible for mortgage payment forbearances of up to 90 days and a waiver or refund of mortgage-related late fees. View details on how to apply for relief. Loans held by a financial institution may be serviced by another company.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has enacted a 60-day suspension on all foreclosures and evictions for single-family homes with FHA-insured mortgages. Contact your loan servicer for more information if your property has an FHA-insured mortgage.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days.   Multifamily borrowers may have additional options.  Please contact your loan servicer to discuss your options.

We encourage all property owners experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to call their loan servicer.  Private financial institutions may have their own relief programs during this crisis. 

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Utility Customers

What happens if I can’t pay my bills for City utilities like trash or drainage?

The City will not discontinue service or charge late fees for residential trash service or residential and commercial drainage services during the moratorium period if you have experienced a substantial decrease in household or business income (20% or more) due to COVID-19 or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses (20% or more of your household’s gross monthly income) caused by COVID-19.

Commercial trash services are not subject to the moratorium. Contact your commercial trash service company directly to discuss your options if you are unable to make payment.

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What about non-City utilities like power or gas?

Utility agencies separate from the City set their own policies, and the moratorium does not directly protect residents or businesses from utility service interruptions for water, sewer, power, or any other non-City utilities due to nonpayment. However, SMUD and PG&E have both temporarily suspended service disconnections for nonpayment through at least April 17. The City Council has also directed the City Manager to encourage other utilities in the City to provide relief to their customers.

SMUD

As of March 13, 2020, SMUD has suspended power shutoffs for non-payment. Through March 31, Smud will not disconnect power due to non-payment for all customers. SMUD will also reconnect customers whose service was disconnected due to non-payment as long as the meter or equipment is not damaged and conditions are safe. Read the news release.

PG&E

PG&E has voluntarily implemented a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment for both residential and commercial customers, effective immediately and until further notice.

To learn about how the California Public Utility Commission is helping to support communities affected by COVID-19 visit cpuc.ca.gov/covid

Elk Grove Water District

  • No shut offs for non-payment
  • Waiving late payment penalties, door tag fees, over the phone payment fees
  • Providing flexible payment options

Learn more at egwd.org

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If I cannot pay my trash and drainage bill, what do I need to do?

To establish eligibility for this moratorium, residents and businesses (in the case of drainage) must:

  1. Contact Heather Neff at (916) 478-3686 or hneff@elkgrovecity.org before the day that payment is due to inform the City that you are unable to pay your bill due to substantial loss of income or new medical expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  2. Provide the City with verifiable documentation to show that you have a covered reason for delayed payment.

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Will my trash or drainage charges be forgiven?

No. You will still owe for these charges. After May 31, 2020, you will need to bring your payments current in order to avoid service disruption.

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