If you’re struggling with housing due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for relief.
On this page:
- Eviction protection for renters
- Help with rent and utilities for landlords and renters
- Mortgage forbearance for homeowners and landlords
- Help for people without housing
Eviction protection for renters
If you cannot pay your full rent because of COVID-19, state law protects you from eviction until September 30, 2021. This applies to all residential tenants, regardless of immigration status.
Current eviction protection
To avoid eviction, you must:
- Give your landlord a signed declaration within 15 days of getting a notice to pay rent
- Pay 25% of all rent due from September 2020 through September 2021 by September 30, 2021
This protects you from eviction through September 30, 2021.
If you still owe any rent after September 30, 2021, your landlord can sue you starting November 1, 2021. This is true even if you paid 25% of your rent to avoid eviction. Apply for rent relief to cover 100% of past due rent.
Eviction protection after September 30, 2021
To avoid eviction for unpaid rent after September 30, 2021, you must apply for rent relief. Your landlord cannot evict you if you’ve applied and are waiting to find out if you’re eligible. This protection lasts until March 31, 2022.
If you get a notice from your landlord demanding rent payment, make sure you apply within 15 days.
If you owe rent and do not apply for rent relief, your landlord can evict you. Your landlord must apply for rent relief before they can evict you for unpaid rent.
Eviction protection resources
Find more information about protection from eviction for unpaid rent due to COVID-19:
- Fact sheet on tenant protection
- Tenant protection guidelines
- Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act
Get legal help for free or at low-cost from statewide and local organizations.
Contact a local agency to get free rental counseling.
Help with rent and utilities for landlords and renters
Renters and landlords can get financial help to cover 100% of:
- Past due and future rent payments (even if the renter has moved out)
- Utility bills like gas, electric, water, garbage, and internet
We recommend renters and landlords work together to apply. Either can start the process. Renters must provide some information, regardless of who starts the application. Landlords can get paid quicker if they participate in the program. Learn about how to apply.Apply for California COVID-19 rent relief
To get help with your application, call the COVID-19 rent relief contact center at 833‑430‑2122. It’s open 7 days a week, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Pacific Time.
Details for renters
- Renters with a sublease can apply.
- Your immigration status does not matter. You are not required to show proof of citizenship to apply.
- Your landlord will be notified that you applied for rent relief. Your landlord will not see your application. Your information is private and will not be shared.
- Your application will be assigned to a case manager. Watch for emails or phone calls from your case manager about your application. Be sure to respond so your application keeps moving.
- Applying for rent relief may protect you from eviction and clear your rental debt.
Where payments are sent
If your application is approved, rent payments go to:
- Your landlord if they participate in the rent relief program
- You if your landlord does not participate in the program
If you receive the rent payment, you must pay your landlord within 15 days.
Utility payments go directly to the utility provider.
Mortgage forbearance for homeowners and landlords
Most homeowners can pause or reduce their mortgage payments for a limited time if they’re struggling because of COVID-19. This is called forbearance. You request forbearance from your mortgage servicer. Landlords with four properties or less can also request forbearance.
Learn the steps to pause or reduce your mortgage payments at Help for homeowners.
Your deadline to request forbearance depends on who backs your mortgage.
- If your loan is backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, or VA, the deadline for requesting an initial forbearance is September 30, 2021.
- If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there currently is not a deadline for requesting an initial forbearance.
If your mortgage is not federally backed, your servicer may offer similar forbearance options. If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments, your servicer must discuss relief options with you.
Your rights if you’re denied forbearance
If your servicer denies your request for forbearance, they must provide you with:
- A detailed description explaining why your request was denied, and
- The specific reasons for the denial
This is true for all mortgages, whether federally-backed or not.
If the explanation says your request has errors or is missing information, you have 21 days to correct these issues.
If you requested forbearance, your lender cannot begin foreclosing on your home or property until they:
- Contact you to request payment
- Wait at least 30 days after contacting you to request payment
- File a declaration that they have contacted you to request payment
- File the forbearance denial notice
You can contest either the 30-day contact or the forbearance denial notice.
If you believe your lender harmed you by violating the law, you can file a lawsuit against them. You can get free or low-cost legal help from statewide and local organizations.
These protections are in effect until December 1, 2021, if you’re denied forbearance.
Find more information:
Contact a local agency to get free help to avoid foreclosure.
Help for people without housing
If you need temporary housing:
- Call 211 to find a local program. It’s free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Reach out to the point of contact for your area.
- Contact your county welfare department to find a program near you.
Hotel rooms through Project Roomkey
You may be able to get a hotel or motel room through Project Roomkey if you:
- Test positive for COVID-19 and need to isolate
- Have been exposed to COVID-19 and need to quarantine
- Are at high-risk, like people over age 65 and those with underlying health conditions