On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the Laguna Beach City Council unanimously passed an Urgency Ordinance to help protect commercial and residential tenants by placing a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, the ordinance provides a rent deferment schedule to those affected by COVID-19 and places a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent by residential and commercial tenants. The ordinance is consistent with the Governor’s Executive Orders for residential tenants who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen brought the Urgency Ordinance forward to the City Council as part of the City’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery efforts.

“This emergency order will help ensure that Laguna Beach renters do not lose their homes and that business owners are not evicted as a result of this crisis that is beyond their control,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “These steps are necessary to protect our residents and local businesses from eviction for a temporary period when the inability to pay rent is due to the impacts of COVID- 19. Laguna Beach has a long tradition of rallying together to support people in times of distress and I know that our landlords will work with their tenants to get through this unprecedented time.”

The proposed ordinance allows landlords to seek the unpaid rent after the moratorium expires, and tenants must pay any unpaid rent as soon as possible, but no later than 120 days from the expiration of the moratorium. The ordinance does not prevent landlords from negotiating a different arrangement with tenants related to unpaid rent which provides relief greater than what is provided in the ordinance. The moratorium is to remain in effect until the expiration of the Governor’s executive orders N-28-20 and N-37-20, including any extensions.

Nothing in the ordinance shall relieve a tenant of the responsibility and liability for any unpaid rent. A full copy of the ordinance can be found here, and this letter is being sent to all local landlords from the City urging them not to pursue evictions and defer rent.