City Council to discuss changes to Santa Clarita evictions moratorium

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Santa Clarita’s moratorium on evictions of residential and commercial tenants and its rent payback provisions could soon mirror that of Los Angeles County’s order, which extends through June 30. 

The Santa Clarita City Council is expected to discuss repealing its original eviction moratorium issued in late March for tenants affected by the coronavirus pandemic and instead adopting an emergency ordinance that would allow the county’s eviction and rent payback orders to supersede the city’s current ban, which expires Sunday. 

On March 31, council members voted to establish the ordinance that has prohibited landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent through May 31. Under the order, renters had six months after the ban’s expiration date to pay for the missed payment in addition to any then-current due amount but without the implementation of any late fees. 

The city’s ban mirrored that of the county’s, which only covered tenants in unincorporated areas, such as Stevenson Ranch and Castaic in the Santa Clarita Valley. In April the county’s moratorium was amended with an extension period through June 31 and with payback options for tenants, including for small businesses, of up to 12 months rather than six. 

Santa Clarita’s moratorium stayed the same but Tuesday’s vote could also offer extended protection for tenants. 

“(R)epealing the city’s eviction moratorium ordinance will result in the county eviction protection moratorium superseding the city’s prior ordinance, providing the same level of protection to residential and commercial tenants as that provided to tenants throughout the county,” read a portion of the new, proposed emergency ordinance. 

Lengthening protections comes as “many residential and commercial tenants in the city have experienced or expect to experience sudden and unexpected income loss soon, and further economic impacts are anticipated, leaving residential and commercial tenants potentially unable to pay rent and vulnerable to eviction,” the ordinance said. 

To take effect immediately, the item will require a ⅘ majority City Council vote. 

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