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San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to permanently ban landlords from evicting tenants who failed to pay rent due to the Covid-19 crisis.
What this means is if you are a San Francisco resident, and your health or livelihood was impacted by the coronavirus, you can not be legally evicted for failure to pay your rent.
The law applies solely to rental payments missed while the city's state of emergency was in effect. The law also prohibits fees, penalties, interest and other charges normally faced by tenants as a result of falling behind on rent during the crisis.
The bill, introduced by District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston, must still be approved on second reading, Bizjournals.com reports.
Preston stressed that tenants are still obligated to pay their rent and that past due rent incurred during the state of emergency would become "akin to consumer debt" that landlords can pursue in small claims court without using the threat of eviction.
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Opportunistic landlords are taking advantage of the coronavirus economic crisis by offering their female tenants intimate arrangements in exchange for free rent.
Local officials are receiving reports of unscrupulous landlords allegedly asking for sexual favors from female tenants who were laid off and can't afford their rent during the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. immigration attorney Kevin Block said, "I am concerned because reported incidents indicate a greater number of unreported incidents."
Block noted some landlords have gone as far as to ask their female tenants to send them naked pics on their cell phones.
Only 69% of American tenants paid their rent in April. Nearly 20 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits.
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