Understanding the Berkeley COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium: A Guide for Landlords and Tenants

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives, including the rental housing market. Many tenants have lost their jobs or suffered reduced income, making it difficult to pay rent. To address this issue, the City of Berkeley has implemented an eviction moratorium to protect tenants from losing their homes during the pandemic. In this blog post, we'll discuss what the eviction moratorium means for landlords and tenants, and provide updates on the latest developments.

What is an Eviction Moratorium?

An eviction moratorium is a temporary ban on evicting tenants for non-payment of rent during a specific period. In Berkeley, the eviction moratorium was initially implemented in March 2020, and it has been extended several times since then. The current eviction moratorium is set to expire on September 30, 2023.

Who Does the Eviction Moratorium Apply To?

The eviction moratorium applies to all residential rental units in the City of Berkeley, including single-family homes, apartments, and mobile homes. It covers both tenants who have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19 and those who have not.

What Protections Does the Eviction Moratorium Provide for Tenants? The eviction moratorium provides several protections for tenants, including:

  1. Protection against eviction for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 related financial hardship.
  2. Protection against eviction for COVID-19 related causes, such as illness or quarantine.
  3. Protection against rent increases during the moratorium period.
  4. Protection against late fees and other penalties for non-payment of rent during the moratorium period.
  5. Tenants have up to one year after the moratorium ends to repay any back rent they owe.

What Should Landlords Do?

Landlords should be aware of the eviction moratorium and comply with its provisions. They should not attempt to evict tenants for non-payment of rent during the moratorium period, and should not increase rent during this time. Landlords should also work with tenants to create payment plans for any back rent owed after the moratorium ends.

What Happens After the Eviction Moratorium Ends?

After the eviction moratorium ends, tenants will be required to pay all back rent owed. However, they will have up to one year to repay the back rent without fear of eviction. Landlords may also resume evicting tenants for non-payment of rent after the moratorium ends.


On March 21, 2023, Berkeley City Council passed an Ordinance that sunsets the COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium in two phases. The first phase is called the Covered Period, and it lasts through April 30, 2023. During the Covered Period, only evictions necessary to ensure the health and safety of other residents are permitted. However, qualifying owners may serve Owner Move-in eviction notices in certain cases. The second phase is called the Transition Period, and it lasts from May 1, 2023 through August 31, 2023. During the Transition Period, evictions are permitted for three purposes:

  1. To ensure the health and safety of other residents.
  2. To perform an Owner Move-in for owners with only one residential property in Berkeley.
  3. For non-payment of rent that came due May 1, 2023 through August 31, 2023, unless the tenant provides documentation of a COVID-related reason for non-payment.
    Tenant Declaration of COVID-related Distress

The COVID-19 eviction moratorium in Berkeley is an important protection for tenants who have been affected by the pandemic. It provides a temporary reprieve from eviction and allows tenants to catch up on rent payments without fear of losing their homes. Landlords should be aware of the provisions of the moratorium and work with tenants to create payment plans for any back rent owed. If you have any questions about the eviction moratorium or other real estate needs in the Berkeley area, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help you navigate these challenging times. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to hearing from you. Call or text 415.602.8912 and connect with us today!

Steve Williams | COMPASS | REALTOR®, SRS, e-PRO, GREEN San Francisco | Oakland | Berkeley DRE# 02006805 [email protected] (Already own a home? Click here to explore how much your home is worth!: )

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