The City of Albany is working closely with Alameda County Public Health to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As a result of the public health emergency and the precautions recommended by health authorities and the Governor, many tenants in Albany have experienced or expect soon to experience sudden and unexpected income loss.
On March 26, 2020, the Albany City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2020-03, which provides temporary protection from eviction due to non-payment of rent for residential and commercial tenants impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. To be eligible, a tenant must notify the landlord in writing within 30 days after the date that rent is due of the tenant’s inability to pay because of financial impacts related to COVID-19. Any unpaid rent is deferred and must be repaid by the tenant within six months of the expiration of the local emergency.
As an additional measure, the Ordinance temporarily defers collection of rent increases for commercial tenants and certain residential tenants. Eligible residential tenants are generally those in older (pre-1995) apartment buildings or condominiums owned by a corporation or real estate investment trust, and which are not subject to rent control under State law. To be eligible, a tenant must notify the landlord in writing within 30 days (or longer period provided by law) after receiving notice of the proposed rent increase of the tenant’s inability to pay the proposed rent increase due to financial impacts related to COVID-19.
Tenants must provide documentation to support the inability to pay rent or rent increases due to financial impacts of COVID-19. For residential tenants, financial impacts related to COVID-19 include lost income as a result of any of the following:
- Being sick with COVID-19, or caring for a household or family member who is sick with COVID-19
- Lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from business closure or other economic or employer impacts of COVID-19
- Compliance with a recommendation from a government health authority to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency
- Extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19
- Child care needs arising from school closures related to COVID-19
For commercial tenants, financial impacts related to COVID-19 include lost income due to business operations being limited or closed (voluntarily or by mandate) to prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The Albany City Council also included a recommendation in the Ordinance to the banks and other mortgage holders to not foreclose against any property owner with a demonstrated financial impact due to COVID-19. The California Governor announced a mortgage relief deal with banks to secure similar protections, and has adopted Executive Order No. N-37-20 delaying residential evictions statewide for 60 days.
The City understands that the financial hardship due to COVID-19 does not only impact tenants, but also business owners and landlords as well. We are all in this together, and thank you for being a supporting member of our community as we work through this public health crisis.
For questions regarding this ordinance, please contact the Albany Community Development Department at 1 (510) 528-5760, or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find a comprehensive listing of COVID-19 resources here.