OC COVID Resource Guide pt 1: Trouble With Your May Rent?

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1. Rent-Evictions-Foreclosures (right here below)

2. Click here for Food Resources

more to come… (?)

Rent / Evictions, May 2020

Okay, it’s MAY now and hopefully you were either able to pay your April rent last month or you sent your landlord timely notice by April 7 that you couldn’t.  This month, you have till Thursday the 7th so GET ON IT!  UNLESS… unless you live in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Buena Park or Fullerton, then you got 30 days (till May 30 I guess.)  Now read on…

First, all OC renters are protected by the Governor’s March 27 “moratorium.”  Remember, moratorium is legally defined as “a legal authorization to debtors to postpone payment” – at this point everybody is going to be required to pay off their late April & May rents eventually.

And also at this point, if you don’t live in one of those lucky OC cities that passed their own, better moratoriums (see below), nothing protects you from getting evicted in June for paying your April or May rent late.  Presumably the Governor will do SOMETHING about that by June 1, but we can’t be sure yet.

The Governor’s order gives you 7 days from the date rent was due (if you’re in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa or Fullerton you get 30 days) to notify your landlord that you need to “delay all or some payment of rent… due to reasons related to COVID-19, including but not limited to the following: 

  • you’re unavailable to work because you were 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;
  • you experienced a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19, the state of emergency, or related government response; or
  • you needed to miss work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19.”

(Obviously if you haven’t sent that notification yet for your April rent [and you’re not in SA or CM or F] you’re LATE on that, but you’d better get to it right away… and if May is going to be a problem you’ll have till May 7.)

AND you gotta have “verifiable documentation, such as termination notices, payroll checks, pay stubs, bank statements, medical bills, or signed letters or statements from an employer or supervisor explaining your changed financial circumstances, to support your of an inability to pay.” Per the governor, you can provide this proof later, when you pay your back rent.

THE FOLLOWING OC CITIES adopted ORDINANCES that protect you a little better than the Governor does so far:

  • Anaheim – gives you 120 DAYS to make “four equal payments” on your late April/May rent, starting when the ordinance expires, which is May 31 UNLESS EXTENDED by the Council.  (They also wanted to make you notify your landlord BEFORE rent is due, but that  pain in the ass is overruled by the Governor.)  Anaheim also vaguely asks you to “pay what you can” during April and May (which is good advice in any case, as you’ll be that much less in debt over the summer.)  Anaheim provides a bilingual sample letter you can use for notification.

ANAHEIM UPDATE 5/3: This Tuesday, May 5, Anaheim will be looking at extending this ordinance to the end of June; and – very important – giving a 30-day grace period in between when the crisis/ordinance end and when you have to start paying off your back rent.  That should be very helpful. 

5/6 NEVER MIND – Lucille Kring and Trevor O’Neil killed that amendment.  

  • Buena Park – gives you 30 days from due date to notify your landlord; and SIX MONTHS from the “expiration of the state of emergency” to pay it off.  Here are Buena Park fact sheets in the 3 Buena Park languages:  English, Spanish, and Korean!
  • Costa Mesa – their ordinance doesn’t expire until Governor Newsom’s state of emergency expires – good thinking cuz that’s likely to be past May. Costa Mesa gives you 30 days from due date to notify your landlord; and gives you 120 days to pay off late rent, starting when the state of emergency ends.  Costa Mesa provides sample notification letters in English and Spanish.
  • Fullerton – like Costa Mesa, their ordinance expires with Newsom’s state of emergency.  Fullerton gives you THIRTY DAYS from due date to notify your landlord; and gives you 120 DAYS to pay off late rent, starting when the state of emergency ends – just like Costa Mesa.  Fullerton provides a downloadable form to help you with notification and other questions.
  • Laguna Beach –  This sleepy seaside town didn’t get around to passing their ordinance till a week ago – April 7.  Fortunately they do give you 30 days to notify your landlord, and then 120 days to pay off your back rent upon the expiration of the governor’s state of emergency ends.
  • Mission Viejo –  It’s hard to find many details of MV’s ordinance beyond the little notice I just linked to – for example, how long a MV renter has to notify their landlord of their difficulty.  The ordinance does last till May 31 – unless extended by council – and you have SIX MONTHS to pay off your back rent.
  • Placentia – ordinance expires with Newsom’s state of emergency.  Placentia gives you THIRTY DAYS from due date to notify your landlord; and gives you 120 DAYS to pay off late rent, starting when the state of emergency ends.
  • Santa Ana was the first OC city to act, on March 19.  Santa Ana gives you THIRTY DAYS from due date to notify your landlord; and gives you 160 DAYS to pay off late rent, starting when the state of emergency ends.  Santa Ana provides sample notification letters in English and Spanish.  If there is a rent increase or eviction notice, email city at evictionmoratorium@santa-ana.org.  (Santa Ana also has a RENT FREEZE in effect during the emergency.
  • Westminster – their ordinance expires with Newsom’s state of emergency.  Westminster gives you 120 DAYS to pay off late rent, starting when the state of emergency ends.  But Westminster is strict about the “proof of hardship” and “pay what you can” questions – you have to send in your PROOF within THIRTY DAYS – AND, to quote, “On or before the day rent is due, the tenant must pay no less than the full amount of rent currently due, less the amount of COVID- 19- Related Financial Impacts the tenant has reasonably proven.  For Example: if a tenant’ s monthly rental payment is $ 2,500, and the tenant is able to provide evidence demonstrating they have incurred 1, 000 in COVID- 19- Related Financial Impacts, the tenant must still pay $ 1,500 to the landlord on or before the due date in order to avail themselves of the protections in this ordinance. The remaining unpaid rent would then be paid” (over the 120 days). 

That’s nine OC cities that have managed to protect their renters, out of 34 – so if you live in any of OC’s other 25 cities or unincorporated areas, you are only protected by the Governor’s order, which again says nothing about what could happen to you June 1.  (Irvine could only get it together to pass an advisory “resolution” asking landlords to please not evict, and Huntington Beach couldn’t even do that much.)

A little more advice:  DON’T PAY YOUR RENT IN CASH, and KEEP A COPY of all your communications with your landlord.  Don’t sign an agreement as to how you will make your late April-May payments as it’s very likely the Governor will issue an order forgiving all that, but you’ll be on the hook if you agree to a payment plan.  And remember that if your landlord really wants to evict you, he has experience and a good lawyer, while you probably don’t. 

On that note, some good resources for legal help resisting eviction:

  • OC’s Public Law Center at 714-541-1010 – though they’ll no doubt be overwhelmed come early June. 
  • Also, Community Legal Aid SoCal, headquartered in Santa Ana – 571-5200. 
  • And a great group for advice, especially (but not only) if you’re in Santa Ana is TU Santa Ana (Tenants United Santa Ana) at 714-459-2552.

Coming later on this page:  help for the landlords … for now click Apartment Association of OC.  Update 4/29 yeah maybe I won’t get around to it, nobody’s bugged me about it…

  • Lots of details at: https://covid19.ca.gov/get-financial-help/#top 
  • Newsom post on 90-day mortgage payment relief, in effect as of March 25, 2020
    • Lending institutions must:
      • Provide streamlined process for requesting forbearance
      • Confirm approval/provide terms (this will determine how long forbearance will actually last)
      • Give opportunity to request additional relief if hardship continues
    • No negative impact on credit
    • No new foreclosures or evictions for 60 days
    • Must refund or waive late fees, and any other fees such as those for early CD withdrawals
  • List of participating institutions
    • If institution is not responsive, file a complaint to Department of Business Oversight 
  • Mortgage waivers? 
  • Property Tax April 10 Deadline still in effect

3 Options: Pay Now, Request Penalty Cancellation due to COVID-19, or Sign up for a 5-Year Payment Plan (after July 1)

(notes for next installments..)

Mental Health 




Assistance Programs



Undocumented folks



Mortgage assistance 


Small business relief


Stimulus checks 

In response to the economic impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the government has put together the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security CARES Act. This plan includes provisions to help stimulate the US economy and assist those financially affected by COVID-19 by sending checks directly to qualifying individuals based on income brackets. The general payout amounts are as follows:

  • $1,200 to individual taxpayers
  • $2,400 to married couples filing jointly
  • An additional $500 per qualifying child under the age of 17 to families

There are, however, income restrictions. If you earn more than $75,000 as an individual taxpayer, $112,500 as a head of household, or $150,000 as a couple, the amount you’re eligible for will decrease. For additional information on payout amounts and qualifications, please see the official CARES Act.

Receiving Your Check
If you’re eligible and received your 2018 or 2019 tax refund through Direct Deposit, you can expect to receive your stimulus check by Direct Deposit around Wednesday, April 15



Cares Act/COVID Relief Act




Credit cards/personal loans relief 


Auto loans relief 

List Of Banks Offering Relief To Customers Affected By Coronavirus (COVID-19)

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.