Renter Help

Frequently asked questions:

Is there still an eviction moratorium?

Many areas in California no longer have pandemic eviction protections. The state government allowed the statewide protections for tenants statewide to expire, piece by piece. 

However, some cities and counties have passed their own pandemic protections for tenants to prevent evictions. Those that do not currently have such protections can still pass new laws. Here is a partial of cities and counties that have their own protections in some form:

Baldwin Park

Berkeley

El Cerrito

Fairfax

Los Angeles

Novato

Oakland

Richmond

San Diego

San Francisco

San Rafael

Santa Monica

Stockton

Alameda County

Los Angeles County

Marin County (unincorporated areas)

Solano County

Sonoma County

Call your city or county housing department and ask them if there are protections in place if you don’t see your area listed here, or to find out more about what is currently in place locally.

I got a three-day notice to pay rent or quit

If a landlord wants to evict a tenant who has not paid rent, they usually start by giving the tenant a Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit prior to filing the court case. These can come in different formats but generally looks something like this.

If you received a 3-day notice, owe the rent, and are able to pay it, make sure that you pay within the 3 days and are able to prove that you paid. For example, if you pay in-person, you can take a video of your payment. If you pay by mail, take a picture of your check or money order before you send it and send it by certified mail. 

At this stage we also recommend that you take pictures and video of any bad conditions in your home that your landlord has not fixed: any issues with your walls, floors, doors, windows, leaks, mold, infestation, or anything else that your landlord has not fixed. You may need this as evidence if your landlord goes to court. 

My landlord filed an eviction lawsuit against me in court

If your landlord files a court case, they will then present you with a packet of papers called the Summons and Complaint. It looks like this. 

Once you get the Summons and Complaint, you have 5 days to file a document called an Answer in the court, not including weekends and court holidays. If you do not file the Answer in time, you can automatically lose the case, so it is very important to meet this deadline. 

To find an attorney to help you with your eviction case, we recommend that you go to https://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/what-legal-aid/get-legal-help 

If you cannot find an attorney to help you within the 5 days, you can create your own answer here and file it with the court: https://tenantpowertoolkit.org/

I’m still waiting for rental assistance 

The first to do is check whether you applied to the state program (Housing is Key), or a local program run by your city or county.

The State Program - Housing is Key 

If you applied to Housing is Key, we recommend logging into the online system once a week to check your application status. The state program will often ask for additional documents and may deny you if you do not respond quickly, even if you have not heard from them in months. 

You can log into the state program at https://hornellp-ca.neighborlysoftware.com/CaliforniaCovid19RentRelief. If you need help logging in or with your application, you can call the hotline at 833-430-2122.

If you are denied or do not receive all of the assistance you applied for, you have the right to appeal within 30 days of the denial date. We recommend that you look at the reason that you were denied and decide if you have any additional documentation you can submit with a written description of why you believe you were wrongfully denied. The appeal link is here: https://horne2.outsystemsenterprise.com/RAP_California/AppealRegistrationEntry.aspx. Once you fill in your email and case ID, they will email you a link to the appeal system. 

If you are approved but want to add additional months for rental assistance and you have not been approved for 18 months total of assistance, you can add more. To do that, you will need to submit an appeal using the processes above stating that you want to add additional months. 

Local Programs - City or County

If you applied to a local rent assistance program, we recommend periodically calling the program to check your application status. If you have a login and password for your application, you may also be able to log into their system to check the application status. We recommend checking in frequently to see if they want any additional documentation - they may deny you if they ask for more documents and do not hear back from you very quickly. 

If you are denied or do not receive all of the assistance you applied for, you have the right to appeal. If your denial letter does not tell you how to appeal, ask the program how to submit a written appeal. We recommend that you look at the reason that you were denied and decide if you have any additional documentation you can submit with a written description of why you think you were wrongfully denied.  

I want to know my statewide tenant rights

Go to TenantProtections.org to learn more.

Am I protected by rent control or just cause for eviction protections under state or local law?

To see if you qualify for state protections, go to TenantProtections.org. For local protections from your city or county, check with your local housing department.

I got a rent increase. Is it lawful?

If your city has rent control, check the yearly limit on rent increases. If not, go to TenantProtections.org to check whether the property you live in is subject to the state rent caps. You can also check TenantProtections.org if you are not sure.

I have received a no-fault eviction notice. What should I do?

You can look for any attorney to get advice about your notice here: https://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/what-legal-aid/get-legal-help. You can also contact your local rent board if you have one. 

Who should I contact if my rental unit needs repairs?

The first person you should contact is your landlord. Always ask for repairs in writing, for example, through an email, text message, or rental portal. Make sure to keep a copy for yourself. If your landlord refuses to accept your written request, send your landlord a letter through certified mail.

How do I request repairs through a letter?

There are no magic words that you need to say to request repairs. Just be sure that your letter has the date and the issues in your unit. Be sure to keep a signed and dated copy of your letter and your mailing receipt. You can use the example here to notify your landlord of issues.

What is my landlord doesn't make repairs after receiving my letter?

If your landlord refuses to make repairs, you should contact your Code Enforcement department. You can make a written complaint to code enforcement and connect with an ACCE Tenant Organizer through ACCE’s code enforcement tool. 

If you would like to make a complaint by phone, you can dial 311 and ask to make a complaint. If you make your complaint through the phone, try to get proof in writing.

Will my landlord raise my rent or try to evict me if I ask for repairs?

In California, it is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against you for asking for repairs or contacting code enforcement. This is why it is important to have all of your complaints in writing so that if your landlord tries to evict you, they can’t claim that you did not complain. While some landlords do illegally retaliate, these same landlords often attempt to raise rents or evict even when you do not request repairs. A tenant with these slumlords may be more protected by making legal complaints (which trigger retaliation protections) instead of remaining silent. While failing to report serious issues can also result in legal problems with landlords.

Other Resources 

Our statewide hotline is also 1-888-428-7615.

I need help finding an attorney

I want more information about statewide tenant rights. 

I’ve been served eviction papers and have been unable to find an attorney to represent me.


ACCE Tenant Clinics

ACCE - Statewide

Every Thursday Conducted in English and Spanish, 6:30 PM

Register Here

ACCE - San Diego

Every Friday, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Register here

ACCE - Los Angeles

Every Tuesday, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Conducted in Spanish, translated into English

Zoom Link: https://calorganize-org.zoom.us/j/88324434157

Call: +16699006833,,88324434157# 

Zoom Meeting ID: 883 2443 4157

Every Thursday, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Conducted in English, translated into Spanish

Call:+16699006833,,84489313723#
Meeting ID: 844 8931 3723 

ACCE - Contra Costa

Every third Wednesday of the month, 6:00 PM 

Register Here