Do you have questions about your rights? If you live in Districts 10, 11, or 5 in San Francisco you can click the below button to request a consultation with an attorney at Open Door Legal
End of the Eviction Moratorium
On July 1st, 2021 the current moratoriums on evictions are set to expire. Certain protections will be extended, however. Tenants cannot be evicted for rent that was due between March 1, 2020, and August 30, 2020, as this rent will be converted to consumer debt. If a tenant owes back rent due to financial hardship caused by COVID, and is able to pay 25% of their back rent from September 1, 2020, through June 31, 2021 by July 1st, they will be protected from eviction. The remaining debt will be converted into consumer debt.
If your landlord attempts to evict you despite these protections, Open Door Legal can defend you. Note: if you are served with a summons and complaint, you should seek out help immediately, as you only have 5 business days to file an answer.
Rental assistance is available for those who owe back rent due to COVID. San Francisco residents have access to both the California statewide program and a San Francisco-specific program. You or your landlord can apply for the state program and get 80% of back rent from April 2020 to March 2021 paid by the state. In exchange, the landlord will waive any remaining rent owed. If your landlord chooses not to participate, you can apply on your own and get 25% of rent between those same months. San Francisco’s program can cover rent for up to 6 months for the months of April 2021 onward, but is being prioritized for certain populations. San Francisco’s program is also available for those who live in public housing.
Open Door Legal is also offering drop-in hours to assist with completing the state and local applications during the following times:
Excelsior (60 Ocean Ave) – Tues 10-12pm (Cantonese, Spanish)
Bayview (4634 3rd St) – Weds 1-3pm (Spanish)
Western Addition (1113 Fillmore Ave) – Thurs 10-12pm
Or call: (415) 735-4124
You need to bring in the following items to complete your application:
- Identification documents for all household members over 18
- Income information for all members over 18
- Proof of residence
- Proof of rent owed or utilities owed
- Proof of loss of income (ex. Covid declaration, job loss letter, filing/receipt of UI)
Note: Documentation isn’t required to apply for the local program, but will be required later if your application is approved for assistance.
The following organizations also provide assistance for both state and local applications:
Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinese)
Location: Chinatown CDC, 663 Clay Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
415-984-2730. Leave your name, phone number and a counselor will return your call. Drop-in clinic Mondays from 2-4pm & Thursdays 10:30am-2:30pm
Mission Economic Development Agency/MEDA (Spanish)
MEDA’s COVID-19 Community Intake Line: (415) 612-2014 x 2 – Applying for affordable housing
Consumer Defense & Small Claims
If your outstanding back rent has been converted into consumer debt, your landlord may still attempt to collect it by suing you. If the total owed is below $10,000, you may be sued in small claims court, which has simplified procedures. If the total owed is above $10,000, you may be sued in civil court. If you are sued, Open Door Legal may be able to defend you.
If you are behind in your mortgage or HOA dues in an owner-occupied home due to the pandemic, limited relief may be available. The San Francisco Housing Development can help you apply for programs that may pay any of your past due balances. Long-term residents of D10 may also be eligible for increased assistance. To talk to SFHDC financial empowerment counselor, call (415) 822-1022 and leave your name, best phone contact number, and email address and someone will get back to you within 24 hours to have you fill out an intake. You can also email email@example.com and write your name, your issue, and best phone contact number. All services with SFHDC are online at this time, but if you need help accessing a computer Open Door Legal can help.
Your bank may begin the foreclosure process as soon as July and may conclude a sale as soon as October. You can lose all your equity in a foreclosure sale, so it is imperative that you seek out help as soon as possible. If your home has already been sold, Open Door Legal may be able to file a wrongful foreclosure suit on your behalf.
In the end, if you are unable to pay back rent or past-due mortgages, bankruptcy may be a good option. Bankruptcy can eliminate your debts while preserving your housing, but it also harms your credit score. With counseling, however, your credit can be rehabilitated within two years. Open Door Legal may be able to file bankruptcy on your behalf or refer you to a bankruptcy attorney.