On March 16, the City Manager, under the authority of Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC) Section 3.09.020.B.1.h(2), as the Director of Emergency Services, issued a public order (“March 16 Order”) enacting City measures to protect the public health and safety and prevent the spread of the coronavirus respiratory disease (COVID-19). The March 16 Order included, among other things, a moratorium on the eviction of any residential tenant who has an inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic (“Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium” or “Moratorium”). Subsequently, on March 26, 2020, in response to growing evidence of the critical need for residents to shelter in place, finding a compelling public interest in protecting the public health and safety and health and safety of tenants who are facing eviction, and in ensuring that residents have a home to which to shelter in place during the critical health crisis, the City Council directed the City Manager to expand the Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium to prohibit all evictions of residential tenants through May 31, 2020, subject to certain limited exceptions (see FAQ #3).
On March 27, 2020, the City Manager, issued a Second Supplement to Public Order, consistent with the City Council’s March 26th direction, extending the Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium through May 31, 2020 and expanding its scope.
Also, on March 27, 2020, the Governor of the State of California issued Executive Order N-37-20, which imposes a state-wide 60-day suspension of unlawful detainer proceedings in cases where nonpayment of rent is due to reasons related to COVID- 19. As another indicator of the critical need for residents to shelter in place, the Governor’s March 27, 2020 Executive Order expressly preserves local authority to order any public health measure that may compel an individual to remain physically present in a particular residential property.
In step with the Governor’s Order, the California courts issued an emergency rule, which effectively halts all evictions statewide unless the court deems it necessary for public health and safety. The rule will stay in effect until 90 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency or until the rule is amended or repealed by the courts.
On April 27th, 2020, the City Council directed the City Manager to extend the period after the expiration of the Residential Eviction Moratorium to pay all Back Rent (the “grace period”) from six months to twelve months. On April 28, 2020, the City Manager issued an Eighth Supplement to Public Order, consistent with the City Council’s April 27th direction, extending the grace period from six months to twelve months. This Supplement was approved by the City Council on May 11, 2020.
On April 28, 2020, the City Manager issued an Eighth Supplement to Public Order extending the grace period within which a tenant has to repay Back Rent to 12 months after the expiration of the Eviction Moratorium, consistent with the City Council’s direction.
On May 11, 2020, the City Council discussed possible options for including repayment plan provisions in the Eviction Moratorium, in order to ensure that tenants are not faced with unmanageable “balloon payments” at the end of the 12-month grace period, and risk eviction for nonpayment of Back Rent, and directed the City Manager to include provisions in the Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium to encourage and incentivize a landlord and tenant to negotiate a repayment plan over the 12-month grace period. On May 12, 2020, the City Manager amended the Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium implementation measures in accordance with City Council’s direction.
On May 18, 2020, the City Council considered an extension of the Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium. The City Council directed the City Manager to issue a public order to extend the Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium to August 31, 2020 or the end of the Local Emergency, whichever occurs earlier. On May 19, 2020, the City Manager issued a Twelfth Supplement to Public Order consistent with the with the City Council’s direction.
In late June and during the month of July, 2020, due to increases in the daily reported COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and the testing positivity rates, the Los Angeles County Public Health Officer issued revised orders, in alignment with the California Governor’s announcements, requiring the closure of specific activities and business sectors, superseding previous orders (which had allowed many businesses to reopen), to address the serious regression of COVID-19 indicators within Los Angeles County. Such closures of certain higher risk businesses, recreational sites, commercial properties, and activities, where more frequent and prolonged person-to-person contacts are likely to occur, superseded any previous openings permitted in Culver City.
On August 3, 2020, the City Council discussed an extension of the Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium based on concerns that although the City is in a “recovery” period, these recent closures will have a significant financial impact on many individuals and businesses. While some people have been able to go back to work or reopen a business, many others are still out of work and many businesses have been ordered to close once again. As a result, it will be a slow financial recovery and may be challenging for many tenants, both residential and commercial, to begin paying rent on September 1, 2020, if the current Eviction Moratorium expires on August 31, 2020. As such, the City Council directed the City Manager to: (1) extend the Eviction Moratorium to September 30, 2020; and (2) bring back a comprehensive discussion regarding the Eviction Moratorium to the earliest City Council meeting in September. On August 4, 2020, the City Manager issued a Twenty-Second Supplement to Public Order consistent with the with the City Council’s direction.