The Pasadena, Calif., City Council on Monday agreed in principle to amend the city’s eviction moratorium, established in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to include protections for self-storage tenants. Provisions were added to not only ban the charging of interest or late fees on unpaid rent, but to encourage landlords to establish payment plans or allow partial rent payments. The additions, which extend the definition of a tenant to include self-storage, must be read twice by the council before a final vote, with the first reading expected on May 11. Having gone into effect on March 17, the moratorium will remain in place until the declared state of emergency has been terminated.
The current legislation prohibits landlords from evicting residential and commercial tenants for non-payment of rent due to financial impact from the health crisis, though it doesn't expressly include self-storage. It also bans no-fault evictions unless removal is necessary for health and safety reasons. Tenants are required to repay any back rent within six months of the expiration of the emergency period. Though the council on Monday discussed extending repayment to 12 months, there wasn’t enough support to pass, according to the source.
“If people are not working and they cannot pay the rent on the personal storage space, that creates a personal hardship; and they are in danger of having their personal possessions locked up or sold off,” said Mayor Terry Tornek.
Six council members voted to amend the ordinance. Councilors Victor Gordo and Margaret McAustin recused themselves.
“Please be advised that if a tenant in the City of Pasadena notifies their landlord of an inability to pay rent due to financial impacts of COVID-19, the landlord cannot serve an eviction notice, file or prosecute and unlawful detainer action based on a three-day pay or quit notice, or otherwise endeavor to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent,” city attorney Michele Beal Bagneris wrote in a March letter informing the public of the current moratorium.
Additional provisions could still be added to the ordinance. A second reading and final vote on the amended ordinance haven't been scheduled.