(Ordinance 5943)
Expires September 30, 2020, unless extended by City Council or extension of State of California Declaration of Emergency

LANDLORD must grant rent deferral on adequate notice of Significant Negative Change in income
Upon receipt of notice from TENANT, no action to terminate tenancy or evict may be taken
Causes of Significant Change to Household Financial Condition:
*Sick with COVID-19 or caring for family or household member with it
*Layoff, loss or work or other income reduction from business closure or employer impact
*Order or recommendation from government authority to stay home, quarantine, self-isolate
*Extraordinary medical expenses as a result of COVID-19
*Child care needs because of school closures
TENANT Notice Requirements:
*In writing, including email
*Within 20 days after rent is due
*Statement of Significant Negative Change in household income
TENANT must state how much they can pay monthly
TENANT must provide “documentation” establishing Significant Negative change
Does not relieve the rent obligation
LANDLORD may not charge a late fee for deferred rent that is timely paid per the ordinance
If TENANT requests, rental agreements which would have ended before May 31 may be            extended
Deferred rent must be paid in full in equal monthly payments within 12 months after expiration of the ordinance
If TENANT terminates tenancy before deferred rent is paid, it becomes immediately due

(Ordinance 44-5)
Expires September 30, 2020 unless extended by County Board of Supervisors


Temporary Eviction Moratorium Due to Coronavirus COVID-19

On March 24, 2020, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors adopted an urgency ordinance, amending Chapter 44 of the Santa Barbara County Code, to suspend evictions arising from loss of income or substantial medical expenses related to COVID-19 until July 28, 2020 (the “Urgency Ordinance”). The Urgency Ordinance allows commercial and residential tenants to defer rent payments when they are unable to pay because of income reductions due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Urgency Ordinance became effective immediately on March 24, 2020. Tenants must provide written notice of their request for rent deferral within 7 days after the rent is due. We are not permitted to provide legal advice to the public. Legal Aid may provide technical assistance at 805-963-6754.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I cannot pay my rent, can the Urgency Ordinance help? If you paid rent to your landlord previously but cannot pay your current rent due to a loss of income attributable to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disaster, you may be able to remain in your current housing and defer rent payments until July 28, 2020.

2. How does a tenant get protection under the Urgency Ordinance? The Urgency Ordinance allows you to delay paying all or part of your rent by sending a written notice to your landlord within 7 days after your rent is due. For example, if your rent is due on April 1, 2020, you would need to send the notice on or before April 8, 2020.

3. What does the written notice need to include? The written notice must demonstrate inability to pay the full amount of rent due to reasons related to COVID-19, including by not limited to the following: a. Tenant was unavailable to work because the tenant was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or caring for a household or family member who was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19; b. Tenant experienced a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19, the state of emergency, or related government response; c. Tenant needed to miss work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19; or d. Substantial out of pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19.

4. What kind of documentation does a tenant need to include with their written notice? Your written notice needs to include documentation or objectively verify a substantial decrease in income, such as medical records and bills, layoff or termination notices, income or revenue records, child care expenses, or other documents that show a substantial household income decrease as a result of COVID-19.

5. What can a tenant do if a landlord tries to evict them? The Urgency Ordinance creates an “affirmative defense” to eviction for nonpayment of rent. If a landlord files an action against a tenant for nonpayment of rent, the tenant can defend themselves in court by evoking the Urgency Ordinance and demonstrating they sent written notice and supporting documentation to the owner within 7 days after rent was due. In court, the tenant will need to produce the documentation of substantial decrease in income related to COVID-19 that was contained in the written notice to landlord.

6. How long will the Urgency Ordinance be in effect? The Urgency Ordinance’s rent deferral and eviction protection expires on July 28, 2020. (Note:  Extended by County Board of Supervisors to September 30, 2020.)

7. How long does a tenant have to pay back the rent that is deferred under the Urgency Ordinance? The Urgency Ordinance does not specify a payback period at the present time. Owners and tenants are encouraged to work together to develop mutually acceptable repayment schedules.


(General Order Staying Evictions)

All unlawful detainer actions (evictions), except those necessary to protect public health and safety, will be stayed (postponed), and no Writs of Possession (order to Sheriff to evict)  shall be enforced until the end of the State’s “Shelter in Place Order” or the end of the County of Santa Barbara’s Public Health Emergency, whichever is earlier.

(HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE: Nothwithstanding the above order, as of 9/3/202 it appears that the Court is now processing Unlawful Detainers)

(Resolution No. 20-07 U)
Effective until repealed

Tenants Must:

  • Notify landlord in writing within seven (7) days before rent is due that the tenant needs to delay all or some payment of rent because of the inability to pay due to financial impacts related to COVID-19, which may include but are not limited to the following:
    • Tenant was unable to work because s/he was sick with suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19;
    • Caring for a household or family member who was sick with suspected or confirmed case of 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;
    • Childcare needs arising from school closures related to COVID-19.
  • Documentation of the above reasons must be provided no later than the time of payment of back-due rent;
  • Documentation may include but is not limited to:
    • Termination notices, payroll checks, pay stubs, bank statements, medical bills, or signed letters or statements from an employer or supervisor explaining the tenant’s changed financial circumstances and
    • Medical documentation.
  • Pay all unpaid rent amounts no later than12 months after the City’s emergency declaration is declared over.
  • Draw down on a security deposit during the repayment period if agreed upon by the landlord and must replenish the security deposit by the end of the 12-month period.

Landlords Must:

  • Not evict a tenant who satisfies the above.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of financial and medical documents provided by tenants.
  • Not charge a late fee, penalty, or interest upon repayment of back-due rent.
  • Landlords are encouraged to offer repayment plans to tenants for repayment of deferred rent beyond the 12-month period.


(AB 3088)

Expires 2/1/21
Provides limited protection from eviction to renters who are unable to pay rent because of COVID19 financial difficulties. Provides some foreclosure protection for certain property owners.  (more to come)

Click here for FAQ Regarding Tenant Relief Act


***EXPIRED MAY 31, 2020***

TENANT being evicted for nonpayment shall have 60 days to respond to unlawful detainer
No writ to evict may be enforced if TENANT meets requirement of this Order
Requirements to qualify for extension:
*TENANT must be current on rent as of March 27, 2020
*TENANT notified LANDLORD in writing no later than 7 days after due date of need to
delay full payment
*TENANT must retain verifiable documentation of inability to pay
*TENANT must give documentation to LANDLORD no later than when paying back-due
Reasons for Inability to Pay: (“including but not limited to”)
*TENANT can’t work because of his COVID-19 case, or caring for a household member
*Layoff, loss of hours, other income reduction b/c of COVID-19 or “related govt response”
*Missed work to care for child because of school closure
TENANT remains liable for renT

Expires September 30, 2020, unless extended.

Cities and Counties are permitted to enact eviction moratoriums.

***Repealed effective September 1, 2020***

Courts may not issue a Summons in an Unlawful Detainer complaint or take defendant’s
Exception if a court finds it is necessary for public safety or health
Unlawful Detainer trial dates not set earlier than 60 days after request by LANDLORD if
defendant has appeared
Any Unlawful Detainer filed by April 6, 2020, trial date is continued 60 days
Expires 90 days after State of Emergency is lifted or this rule amended or repealed

(H.R. 748)
**Expired August 1, 2020*

No new evictions for non-payment from certain properties that have Federal connection
Examples: subsidized housing, tax credit properties, properties whose mortgage is backed by
Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae
No late fees or other penalties for late payment of rent may be charged
LANDLORDs who accept mortgage forbearance must offer TENANT identical rent forbearance
After moratorium expires, TENANT must be given a 30-day eviction notice

Agency Order per Section 361

Halts certain evictions under particularly enumerated circumstances related to COVID-19. Requires varying amounts of documentation of actual losses due to COVID19, depending on annual income.