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  • Transaction Resource Center

    Frequently asked questions and resources to help you continue your business operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Risk Reduction Orders

The latest information

August 2, 2021

ALL persons, regardless of their vaccination status, MUST wear face coverings at all times in indoor public settings and businesses, per the August 2, 2021, Universal Indoor Face Covering Order by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department

So what does this mean for Agents and Brokers showing properties and holding open houses?

This mandate applies to all real estate showings of any kind.  Realtors and members of the public are required to wear well-fitting masks at open houses and property showings, regardless of vaccination status. 

Brokerage Office Guidelines

  • Brokerage offices are classified as a public setting, and as such, everyone is required to wear a mask.
  • As a business, brokerage offices are REQUIRED to implement the indoor face-covering order.

The Following Guidelines Remain for Open Houses and Showings

  • No physical distancing for attendees, guests, and customers
  • No capacity limits (for gatherings under 5,000 attendees)
  • No cleaning requirements (However, CalOSHA recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces such as door handles, handrails, faucets, countertops, etc…)
  • No PEADs or any type of sign-in required
  • No restrictions on door-knocking and distribution of promotional materials, including flyers and business cards
Contact C.A.R. Member Legal Services at (213) 739-8282 for additional guidance

Continue to follow SCCAOR updates as guidelines continue to evolve. Updates will continue to occur and will be posted to the Transactions Resource Center in real-time.

Click below for additional resources:

June 28, 2021

Governor Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 832 (AB 832) into law, extending eviction protections through September 30, 2021, for tenants who have been unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law further funds rental assistance programs as well, ensuring housing providers will receive 100% of all unpaid rent. To learn about the new legislation, requirements, and how to apply for rental assistance click the link to the dedicated SCCAOR webpage below.

SCCAOR Update on Statewide Eviction Moratorium and Rental Assistance

June 23, 2021

The May 18th Local Health Order required all businesses in Santa Clara County to determine the vaccination status of their personnel and to follow up every two weeks with those who had not yet indicated they were fully vaccinated. According to the latest announcement, the County’s May 18th order currently remains in place only for businesses that have not yet completed two rounds of “ascertainment of vaccination status” of their personnel — a first-round for all personnel and a second round for those who did not indicate they were fully vaccinated. An employee is considered fully vaccinated if they completed their vaccination series at least 14 days ago.

What does this mean as an employer?
As of June 21st, once a business completes the second round of ascertainment of vaccination status, the May 18th order no longer applies and they are no longer required to follow up every two weeks with personnel who are not fully vaccinated.

After 15 months of compliance with differing local, state, and federal guidelines, all local jurisdictions now direct employers to follow the updated Cal/OSHA standards and guidance from the State of California.

June 18, 2021

In addition to the lifting of restrictions earlier this week, such as physical distancing and capacity limits, new workplace mask rules are now in effect.  Cal / OSHA, the governing body that sets and enforces standards to protect the health and safety of working Californians, revised guidelines to end face mask requirements in the workplace for fully vaccinated employees.

Updated Guidelines on Face Coverings

  • As of June 18, 2021, Realtors and members of the public are no longer required to wear masks at open houses and property showings if fully vaccinated.  A person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
  • Those not fully vaccinated are required to wear masks.
  • Listing agents do not need to request proof of vaccination status.
  • Real Estate offices are no longer required to observe social distancing or capacity limits, but must follow the same mask guidelines in the workplace.  (See below for more Office Guidelines.)

June 14, 2021 – The Blueprint for a Safer Economy and the Stay-at-Home Order has been rescinded and California is now entering the “Beyond the Blueprint” phase, fully reopening the economy.  Effective June 15, 2021, restrictions such as physical distancing, capacity limits, and the county tier system will end.  A relaxed mask guidance for vaccinated Californians to match the CDC’s guidance also takes effect on June 15th and will supersede all prior face coverings guidance.

Guidelines and Restrictions on Face Coverings

  • Although relaxed mask guidance for the general public takes effect on the 15th, Cal/OSHA – the department that sets and enforces standards to protect the health and safety of working Californians – will meet on Thursday to determine mask guidance in the workplace.
  • SCCAOR advises all agents and members of the general public to take a cautious approach and continue to wear masks in showings and brokerage offices for the next 3 days until Cal/OSHA meets again on Thursday, June 17th, and provides further clarity.
  • SCCAOR anticipates an update on mask guidance from Cal/OSHA and will communicate relevant changes on Friday.

Guidelines and Restrictions for Open Houses and Showings

  • No physical distancing for attendees, guests, and customers
  • No capacity limits (for gatherings under 5,000 attendees)
  • No cleaning requirements (However, CalOSHA recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, faucets, countertops, etc…)
  • No PEADs or any type of sign-in required
  • No posted rules of entry or signage needed for listed properties
  • No one will have to attest to their current health status
  • No one will have to agree to an office prevention plan
  • No restrictions on door-knocking and distribution of promotional materials, including flyers and business cards

Can a seller require that everyone entering the property wear a mask or be vaccinated?

  • Yes. The selling party can set stricter requirements for showing property
  • The seller can:
    • require all visitors to wear a mask
    • require all visitors to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID test
    • implement a vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
    • provide information to all visitors regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.

Contact C.A.R. Member Legal Services at (213) 739-8282 for additional guidance and visit the C.A.R. June 15th Reopening page for answers to frequently asked questions.

Brokerage Office Guidelines

  • Brokerage offices are still required to maintain a written COVID-19 Prevention Plan to identify areas and activities that could expose workers to COVID, have a process to screen workers, and train workers about COVID prevention and safety
  • Physical distancing is still required in offices
  • Santa Clara County remains under the May 18th Local Health Order that requires businesses to ascertain the vaccination status of all “personnel” but will otherwise adhere to the state’s reopening guidelines

Additional Resources

May 24, 2021  SCCAOR-sponsored Broker Tours will resume on Tuesday, May 25th, with certain restrictions.  Please note, that similar to the beginning of the pandemic, this is a dynamic situation.  SCCAOR will continue to update you as showing rules are amended.

  • Broker Tours should be treated as “open houses” under the new C.A.R. Industry Guidelines.  Highlights include, but are not limited to, the following:  
    • A representative of the listing must be present to monitor sign-in documents, collect PEAD Forms, and follow other regulations.
    • All visitors must sign in with either a new PSI Form, PEAD-All, or PEAD-V.
    • All visitors must wear masks and comply with other sanitary protocols.
    • Capacity Limitations must be followed according to Yellow Tier specifications.
  • In alignment with the new C.A.R. Guidance on Showing Property Requirements, Brokers are required to obtain seller authorization to list the property on tour.
  • Caravans are permitted but are limited to single households in each vehicle.  Multiple families are not permitted to carpool in the same vehicle.
  • Marketing Meetings will remain fully virtual until further notice.
  • New and updated forms are now available via zipForm.

Click below for additional resources:

May 20, 2021  C.A.R. has made all new forms necessary to follow the new guidelines for showing property available in zipForm.

May 19, 2021  Santa Clara County has officially entered the lease restrictive yellow tier under the CA Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Along with this change, Santa Clara County has implemented a new limited Local Health Order that removes most previous restrictions at the County level.

With this new transition to the Yellow Tier capacity limitations for property showings have increased to a maximum of 50% capacity where capacity limits exist or 50 people, whichever is fewer. There are no other changes to the real estate industry as a result of the new local order at this time. Continue to follow SCCAOR updates as we get further clarification from the state.

New Santa Clara County Limited Public Health Order

May 14, 2021  — C.A.R. has updated its guidance on open house protocols to help members comply with the new guidance released by the California Dept. of Public Health earlier this week. Please take special note of the new Quick Guide that provides additional details.

At this time, we have confirmed with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department that they are following state mask mandates, capacity limitations, and real estate industry guidance.

If any additional local guidelines are announced or implemented, SCCAOR will notify you immediately.

The following are some highlights from the Quick Guide regarding real estate transactions

  • Open Houses: Advertising open houses, without qualifiers, is allowed and appointments for open houses are no longer required.
  • Social Distancing: Showings, including open houses, are somewhat relaxed under the new social gatherings guidelines but still include social distancing between members of different households while attending an open house, and are subject to capacity issues depending on the tier of the county where the house is located. Please refer to local guidelines for this information.
  • Signing In: There will still be a sign-in requirement on site. The new Property Sign-In (PSI) form can be used for this purpose. However, you can still use a PEAD instead of the on-site sign-in if you prefer. See the new Quick Guide for more details.
  • Forms: C.A.R. has simplified and shortened the Rules of Entry (PRE), Prevention Plan (BPPP), and the Property Sign-in (PSI) form as an alternative to PEADS. There also is an addendum to the listing agreement LOHA reflecting the changed protocols. This form is necessary if the parties had previously signed the RLA-CAA, which did not allow for open houses. New listings should also include this addendum if the listing broker wants to hold open houses. These forms are now all available in zipForm.
  • PEADS: They have been combined and simplified into one shorter PEAD-ALL form that is available if members prefer to use it instead of on-site sign-in protocols.
  • Capacity: Under current Yellow Tier Restrictions maximum of 50% capacity where capacity limits exist or 50 people, whichever is fewer.

IMPORTANT: We anticipate further announcements impacting the real estate industry and will communicate any relevant changes as quickly as possible. 
We understand you may still have questions about other real estate guidelines such as tours and door-knocking; similar to the constant changes at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this is a dynamic situation. Continue to follow SCCAOR updates as we get further clarification from the state.

March 24, 2021  — Santa Clara County has officially entered the Orange Tier under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy four colored system. Learn More About Restrictions Under the Orange Tier.

There are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County. Transactions and showings should still be done VIRTUALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

Brokerage offices can remain open to the public as an “essential service” but must follow the health and safety protocols listed in the CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions.  It is encouraged that all work and activities be completed remotely whenever feasible.

C.A.R. Directive to Follow State Requirements for Showing Property.

March 17, 2021  The state has begun to accept applications to distribute the first $2.6 billion of direct rental assistance. This was allocated to California from the December 2020 federal stimulus package. Tenants and housing providers will be eligible for up to a year of unpaid back rent (April 2020 through March 2021) and allow up to three months of future rent payments (April 2021 through June 2021), depending on the availability of funds. Both tenants and housing providers are eligible to apply if certain criteria are met. Check out our recent blog post to learn more.

March 3, 2021  — Santa Clara County has moved from the more restrictive purple tier to the less restrictive red tier under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy four colored system. Learn More About Restrictions Under the Red Tier.

There are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County. Transactions and showings should still be done VIRTUALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

Brokerage offices can remain open to the public as an “essential service” but must follow the health and safety protocols listed in the CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions.  It is encouraged that all work and activities be completed remotely whenever feasible.

January 25, 2021  — CA lifts Regional Stay-at-Home-Order and Santa Clara County returns to purple tier under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy four colored system. Learn More About Restrictions Under the Purple Tier.

There are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County. Transactions and showings should still be done VIRTUALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

The DRE will reopen four of the exam centers (Sacramento, Fresno, La Palma, and San Diego) on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. The Oakland exam center will reopen shortly thereafter. Learn More Here.

December 6, 2020  — In honoring the Regional Stay-at-Home Order, the SCCAOR office will be closed to the public until the Regional Stay-at-Home Order is lifted. This will be allowed when the Bay Area Region ICU capacity rises above 15%. The capacity currently sits between 3-8%. We will still be able to effectively serve you by phone, chat, email, or video conference. However, no face to face meetings will be allowed until the Regional Stay-at-Home Order is lifted.

How to Reach Us

Phone: 408-445-8500
Email: membership@sccaor.com
Online chat: https://www.sccaor.com/chat
Our virtual office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Lockbox/key contactless appointments can be booked online here.
Need to buy items from our store? Shop online and use our curbside pickup option.

December 4, 2020  — Santa Clara County has proactively implemented the new COVID-19 Shelter in Place Order to comply with the new state regional Shelter in Place Order before being required to comply. There are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County. Transactions and showings should still be done VIRTUALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. This is due to the fact that the real estate industry is deemed as a critical infrastructure industry by the CDC. Real estate transactions are an essential activity to the essential real estate industry. Read More in this News Article. This new Shelter in Place Order will go into effect Sunday, December 6, 2020, at 10:00 PM and remain in place until at least January 4, 2021.

November 30, 2020  — Santa Clara County has implemented a new COVID-19 Public Health Mandatory DirectiveWhile this will have an impact on several businesses and your personal lives, there are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County.

Brokerage offices are allowed to stay open but must comply with the new Mandatory Directive on Capacity Limitations. This restricts offices to a 10% capacity, which is unlikely to have any impact on brokerage offices but still needs to be reviewed and followed.

November 17, 2020  The state of California has moved Santa Clara County back into the most restrictive purple tier. While this does have major impacts on some businesses and industries there are NO changes to the real estate industry or transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for the real estate industry and transactions in Santa Clara County. For more information on what is allowed in the current purple tier refer to the CA COVID Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

November 3, 2020  New restrictions and clarification from the CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions mandate that flyers are NOT to be placed in signposts, available at listings, or dropped off on doorsteps.

While Santa Clara County has not mandated this change, the stricter of the two Orders must be followed at all times. This clarification has been confirmed by Gov Hutchinson, Assistant General Counsel for C.A.R, and is effective immediately.

The CA Industry Guidelines also state the following. “All information must be delivered electronically. Discontinue providing handouts or other types of promotional or informational materials.”

There are no other changes to real estate transactions or showing property requirements at this time.

For further clarification on flyers and the CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions please consult C.A.R. Legal at 213-739-8282.

October 15, 2020  Under the new Risk Reduction Order, ALL businesses must complete a NEW Social Distancing Protocol using the revised web form that can be found at the link below.  Businesses must complete their Revised Social Distancing Protocols within 14 days of when the Revised Order takes effect. Learn more about the County Social Distancing Protocol in the FAQs below.

NEW REQUIRED Social Distancing Protocol Form for Brokerage Offices

October 14, 2020  Loosened Restrictions for Showing Property in Santa Clara County. Santa Clara County has moved into the Orange Tier and implemented a new Risk Reduction Order. Real estate agents must follow the requirements of both the new Risk Reduction Health Officer Order and the State’s  COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Real Estate Transactions One listing agent and one “buying party” (including the buyer’s agent) may be in the dwelling at the same time. TRADITIONAL OPEN HOUSES ARE STILL NOT PERMITTED. See the FAQs below regarding showing property for further details and requirements.

C.A.R. Directive to Follow State Requirements for Showing Property.

October 15, 2020  Under the new Risk Reduction Order, ALL businesses must complete a NEW Social Distancing Protocol using the revised web form that can be found at the link below.  Businesses must complete their Revised Social Distancing Protocols within 14 days of when the Revised Order takes effect. Learn more about the County Social Distancing Protocol in the FAQs below.

NEW REQUIRED Social Distancing Protocol Form for Brokerage Offices

October 14, 2020  Loosened Restrictions for Showing Property in Santa Clara County. Santa Clara County has moved into the Orange Tier and implemented a new Risk Reduction Order. Real estate agents must follow the requirements of both the new Risk Reduction Health Officer Order and the State’s  COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Real Estate Transactions One listing agent and one “buying party” (including the buyer’s agent) may be in the dwelling at the same time. TRADITIONAL OPEN HOUSES ARE STILL NOT PERMITTED. See the FAQs below regarding showing property for further details and requirements.

C.A.R. Directive to Follow State Requirements for Showing Property.

September 8, 2020  — Santa Clara County has moved into the next less restrictive tier of red from purple. However, there are still NO changes to the real estate industry or reduced restrictions for showing a property. Due to the fact that Indoor Gatherings are still banned in Santa Clara County, only a max of two people are allowed per private showing at one time. Click Here for the new Santa Clara County Risk Reduction Order to see what is allowed to open at this time.

August 28, 2020  California has released its Blueprint for a Safer Economy (“Blueprint”), which created a tiered system of COVID-19 restrictions that all counties in California must follow. The different colored tiers are aimed at providing ease and clarity for Counties and residents as to what activities and businesses are allowed to open and operate. Santa Clara County is currently in the most restrictive purple tier. meaning there are NO changes to the real estate industry or reduced restrictions for showing a property.

July 14, 2020  — Yesterday the new Santa Clara County Risk Reduction Order went into effect, however, the state Health Department is requiring the County to re-close several businesses included in this new County Order. Despite some confusion, Santa Clara County remains on the state ” COVID-19 Watch List” and the County is required to cease the following operations – Click Here for the Full List. All essential businesses must fill out, submit, and distribute to all staff a new Social Distancing Protocol before opening. (Click here to watch a tutorial on how to fill out the new Social Distancing Protocol).

What does this mean for the real estate industry?

  • Brokerage Offices are still allowed to re-open to the public.
  • County requirements for showing property are still the same as under the previous Shelter in Place Ordinance and supersedes the new state guidelines below(See the FAQ below “What are the current requirements for showing property?”)
  • The Social Distancing Protocol does not need to be filled out for any listed property (state forms such as PEAD still need to be completed)
  • Large brokerages with a physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol for all offices and distribute to all staff including agents
  • Small brokerages and independent agents with no physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol by checking the box for “No Business Facility” and including the mailing address at which they receive all work documents

July 13, 2020  The state of California has updated the Industry Requirements for Showing Property. C.A.R. is going to modify several of the forms in the Coronavirus library, most notably, the BPPP, the PEAD-S, the PEAD-V, and the RLA-CAA. Do not hold “traditional” open houses or showings that are open to the general public on a walk-in basis. Use an appointment or digital sign-in process to control the number of people at the house. If you are going to hold a non-traditional “Open House,” then any “Open House” signs or ads must include a rider or express condition that appointments or digital sign-in are required before entry. Showings should be done virtually, whenever possible. Only one listing agent and one “buying party” (including the buyer’s agent) may be in the dwelling at the same time. Due to these requirements, it is still strongly recommended that no “open-house” signs or promotions are used during the process of a transaction. Social distancing, use of protective gear, previous cleaning protocols, and state limits on the persons in a listed property still apply.  Agents must leave enough time in between buyer groups for the home to be properly cleaned and sanitized. Face coverings are required for all in-person client interactions. When stricter the local County Health Order must still be followed and supersedes these new state requirements. Click Here to Read More.

May 28, 2020  C.A.R. has developed new Best Practices Guidelines for Real Estate During COVID-19 in response to the COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Real Estate Transactions issued earlier this month by the California Departments of Public Health and Industrial Relations. The Industry Guidance document details physical distancing and cleaning/disinfecting practices REALTORS® must follow when showing properties as California enters Stage 2 of reopening. Click Here to Read More and Download the Forms.

These guidelines are in accordance with state regulations. The requirements of the Santa Clara County Shelter in Place Ordinance must be followed as well when operating as an essential business. The best practices and forms required by the state suffice to abide by the County Social Distancing Protocol requirement.

May 7, 2020   Home Stagers are now allowed to operate in Santa Clara County. Click here to learn more.

April 29, 2020   Santa Clara County will allow private showings of occupied homes starting May 4th. Click here to learn more.

April 28, 2020   California is now accepting unemployment benefit applications from REALTORS​® who are independent contractors. Click here to learn more.

April 14, 2020   SCCAOR and SILVAR have asked for clarification with regard to allowable photography services under the “Shelter in Place” order, and received the following feedback from Santa Clara County Counsel:

“If a virtual viewing is not possible, then a single photographer or videographer is permitted to visit the property once to take photographs and/or video.  This should be done at a time when the occupant is not present in the residence.”

This language is expected to be clarified and soon added to the County FAQs on essential services, specifically referencing what in-home activity is allowed under essential real estate services, with the understanding that social distancing measures and protocols should be followed, i.e., wearing of masks, gloves, maintaining a 6-foot distance from each other, etc.

April 13, 2020   Updated Social Distancing Protocol Guidelines:

All REALTORS® that will be operating as an Essential Business during Shelter-in-Place are advised to prepare a “Social Distancing Protocol” to keep on your person while listing properties. It is not required to post one on the listed property. While this form is no longer required to be posted on a listed property it is still recommended to have one on your person to avoid any possibility of penalty from law enforcement.  Click here to learn more and download the form.

Click here to watch a video explanation of the form as it pertains to REALTORS®.

March 31, 2020   Santa Clara County and 5 other Bay Area Counties (San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda) jointly announced that real estate agents now have a narrow exception to practice residential real estate as an essential business. Click here to learn more

March 30, 2020   The Federal Government has updated its list of essential services and expressly included residential real estate. C.A.R. has released best practices guidelines for assisting you in safely practicing real estate and adhering to the new federal legislation.

Frequently Asked Questions

The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. Please check the County/City Orders and consult with your broker regarding your listings.

June 18, 2021

New Mask Guidance

  • Masks are no longer required for FULLY vaccinated (2 weeks after second COVID-19 shot) agents and members of the public
  • Those not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask on the property
  • Agents are not required to ascertain vaccination status proof

IMPORTANT: Sellers are still allowed to impose their own stricter regulations if they so desire, such as:

  • require all visitors to wear a mask
  • require all visitors to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID test
  • implement a vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
  • provide information to all visitors regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.

June 14, 2021

Guidelines and Restrictions for Open Houses and Showings

  • No physical distancing for attendees, guests, and customers
  • No capacity limits (for gatherings under 5,000 attendees)
  • No cleaning requirements (However, CalOSHA recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, faucets, countertops, etc…)
  • No PEADs or any type of sign-in required
  • No posted rules of entry or signage needed for listed properties
  • No one will have to attest to their current health status
  • No one will have to agree to an office prevention plan
  • No restrictions on door-knocking and distribution of promotional materials, including flyers and business cards

May 14, 2021

C.A.R. has updated its guidance on open house protocols to help members comply with the new guidance released by the California Dept. of Public Health earlier this week. Please take special note of the new Quick Guide that provides additional details.

The following are some highlights from the Quick Guide regarding real estate transactions

  • Open Houses: Advertising open houses, without qualifiers, is allowed and appointments for open houses are no longer required.
  • Social Distancing: Showings, including open houses, are somewhat relaxed under the new social gatherings guidelines but still include social distancing between members of different households while attending an open house, and are subject to capacity issues depending on the tier of the county where the house is located. Please refer to local guidelines for this information.
  • Signing In: There will still be a sign-in requirement on site. The new Property Sign-In (PSI) form can be used for this purpose. However, you can still use a PEAD instead of the on-site sign-in if you prefer. See the new Quick Guide for more details.
  • Forms: C.A.R. has simplified and shortened the Rules of Entry (PRE), Prevention Plan (BPPP), and the Property Sign-in (PSI) form as an alternative to PEADS. There also is an addendum to the listing agreement LOHA reflecting the changed protocols. This form is necessary if the parties had previously signed the RLA-CAA, which did not allow for open houses. New listings should also include this addendum if the listing broker wants to hold open houses. These forms will be available on zipForm as soon as possible. In the interim, a PDF of each of these is available HERE. Members may still use the current forms that are on zipForm if they choose until the new ones are released.
  • PEADS: They have been combined and simplified into one shorter PEAD-ALL form that is available if members prefer to use it instead of on-site sign-in protocols.
  • Capacity: Under current Santa Clara County Yellow Tier Restrictions, capacity is limited to 50 people or maximum capacity to safely socially distance, whichever is fewer.

June 15, 2021

The Blueprint for a Safer Economy and the Stay-at-Home Order has been rescinded and California is now entering the “Beyond the Blueprint” phase, fully reopening the economy.  Effective June 15, 2021, restrictions such as physical distancing, capacity limits, and the county tier system have ended.

Along with this change, Santa Clara County has implemented a new limited Local Health Order that removes most previous restrictions at the County level.

May 19, 2021  — Santa Clara County has officially entered the lease restrictive yellow tier under the CA Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Along with this change, Santa Clara County has implemented a new limited Local Health Order that removes most previous restrictions at the County level.

With this new transition to the Yellow Tier capacity limitations for property showings have increased to a maximum of 50% capacity where capacity limits exist or 50 people, whichever is fewer. There are no other changes to the real estate industry as a result of the new local order at this time. Continue to follow SCCAOR updates as we get further clarification from the state.

New Santa Clara County Limited Public Health Order

Updated 5/14/21:

While Santa Clara County is still under the October 2020 Risk Reduction Order and the Orange Tier of the CA Blueprint for a Safer Economy, changes have been made to showing property restrictions.

Please take special note of the new Quick Guide that provides additional details.

At this time, we have confirmed with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department that they are following the state industry guidance for real estate transactions. In addition to this, the Santa Clara County Social Distancing Protocol is still required and County Capacity Limitations (Current restrictions under the Orange Tier) must be followed when showing properties.

C.A.R. has simplified and shortened the Rules of Entry (PRE), Prevention Plan (BPPP), and the Property Sign-in (PSI) form as an alternative to PEADS. There also is an addendum to the listing agreement LOHA reflecting the changed protocols. This form is necessary if the parties had previously signed the RLA-CAA, which did not allow for open houses. New listings should also include this addendum if the listing broker wants to hold open houses. These forms will be available on zipForm as soon as possible. In the interim, a PDF of each of these is available HERE. Members may still use the current forms that are on zipForm if they choose until the new ones are released.

Updated 3/24/21:

 Santa Clara County has officially entered the Orange Tier under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy four colored system. Learn More About Restrictions Under the Orange Tier.

There are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County. Transactions and showings should still be done VIRTUALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

Brokerage offices can remain open to the public as an “essential service” but must follow the health and safety protocols listed in the CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions.  It is encouraged that all work and activities be completed remotely whenever feasible.

C.A.R. Directive to Follow State Requirements for Showing Property.

Updated 1/26/21:

CA lifts Regional Stay-at-Home-Order and Santa Clara County returns to purple tier under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy four colored system. Learn More About Restrictions Under the Purple Tier.

There are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County. Transactions and showings should still be done VIRTUALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

The DRE will reopen four of the exam centers (Sacramento, Fresno, La Palma, and San Diego) on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. The Oakland exam center will reopen shortly thereafter. Learn More Here.

Updated 1/4/21:

The CA mandated Regional COVID-19 Shelter in Place Order will now be perpetually extended until the Bay Area’s ICU capacity rises above 15%, which initially triggered the Regional Shelter in Place. The region’s ICU capacity currently sits at 8.7%.

Updated 12/4: 

Santa Clara County has proactively implemented the new COVID-19 Shelter in Place Order to comply with the new state regional Shelter in Place Order before being required to comply. There are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County. Transactions and showings should still be done VIRTUALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. This is due to the fact that the real estate industry is deemed as a critical infrastructure industry by the CDC. Real estate transactions are an essential activity to the essential real estate industry. Read More in this News Article. This new Shelter in Place Order will go into effect Sunday, December 6, 2020, at 10:00 PM and remain in place until at least January 4, 2021.

Updated 11/30:

Santa Clara County has implemented a new COVID-19 Public Health Mandatory Directive. While this will have an impact on several businesses and your personal lives, there are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County.

Updated 10/15:

The State has moved away from a Shelter in Place Ordinance and into a colored tier system that places each County into a tier allowing them to open certain aspects of businesses. The tiers move from most restrictive to least restrictive in the following order: purple, red, orange, and yellow.

Learn more about the tier system and what each color means by Clicking Here.

Santa Clara County currently resides in the Orange Tier and has implemented this new County Risk Reduction Order clarifying what businesses can open at what capacity.

June 18, 2021

New Mask Guidance

  • Masks are no longer required for FULLY vaccinated (2 weeks after second COVID-19 shot) agents and members of the public
  • Those not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask on the property
  • Agents are not required to ascertain vaccination status proof

IMPORTANT: Sellers are still allowed to impose their own stricter regulations if they so desire, such as:

  • require all visitors to wear a mask
  • require all visitors to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID test
  • implement a vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
  • provide information to all visitors regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.

June 14, 2021

Guidelines and Restrictions for Open Houses and Showings

  • No physical distancing for attendees, guests, and customers
  • No capacity limits (for gatherings under 5,000 attendees)
  • No cleaning requirements (However, CalOSHA recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, faucets, countertops, etc…)
  • No PEADs or any type of sign-in required
  • No posted rules of entry or signage needed for listed properties
  • No one will have to attest to their current health status
  • No one will have to agree to an office prevention plan
  • No restrictions on door-knocking and distribution of promotional materials, including flyers and business cards

May 14, 2021

C.A.R. has updated its guidance on open house protocols to help members comply with the new guidance released by the California Dept. of Public Health earlier this week. Please take special note of the new Quick Guide that provides additional details.

At this time, we have confirmed with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department that they are following the state industry guidance for real estate transactions. In addition to this, the Santa Clara County Social Distancing Protocol is still required and County Capacity Limitations (Current restrictions under the Orange Tier) must be followed when showing properties.

If any additional local guidelines are announced or implemented, SCCAOR will notify you immediately.

The following are some highlights from the Quick Guide regarding real estate transactions

  • Open Houses: Advertising open houses, without qualifiers, is allowed and appointments for open houses are no longer required.
  • Social Distancing: Showings, including open houses, are somewhat relaxed under the new social gatherings guidelines but still include social distancing between members of different households while attending an open house, and are subject to capacity issues depending on the tier of the county where the house is located. Please refer to local guidelines for this information.
  • Signing In: There will still be a sign-in requirement on site. The new Property Sign-In (PSI) form can be used for this purpose. However, you can still use a PEAD instead of the on-site sign-in if you prefer. See the new Quick Guide for more details.
  • Forms: C.A.R. has simplified and shortened the Rules of Entry (PRE), Prevention Plan (BPPP), and the Property Sign-in (PSI) form as an alternative to PEADS. There also is an addendum to the listing agreement LOHA reflecting the changed protocols. This form is necessary if the parties had previously signed the RLA-CAA, which did not allow for open houses. New listings should also include this addendum if the listing broker wants to hold open houses. These forms will be available on zipForm as soon as possible. In the interim, a PDF of each of these is available HERE. Members may still use the current forms that are on zipForm if they choose until the new ones are released.
  • PEADS: They have been combined and simplified into one shorter PEAD-ALL form that is available if members prefer to use it instead of on-site sign-in protocols.
  • Capacity: Under current Santa Clara County Yellow Tier Restrictions, capacity is limited to 50 people or the maximum people able to socially distance, whichever is fewer

IMPORTANT: We anticipate further announcements impacting the real estate industry and will communicate any relevant changes as quickly as possible. 
We understand you may still have questions about other real estate guidelines such as tours and door-knocking; similar to the constant changes at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this is a dynamic situation. Continue to follow SCCAOR updates as we get further clarification from the state.

June 18, 2021

New Mask Guidance

  • Masks are no longer required for FULLY vaccinated (2 weeks after second COVID-19 shot) agents and members of the public
  • Those not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask on the property
  • Agents are not required to ascertain vaccination status proof

IMPORTANT: Sellers are still allowed to impose their own stricter regulations if they so desire, such as:

  • require all visitors to wear a mask
  • require all visitors to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID test
  • implement a vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
  • provide information to all visitors regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.

June 14, 2021

Guidelines and Restrictions for Open Houses and Showings

  • No physical distancing for attendees, guests, and customers
  • No capacity limits (for gatherings under 5,000 attendees)
  • No cleaning requirements (However, CalOSHA recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, faucets, countertops, etc…)
  • No PEADs or any type of sign-in required
  • No posted rules of entry or signage needed for listed properties
  • No one will have to attest to their current health status
  • No one will have to agree to an office prevention plan
  • No restrictions on door-knocking and distribution of promotional materials, including flyers and business cards

May 14, 2021

C.A.R. has updated its guidance on open house protocols to help members comply with the new guidance released by the California Dept. of Public Health earlier this week. Please take special note of the new Quick Guide that provides additional details.

At this time, we have confirmed with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department that they are following the state industry guidance for real estate transactions. In addition to this, the Santa Clara County Social Distancing Protocol is still required and County Capacity Limitations (Current restrictions under the Orange Tier) must be followed when showing properties.

If any additional local guidelines are announced or implemented, SCCAOR will notify you immediately.

The following are some highlights from the Quick Guide regarding real estate transactions

  • Open Houses: Advertising open houses, without qualifiers, is allowed and appointments for open houses are no longer required.
  • Social Distancing: Showings, including open houses, are somewhat relaxed under the new social gatherings guidelines but still include social distancing between members of different households while attending an open house, and are subject to capacity issues depending on the tier of the county where the house is located. Please refer to local guidelines for this information.
  • Signing In: There will still be a sign-in requirement on site. The new Property Sign-In (PSI) form can be used for this purpose. However, you can still use a PEAD instead of the on-site sign-in if you prefer. See the new Quick Guide for more details.
  • Forms: C.A.R. has simplified and shortened the Rules of Entry (PRE), Prevention Plan (BPPP), and the Property Sign-in (PSI) form as an alternative to PEADS. There also is an addendum to the listing agreement LOHA reflecting the changed protocols. This form is necessary if the parties had previously signed the RLA-CAA, which did not allow for open houses. New listings should also include this addendum if the listing broker wants to hold open houses. These forms will be available on zipForm as soon as possible. In the interim, a PDF of each of these is available HERE. Members may still use the current forms that are on zipForm if they choose until the new ones are released.
  • PEADS: They have been combined and simplified into one shorter PEAD-ALL form that is available if members prefer to use it instead of on-site sign-in protocols.
  • Capacity: Under current Santa Clara County Orange Tier Restrictions, capacity is limited to 25 people or 1 person per 75 square feet, whichever is fewer

IMPORTANT: We anticipate further announcements impacting the real estate industry and will communicate any relevant changes as quickly as possible. 
We understand you may still have questions about other real estate guidelines such as tours and door-knocking; similar to the constant changes at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this is a dynamic situation. Continue to follow SCCAOR updates as we get further clarification from the state.

June 14, 2021

Guidelines and Restrictions for Open Houses and Showings

  • No physical distancing for attendees, guests, and customers
  • No capacity limits (for gatherings under 5,000 attendees)
  • No cleaning requirements (However, CalOSHA recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, faucets, countertops, etc…)
  • No PEADs or any type of sign-in required
  • No posted rules of entry or signage needed for listed properties
  • No one will have to attest to their current health status
  • No one will have to agree to an office prevention plan
  • No restrictions on door-knocking and distribution of promotional materials, including flyers and business cards

IMPORTANT: Sellers are still allowed to impose their own stricter regulations if they so desire, including physical promotional materials.

May 14, 2021  — While new guidance has been released on “open houses” and showing property protocols SCCAOR staff and the C.A.R. Legal Team are still working on clarifications from the CA Public Health Department on other aspects of the real estate industry such as door-knocking and using flyers. Until further information is provided by the state, SCCAOR recommends continuing to follow the previous mandate below.

At this time all promotional material including flyers MUST be delivered electronically until otherwise clarified by CalOSHA.

November 3, 2020  — New restrictions and clarification from the CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions mandate that flyers are NOT to be placed in signposts, available at listings, or dropped off on doorsteps.

While Santa Clara County has not mandated this change, the stricter of the two Orders must be followed at all times. This clarification has been confirmed by Gov Hutchinson, Assistant General Counsel for C.A.R, and is effective immediately.

The CA Industry Guidelines also state the following. “All information must be delivered electronically. Discontinue providing handouts or other types of promotional or informational materials.”

There are no other changes to real estate transactions or showing property requirements at this time.

For further clarification on flyers and the CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions please consult C.A.R. Legal at 213-739-8282.

June 18, 2021

Brokerage Office Guidelines

  • Social Distancing and maximizing telework is no longer required in places of business
  • Employees, personnel, and anyone entering a real estate office are no longer required to wear a mask if they are FULLY vaccinated (2 weeks after receiving COVID-19 shot)
  • Those not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask at all times inside an office
  • Businesses do not need to receive proof of vaccination status from members of the public
  • Brokerage offices are still required to maintain a written COVID-19 Prevention Plan to identify areas and activities that could expose workers to COVID, have a process to screen workers, and train workers about COVID prevention and safety
  • Santa Clara County remains under the May 18th Local Health Order that requires businesses to ascertain the vaccination status of all “personnel” but will otherwise adhere to the state’s reopening guidelines

May 19, 2021  — Santa Clara County has officially entered the lease restrictive yellow tier under the CA Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Along with this change, Santa Clara County has implemented a new limited Local Health Order that removes most previous restrictions at the County level.

Updated November 30th: 

Brokerage offices are allowed to stay open but must comply with the new Mandatory Directive on Capacity Limitations.

Under the Revised Risk Reduction Order, ALL businesses must complete a NEW Social Distancing Protocol using the revised web form that can be found at the link below.

  • Large brokerages with a physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol for all physical offices, post it at the entrance and distribute it to all staff including agents
  • Small brokerages and independent agents with no physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol by checking the box for “No Business Facility” and including the mailing address at which they receive all work documents

Updated July 15th:

Monday, July 13th the new Santa Clara County Risk Reduction Order went into effect. Although Santa Clara County remains on the state “COVID-19 Watch List, brokerage offices are still allowed to re-open to the public. The California and County Health Offices have confirmed that due to real estate being an essential sector, brokerage offices are still allowed to re-open.

Both CA and County safety guidelines for re-opening must be followed and implemented before opening to the public.

  • C.A.R. FAQ and Instructions for Reopening Brokerage Offices in Compliance with State Requirements
  • Santa Clara County requires all essential businesses to fill out and submit and distribute to all staff a new Social Distancing Protocol
  • The Social Distancing Protocol does not need to be filled out for any listed property (state forms such as PEAD still need to be completed)
  • Large brokerages with a physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol for all offices and distribute to all staff including agents
  • Small brokerages and independent agents with no physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol by checking the box for “No Business Facility” and including the mailing address at which they receive all work documents
  • See the tutorial below on how to complete the new County Social Distancing Protocol form

Updated on 3/20: The Santa Clara County Recorder’s office has issued the following statement:

“There will be no real estate recording accepted for walk-in customers. We encourage customers to submit documents through title companies who can submit them electronically.  We will also process documents sent through the mail.”

You can find the latest updates on the Santa Clara County Recorder’s website.

This guide contains information about recording services available in all Bay Area Counties. It will be updated regularly (last updated 3/20)

Other counties outside of Santa Clara County may have a different policy in place and we recommend that you contact the local County Recorder’s Office or your local Title Representative for an update on the current status of the County Recorder’s Office outside of Santa Clara County.

June 28, 2021

Governor Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 832 (AB 832) into law, extending eviction protections through September 30, 2021, for tenants who have been unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law further funds rental assistance programs as well, ensuring housing providers will receive 100% of all unpaid rent. To learn about the new legislation, requirements, and how to apply for rental assistance click the link to the dedicated SCCAOR webpage below.

SCCAOR Update on Statewide Eviction Moratorium and Rental Assistance

June 14, 2021:

C.A.R. COVID-19 Legal Documents and Resources

May 20, 2021  — C.A.R. has made all new forms necessary to follow the new guidelines for showing property available in zipForm.

Updated on 5/14/21:

C.A.R. has released the new Quick Guide that provides clarity on the new CA Dept of Public Health guidelines for showing property.

C.A.R. has simplified and shortened the Rules of Entry (PRE), Prevention Plan (BPPP), and the Property Sign-in (PSI) form as an alternative to PEADS. There also is an addendum to the listing agreement LOHA reflecting the changed protocols. This form is necessary if the parties had previously signed the RLA-CAA, which did not allow for open houses. New listings should also include this addendum if the listing broker wants to hold open houses. These forms will be available on zipForm as soon as possible. In the interim, a PDF of each of these is available HERE. Members may still use the current forms that are on zipForm if they choose until the new ones are released.

Updated on 7/14:

C.A.R. FAQs on Industry Guidance for Real Estate Transactions

C.A.R. FAQs on Reopening Real Estate Brokerage Offices

Detailed Instructions on Completing the Unemployment Assistance Application

C.A.R. COVID-19 Updates

NAR Coronavirus Microsite

Updated on 5/28:

C.A.R.’s updated best practices guidelines are available here and will be available in zipForm® soon. We urge you to read these guidelines carefully and to implement them at all times when showing properties. Always defer to the rules governing your local area, as cities and counties may have more stringent restrictions on real estate activity.

To further clarify California’s Industry Guidance document, we also have released two new FAQs — one on showing properties, and the other on reopening offices — as well as a legal Quick Guide on Complying with Industry Guidance Showing Rules. We have also released a “Posted Rules for Entry” (C.A.R. Document PRE) you can use to comply with the guidance that all agents must post rules, complete with pictograms, outside a property that all viewing the property must agree to before entering. These resources will provide you with a blueprint for efficiently incorporating the Industry Guidance into your real estate practice.

Keep an eye out for the following forms and resources in zipForm®:

  • Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration – Visitor
  • Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration – Seller
  • Coronavirus Lease/Rental Property Entry Advisory and Declaration
  • Listing Agreement Coronavirus Addendum or Amendment
  • Posted Rules for Entry
  • Best Practices Guidelines for Real Estate During COVID-19

Please continue to check the C.A.R. coronavirus microsite regularly for the latest information on how best to navigate practicing real estate during these challenging times.

Updated on 4/2:

You can visit the C.A.R. Website to view all the other forms, legal documents and other useful materials that have been recently created. This includes a Listing Agreement Coronavirus Addendum or Amendment (RLA-CAA) for sellers and listing agents to sign, and the other is a Property Viewing Advisory and Declaration (PEAD) that is to be given to and signed by the seller, buyer, agents and anyone else who will be entering a property.

We recommend all existing transactions have a COVID-19 Addendum in place to handle any delays that are out of the control of the parties to the contract. C.A.R. has recently released a new form called the Coronavirus Addendum/Amendment (Form CVA). It is available in zipForm® now, and you can download it by clicking the button below. The form provides that when circumstances related to the coronavirus are affecting the closing date, the Buyer and Seller agree to extend escrow for a default of 30 days. There is also an optional clause where the buyer and seller can mutually agree to cancel the Agreement and an additional optional clause where the buyer or seller can cancel even after removing the loan contingency if the inability to fund is caused by Covid-19 related loss of income. This form can be used either as an amendment to a contract that is already in place or as an addendum to a contract that has not yet been formed.

Please note that SCCAOR does not provide legal advice and is not giving any legal recommendations.

From MLSListings:

In light of the Shelter in Place (SIP) order, the MLSListings Board of Directors approved a policy to suspend the accrual of days on market (DOM) on all listings from March 17, 2020 until the SIP order is rescinded.
Specifically, this means that:
  • All Active listings will stop accruing DOM effective March 17, 2020.
  • Any DOM accrued prior to March 17, 2020 will remain with the property. For example,

    • A property listed on 3/1/20 would show 16 DOM and will not increment until the SIP order is lifted. If the order is lifted on 4/7/20, then on 4/8/20 it will show 17 DOM.
    • A property listed on or after 3/17/20 will show 0 DOM. If the order is lifted on 4/7/20, then on 4/8/20 it will show 1 DOM.
    • If a listing is Cancelled, it will show only DOM accrued through 3/17/20.
  • All Withdrawn listings (which do not accrue DOM) after 3/1/2020 will be marked as New in Matrix only, when returned to Active.
Rest assured that not only is the MLSListings system up and running, the company is now 100% remote and completely available to serve and support you. We are ready to respond to any of your questions or concerns as always, by phone, email, or chat. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

Updated on 3/17: We are all concerned about the current state of the economy with the current restrictions in effect, however, we know that everyone is experiencing it together. We would like to ask all Buyers and Sellers to please be patient and see the process through before reacting to fear and uncertainty. We believe that everything will be back up and running in a few weeks time.

Updated May 7, 2020 Home Stagers are now allowed to operate in Santa Clara County. Click here to learn more.

Updated 4/14: Yes. Virtual Staging is okay as long as the structure and items fixed to the structure (e.g. flooring, ceiling fans, outlets, switches, etc.) are not virtually changed.

SCCAOR and SILVAR have asked for clarification with regard to allowable photography services under the “Shelter in Place” order, and just received the following feedback from Santa Clara County Counsel:
“If a virtual viewing is not possible, then a single photographer or videographer is permitted to visit the property once to take photographs and/or video.  This should be done at a time when the occupant is not present in the residence.”
This language is expected to be clarified and soon added to the County FAQs on essential services, specifically referencing what in-home activity is allowed under essential real estate services, with the understanding that social distancing measures and protocols should be followed, i.e., wearing of masks, gloves, maintaining a 6-foot distance from each other, etc.

Updated 3/15/21:

The state has begun to accept applications to distribute the first $2.6 billion of direct rental assistance. This was allocated to California from the December 2020 federal stimulus package. Tenants and housing providers will be eligible for up to a year of unpaid back rent (April 2020 through March 2021) and allow up to three months of future rent payments (April 2021 through June 2021), depending on the availability of funds. Both tenants and housing providers are eligible to apply if certain criteria are met. Check out our recent blog post to learn more.

Updated 2/1/21:

The Department of Real Estate (DRE) has released a Tenant/Landlord/Homeowner Resource Webpage to help understand and receive the assistance available for each housing group.

CA Residential Eviction Protections Extended Until June 30, 2021, with SB91 Legislation 

Direct Rental Assistance Expected to be Available Early March!!!

Eviction Protections: Under the bills, the statewide eviction moratorium would be extended to June 30, 2021. The protections are not automatic, however. To be protected, tenants must do two things:

  1. Pay 25% of their rent from September 2020 to June 2021 by no later than June 30, 2021, AND
  2. Sign and return a declaration of COVID-19 financial impact within 15 days every time they get an eviction notice.

Rent Relief: The bills also establish guidelines for distribution of the $2.6 billion in rent relief allocated to the state from the federal COVID relief bill passed in December. The bills pay up to a year of unpaid back rent (April 2020 through March 2021) and allow up to three months of future rent payments (April 2021 through June 2021), depending on the availability of funds.

  1. Landlords who choose to participate can receive 80% of a tenant’s back rent as long as the landlord forgives the remaining 20%.​​
  2. Tenants can apply for a 25% payment if their landlords decline to participate so that they can be protected monthly rental payment eviction protection.

The bill prioritizes households with the highest need for rent relief, targeting households with less than 80% area median income (AMI) and utilizing rounds to prioritize those who need rent relief the most:

  • Round 1: Below 50% AMI or unemployed for 90 days.
  • Round 2: Income below 80% AMI and in a community disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • Round 3: Everyone below 80% AMI not addressed in round 1 or 2 above.

Updated 12/27/20:

Congress passed a second stimulus bill that extended the federal eviction moratorium and provides rental assistance for struggling housing providers and tenants. CA will receive a large portion of these funds, but it is still unknown how they will procedurally distribute those funds.

Eviction Moratorium & Rental Assistance

  • Provide $25 billion to states and local governments for rental assistance.
  • Allow landlords to directly apply for the funds.
  • Extend the CDC’s eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021. California’s eviction moratorium already extends through January 31, 2021, so REALTORS® should see little effect from this provision.

Updated 5/28/20:

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to extend the eviction moratorium, which applies to all cities and jurisdictions with the County, until August 31, 2020. All other information regarding the details of the moratorium is still accurate below. The County will explore extending the payback period for outstanding rent during the eviction moratorium.

Updated 3/31:

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve an eviction moratorium effectively immediately as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, for all residential tenants and commercial tenants defined as a small business. Due to emergency powers granted to the County under an executive order from Governor Gavin Newsom this moratorium applies to all unincorporated areas AND all cities within the County’s jurisdiction. It is important to note all of the following information from the moratorium.

It is in effect until May 31, 2020.

ALL back rent unpaid during this moratorium is still owed by the tenant to the housing provider. The tenant will have 120 days from the end of the moratorium to pay all back rent, in addition to new current rent due. After this point, late fees and penalties can begin to be assessed. When the moratorium is lifted during the 120 days grace period late fees and evictions can still continue for unpaid new rent due.

The moratorium only protects tenants who can prove significant financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. Other forms of evictions can still occur. The tenant must be proactive and provide documentation to the landlord showing proof in any of the following ways:

– Substantial loss of income from: (i) job loss; (ii) layoffs; (iii) a reduction in the number of compensable hours of work; (iv) a store, restaurant, office, or business closure; (v) a substantial decrease in business income caused by a reduction in opening hours or consumer demand; (vi) the need to miss work to care for a homebound school-age child or a family member infected with coronavirus; or (vii) other similarly-caused loss of income, where the conditions listed in (i) through (vii) resulted from frorn the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic or related guidance or public health orders from local, state, or federal authorities

– Substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses for themselves or their immediate family members related to the 2020 COVID-l9 pandemic

Failure to comply as a housing provider is not a criminal offense but punishable through civil fines and penalties.
Any notice of termination served on a Tenant during the 2020 COVID-I9 pandemic must also include a notice of Tenant’s rights under this Ordinance as well as a notice of emergency rental assistance programs.
SCCAOR encourages all tenants and housing providers to read the entire ordinance for a comprehensive understanding of the moratorium. Click Here to Read the Ordinance

If any local Cities that have enacted an eviction moratorium have a stricter ordinance it still applies, along with the County ordinance.

Click Here for City of San Jose Eviction Moratorium Information
Click Here for City of Santa Clara Eviction Moratorium Information
The City of Gilroy may explore a local eviction moratorium at their next Council meeting in April as well as rental subsidies.
The Cities of Campbell, Milpitas, and Morgan Hill have all deferred to the County Eviction Moratorium.

Updated 3/24: The loss of value in a stock portfolio does not, in and of itself, provide grounds for a buyer or seller to cancel a contract unless the contract is contingent upon the value being maintained. The C.A.R. Residential Purchase Agreement does not contain such a preprinted contingency. If a buyer was relying on the stock portfolio to provide the needed down payment or closing costs, the opposite is true. The last sentence in paragraph 3J(2) specifically states that the buyer’s contractual obligation regarding deposit, balance of down payment and closing costs are not contingencies.

Some people have heard of something called a “force majeure” clause. These clauses can limit a contractual obligation, or otherwise, based on “Acts of God.” However, California Civil Code, section 1511, paragraph 2 provides that performance of an obligation is excused when it is prevented or delayed by an irresistible, superhuman cause unless the parties have expressly agreed to the contrary.   The C.A.R. contract does not have such a clause. “Force majeure” or “vis major” is not necessarily limited to the equivalent of an act of God, but the test is whether under the particular circumstances there is such an insuperable interference occurring without the party’s intervention as could not have been prevented by prudence, diligence and care (Pacific Vegetable Oil Corporation v. C. S. T., Ltd. (1946) 29 Cal.2d 228, 174 P.2d 441). While ordinarily, a drop in value in the stock market, be it dramatic or mild, would not excuse failure to perform, the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the coronavirus outbreak may be considered a circumstance warranting if not complete failure of performance then at least delay in performance.

Given the uncertainty, buyer and seller are encouraged to discuss alternatives to timely performance and reach a voluntary amendment during this period of state and national emergency.

Updated 3/24: If a property is not yet listed, a broker may take a listing with a postponed effective date with written instructions from the seller. C.A.R. form SELM can be used for this purpose. In that form, paragraph 8C can be checked and a future date can be inserted in the blank fields. If the COVID-19 scare is not over by that date, then the broker and seller can agree to extend that date to another specific future date. If the seller wants to begin marketing and listing the property before the initial or extended date has been reached, then a written instruction to the listing broker will suffice. If the local MLS has already adopted the NAR Clear Cooperation Policy, then the seller must be informed that the property will be submitted to the MLS within one business day of any public marketing of the property.

If property is not yet listed, another option is to enter into a listing agreement with a future effective date. However, if the seller sells the property prior to that date, then the broker is not entitled to any compensation since the contact has not become effective. And, in such a circumstance the listing agreement may not even become binding on the delayed effective date since the seller no longer owns the object of the listing.

If the property is already listed for sale, the broker and the seller can mutually agree to postpone marketing of the property and extend the effective date. While paragraph 3A(3) of the residential listing agreement (C.A.R. form RLA) provides that the broker is entitled to compensation if the seller unilaterally withdraws the property for sale or makes it unmarketable, proceeding on such a clause in the current environment is risky. The best approach would be to seek a mutual agreement.

Updated May 4, 2020:

Under the revised Shelter in Place Ordinance, appraisers (along with inspectors) have been classified as necessary to enable a residential real estate transaction. They are allowed to operate under the following guidelines.

A single appraiser is allowed on the property to complete a walkthrough. The listing agent and the residents of the property should not be present when this occurs. They will need to abide by the County Social Distancing Protocol and the new state Industry Guidelines for Showing Property. More information on these policies can be viewed in a previous FAQ.

On March 23, 2020, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2020-5, Selling Guidance Related to COVID-19, which contains temporary guidance on appraisal requirements. Under the guidance, lenders will be allowed to use desktop appraisal and exterior only appraisals for purchase transactions through May 17, 2020. Freddie Mac has also provided language that the appraiser must copy and paste into their report in order to accommodate the revised scope of work, statement of assumptions and limiting conditions, and certifications for some of the scenarios presented. Visit the Freddie Mac website for more information.

Updated 1/4/20:

If your DRE license is set to expire between December 31, 2020 and June 29, 2021 you have been granted an extension until June 30, 2021 to submit your renewal application, fee and continuing education requirements. The DRE is granting other limited exceptions and extensions. Click Here to read more and find out how to apply on the DRE website.

Updated 4/15

From the California Department of Real Estate’s website:

1. Will the Department of Real Estate (DRE) offices be open during shelter in place orders?

All DRE offices are closed to the public until further notice in order to comply with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20, issued March 19, 2020, ordering all California residents to shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. DRE is still operational by phone, eLicensing, mail and email.

DRE has many examinee, licensee and consumer processes available online on our website. To reschedule an exam date or conduct licensing transactions, use our eLicensing system. To file a consumer complaint, use our online complaint system.

For processes that cannot be completed online, documents can still be mailed to DRE. Click here for a list of our addresses.

2. Will DRE’s public information line be open during shelter in place orders?

Yes, however, wait times may be excessive due to staffing restrictions.

3. I heard that all licensing exams are canceled. Is this true?

Yes. DRE canceled all salesperson and broker license exams in all exam centers through April 30, 2020. This action was taken to comply with state and county public health agencies ordering residents to shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

4. If my exam is canceled, how do I reschedule it?

All examinees can reschedule canceled exams using our eLicensing system for free. If you do not have an eLicensing account, you can easily create one on our website.

5. If the county I live in has issued a shelter in place order, can I reschedule my exam date?

Yes. If the city or county issues a shelter in place order, your exam will be canceled and an email notification will be sent to you. Be sure to check your spam or junk email folders. When an exam is canceled, examinees are placed in a “self-schedule” status on eLicensing, which allows them to reschedule for free.

6. My real estate license will be expiring soon. What is the best way for me to complete my renewal?

The secure eLicensing online system offers expedited processing of salesperson, broker, and officer license renewals any time or day of the week. eLicensing is easy to use, paperless and interactive. Licensees enter information needed for license renewal into eLicensing, including the course number and completion date of continuing education courses taken. If continuing education is required, then Continuing Education Requirements must be completely satisfied in order to renew through eLicensing. Acceptable methods of payment include VISA, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards or debit cards bearing a VISA or MasterCard logo.

Unfortunately, officers renewing after the license expiration date and all restricted licensees cannot use eLicensing. Those renewal applications must be submitted by mail to the Department of Real Estate, P.O. Box 137003, Sacramento, CA 95813-7003.

Remember, you may use eLicensing or submit your renewal application 90 days prior to your license expiration date. Your renewal is on-time if your eLicensing transaction is completed or your application is postmarked before midnight on your license expiration date. If you submit your renewal on-time, Business and Professions Code Section 10156.2 permits you to continue operating under your existing license after its expiration date unless notified otherwise by the DRE.

7. How do I complete continuing education for my license renewal when I have been ordered to shelter in place?

Licensees can take continuing education courses by various means, including by correspondence or distance learning. Correspondence courses include courses offered online or by mail. You can search here for a list of continuing education courses that are offered by correspondence.

Please remember that continuing education courses follow strict regulations with regards to the amount of time required to be spent on a course and spacing of the final exams. See Continuing Education Regulations (RE 312) for additional information.

8. Is DRE considering extending expiration dates/deadlines for licensees or waiving fees for late license renewals?

Not at this time. DRE licensees have a four year license term, and are able to complete all continuing education courses online. Additionally, licensees can renew their license online using our eLicensing system which is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

9. Does the shelter in place orders affect other components of the Licensing process?

Live scan service providers may be impacted by shelter in place orders. Please check with individual service providers for their status.

You will likely experience delays with exam and licensing processes as a completed Live scan is required to obtain a license. It is strongly recommended that you use our eLicensing system for those transactions that can be completed online.

10. Will DRE accept electronic signatures on licensing documents during this time?

Yes; however, documents with electronic signatures still have to be mailed to DRE, if they cannot be completed using eLicensing.

11. Is DRE still accepting applications to take the broker and salesperson exams and to obtain a broker, salesperson or corporation license?

Yes. DRE is accepting exam and license applications by mail. Once the application is submitted, you can check the current application processing timeframes updated weekly on our website.

March 3, 2021  — Santa Clara County has moved from the more restrictive purple tier to the less restrictive red tier under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy four colored system. Learn More About Restrictions Under the Red Tier.

There are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County. Transactions and showings should still be done VIRTUALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

Updated January 26th:

CA lifts Regional Stay-at-Home-Order and Santa Clara County returns to purple tier under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy four colored system. Learn More About Restrictions Under the Purple Tier.

There are still NO changes to real estate transactions. The CA Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions are still the guiding requirements for real estate transactions in Santa Clara County. Transactions and showings should still be done VIRTUALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

The DRE will reopen four of the exam centers (Sacramento, Fresno, La Palma, and San Diego) on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. The Oakland exam center will reopen shortly thereafter. Learn More Here.

Updated December 6th:

In honoring the Regional Stay-at-Home Order, the SCCAOR office will be closed to the public until at least January 4, 2021. We will still be able to effectively serve you by phone, chat, email, or video conference. However, no face to face meetings will be allowed until the Regional Stay-at-Home Order is lifted.

How to Reach Us

Phone: 408-445-8500
Email: membership@sccaor.com
Online chat: https://www.sccaor.com/chat
Our virtual office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Lockbox/key contactless appointments can be booked online here.
Need to buy items from our store? Shop online and use our curbside pickup option.

Updated 5/4/20:

The Shelter in Place Ordinance has been extended until at least May 31, 2020, and the SCCAOR offices are still not deemed an essential business. Both offices will remain closed until further notice. However, SCCAOR is offering a select group of merchandise available for curbside pick up from the online store.

Updated on 3/31: In response to the new “Shelter in Place” Order, we will be temporarily closing our offices in both San Jose and Gilroy and our staff will be working remotely. There are several ways that you can get in touch with us if you have any membership related issues or questions:

You can submit additional questions and comments by filling out the form located further down this webpage.

Legislation and Relief for Tenants, Housing Providers, and Homeowners

June 28, 2021

Governor Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 832 (AB 832) into law, extending eviction protections through September 30, 2021, for tenants who have been unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law further funds rental assistance programs as well, ensuring housing providers will receive 100% of all unpaid rent. To learn about the new legislation, requirements, and how to apply for rental assistance click the link to the dedicated SCCAOR webpage below.

SCCAOR Update on Statewide Eviction Moratorium and Rental Assistance

Updated 3/15/21:

The state has begun to accept applications to distribute the first $2.6 billion of direct rental assistance. This was allocated to California from the December 2020 federal stimulus package. Tenants and housing providers will be eligible for up to a year of unpaid back rent (April 2020 through March 2021) and allow up to three months of future rent payments (April 2021 through June 2021), depending on the availability of funds. Both tenants and housing providers are eligible to apply if certain criteria are met. Check out our recent blog post to learn more and apply.

Updated 2/1/21:

The Department of Real Estate (DRE) has released a Tenant/Landlord/Homeowner Resource Webpage to help understand and receive the assistance available for each housing group.

CA Residential Eviction Protections Extended Until June 30, 2021, with SB91 Legislation 

Direct Rental Assistance Expected to be Available Early March!!!

Eviction Protections: Under the bills, the statewide eviction moratorium would be extended to June 30, 2021. The protections are not automatic, however. To be protected, tenants must do two things:

  1. Pay 25% of their rent from September 2020 to June 2021 by no later than June 30, 2021, AND
  2. Sign and return a declaration of COVID-19 financial impact within 15 days every time they get an eviction notice.

Rent Relief: The bills also establish guidelines for distribution of the $2.6 billion in rent relief allocated to the state from the federal COVID relief bill passed in December. The bills pay up to a year of unpaid back rent (April 2020 through March 2021) and allow up to three months of future rent payments (April 2021 through June 2021), depending on the availability of funds.

  1. Landlords who choose to participate can receive 80% of a tenant’s back rent as long as the landlord forgives the remaining 20%.​​
  2. Tenants can apply for a 25% payment if their landlords decline to participate so that they can be protected monthly rental payment eviction protection.

The bill prioritizes households with the highest need for rent relief, targeting households with less than 80% area median income (AMI) and utilizing rounds to prioritize those who need rent relief the most:

  • Round 1: Below 50% AMI or unemployed for 90 days.
  • Round 2: Income below 80% AMI and in a community disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • Round 3: Everyone below 80% AMI not addressed in round 1 or 2 above.

Updated 12/27/20:

Congress passed a second stimulus bill that extended the federal eviction moratorium and provides rental assistance for struggling housing providers and tenants. CA will receive a large portion of these funds, but it is still unknown how they will procedurally distribute those funds.

Eviction Moratorium & Rental Assistance

  • Provide $25 billion to states and local governments for rental assistance.
  • Allow landlords to directly apply for the funds.
  • Extend the CDC’s eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021. California’s eviction moratorium already extends through January 31, 2021, so REALTORS® should see little effect from this provision.

Updated 6/18:

Local Rent Relief Programs:

  • Santa Clara County Sacred Heart Financial Assistance Program: Click Here to Read More and Apply
  • City of Santa Clara Emergency Rental Assistance Program: Direct Subsidy Payments to Housing Providers – Click Here to Read More and Apply
  • City of Cupertino Providing $50,000 in Emergency Assistance Funds to Cupertino Residents
    • The City of Cupertino has partnered with West Valley Community Services to provide $50,000 in emergency assistance funds to Cupertino tenants impacted by COVID-19.
    • Beginning on June 12, 2020, eligible households can receive up to $3,000 in funds on a first-come-first-serve basis while funds are available. Household income must be less than or equal to 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
    • Please contact West Valley Community Services for an application: recert@wvcommunityservices.org or 408-366-6092.
  • Milpitas and San Jose will both be exploring possible direct housing provider rental relief subsidy programs to forgive unpaid rent after their respective July recesses.
  • Most cities in the SCCAOR jurisdiction have donated to the Sacred Heart financial assistance program highlighted above.

FHFA Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium through August 31 (6/17)

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will extend their single-family moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least August 31, 2020. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The current moratorium was set to expire on June 30th.
  • To understand the protections and assistance the government is offering people having trouble paying their mortgage, please visit the joint Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHFA, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website at cfpb.gov/housing​

FHFA Adds Translations for Forbearance Requests (6/14)

  • Over the last two years, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has created a library of translations of the common mortgage lending forms.
  • The FHFA announced today that it had added translations of the scripts that it requires servicers to use with borrowers requesting forbearance. The Translations are available in six languages (English, Spanish, traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, or Tagalog). In addition, the application for mortgage assistance was also made available in these languages.

FHFA Announces Refinance & Home Purchase Eligibility for Borrowers in Forbearance (5/19)

To support borrowers and mortgage servicers, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) have issued temporary guidance regarding the eligibility of borrowers who are in forbearance, or have recently ended their forbearance, looking to refinance or buy a new home. More from FHFA here and NAR Policy Staff on The HUB here.

FHFA Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium through June 30 for Enterprise-backed mortgages (5/14)
To help borrowers and renters who are at risk of losing their home due to the coronavirus national emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are extending their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least June 30, 2020. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The current moratorium was set to expire on May 17th. More from FHFA here.

FHFA Announces Payment Deferral as New Repayment Option for Homeowners in COVID-19 Forbearance Plans (5/13)

To help homeowners who are in COVID-19 related forbearance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are making available a new payment deferral option. The payment deferral option allows borrowers, who are able to return to making their normal monthly mortgage payment, the ability to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at maturity. More from FHFA here and NAR Policy Staff on The HUB here.

FHFA Extends Loan Processing Flexibilities for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Customers through June 30 (5/5)

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) extended several loan origination flexibilities currently offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (The Enterprises) designed to help borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency. More from FHFA here.

“No Lump Sum Required at the End of Forbearance” says FHFA’s Calabria (4/27)

To combat ongoing misinformation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reiterated that borrowers in forbearance with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises)-backed mortgage are not required to repay the missed payments in one lump sum. More from FHFA here and NAR Policy Staff on The HUB here.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency will begin offering mortgage forbearance to multifamily property owners on the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters who can’t pay their rent because of the coronavirus. Click Here for More Information

  • Several of the largest banks in America, along with hundreds of state-chartered banks and credit unions have waived mortgage payments in the short term from those experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. They have also agreed to a foreclosure moratorium. We recommend reaching out to your specific bank for exact details on these programs. Click Here for More Information
  • $11 Million Local Rental Payments / Crucial Bill Relief Fund: The County of Santa Clara, the City of San Jose, and Bay Area companies have partnered to help low-income residents (those making 80% or less of the AMI) pay rent and other crucial bills during this crisis. Click Here to Read More
  • We encourage all tenants and housing providers to familiarize themselves with this program, as it is the best route to make everyone financially whole immediately. This provides tenants with the resources to limit back rents burdens when the moratorium ends. It also gives housing providers the much needed immediate income for mortgages, property taxes, and their own living expenses. 

Updated 3/17/21:

The deadline for California taxpayers to file their 2020 personal income tax returns and pay their taxes to the federal and state governments has been extended to May 17 from April 15, after the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday announced the delay and California followed suit.

Both the IRS and the state tax agency said the deadline extension does not apply to estimated tax payments made quarterly by people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding. Those are still due April 15.

The state and federal agencies both said they would provide more information in coming days.

“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities,” IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a news release.

Updated 5/21/20:

  • The IRS has delayed the federal tax payment deadline by 90 days. Click Here for More Information
  • The CA Franchise Tax Board announced that state tax filings and payments deadline has been delayed until July 15, 2020. Click Here for More Information
  • Santa Clara County has delayed the deadline for property tax payments until June 30, 2020. The County is accepting partial payments during this period. On July 1, 2020 the County will begin assessing penalties and late fees if property taxes have not been paid in full. For more information on the County Property Tax collection during COVID-19 Click Here for More Information.
  • PG&E have implemented a series of billing and service modifications to support customers who have been impacted by the pandemic. Click Here for More Information
  • Silicon Valley Power (Santa Clara Residents) has announced no planned power outages or utility disconnection for nonpayment through at least April 7th. Click Here for More Information

June 28, 2021

Governor Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 832 (AB 832) into law, extending eviction protections through September 30, 2021, for tenants who have been unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law further funds rental assistance programs as well, ensuring housing providers will receive 100% of all unpaid rent. To learn about the new legislation, requirements, and how to apply for rental assistance click the link to the dedicated SCCAOR webpage below.

SCCAOR Update on Statewide Eviction Moratorium and Rental Assistance

Updated 3/17/21: 
President Biden has signed the sixth major COVID-19 relief bill into law since the beginning of the pandemic. The $1.9 trillion bill is dubbed the “American Rescue Plan.”

Highlights of the American Rescue Plan:

  • $1,400 stimulus checks per person, phased out completely for individuals earning $80,000 per year and couples earning $160,000 per year (Those earning under the income limits will also receive $1,400 in stimulus money for each dependent, regardless of age, claimed on their latest filed tax return.)
  • An extension through Sept. 6, 2021, to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program with the continuation of the current $300 per week in Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
  • Exclusion of up to $10,200 in unemployment compensation from taxation for those with AGI of $150,000 or less, beginning in the tax year 2020.
  • $21.55 billion in new money for rental assistance, on top of the $25 billion allocated in December.
  • A one-year increase in the child tax credit, paid in monthly installments, including $3,000 a year for each child ages 6 to 17, and $3,600 a year for each child under age 6 for couples who make $150,000 or less and single parents who make $112,500 or less
  • Expanded Paid Sick and Family Leave through Sept. 30
  • $10 billion for a Housing Assistance Fund that will allow state housing finance agencies to help homeowners with COVID-19 hardships
  • $100 million for housing counseling services
  • $15 billion for a new small business grant program
  • $350 billion in state and local aid
  • $130 billion for schools

Read NAR’s Comprehensive Breakdown of the Entire American Rescue Plan

Updated 2/17/21: 

Information for Housing Providers to Comply to SB91:
In order to preserve their rights to seek damages and pursue unlawful detainer lawsuits against non-paying tenants after the expiration of the eviction moratorium on June 30, 2021, and their rights to apply for missed rent assistance, landlords must follow these procedures:

  • No later than February 28, 2021: Provide tenants who missed rent payments between April 1, 2020 through February 1, 2021 with an informational notice of the extension of the Act and the establishment of the rental assistance program. An example of this notice prepared by the California Department of Real Estate is available at this link. Landlords who do not timely provide this notice cannot serve tenants with a 15-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit (described below).
  • Each time a tenant fails to pay the rent due for a rental period (typically the first of the month), serve the tenant with:
  • (1) a “Notice from the State of California” – An example of this notice prepared by the California Department of Real Estate is available at this link.
  • (2) a blank “Declaration of COVID-19-Related Financial Distress” – An example of this notice prepared by the California Department of Real Estate is available at this link.
  • (3) a “15-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit” – An example of this notice prepared by the California Department of Real Estate is available at this link.
  • If the landlord has information on file that the tenant is a “high-income tenant” who makes over 130% of the median income in that county, they may request additional information proving the hardship. An example of this notice to be used in this circumstance prepared by the California Department of Real Estate is available at this link.

Updated 2/1/21:

The Department of Real Estate (DRE) has released a Tenant/Landlord/Homeowner Resource Webpage to help understand and receive the assistance available for each housing group.

CA Residential Eviction Protections Extended Until June 30, 2021, with SB91 Legislation 

C.A.R. SB91 Explained / Q&A

Direct Rental Assistance Expected to be Available Early March!!!

Eviction Protections: Under the bills, the statewide eviction moratorium would be extended to June 30, 2021. The protections are not automatic, however. To be protected, tenants must do two things:

  1. Pay 25% of their rent from September 2020 to June 2021 by no later than June 30, 2021, AND
  2. Sign and return a declaration of COVID-19 financial impact within 15 days every time they get an eviction notice.

Rent Relief: The bills also establish guidelines for distribution of the $2.6 billion in rent relief allocated to the state from the federal COVID relief bill passed in December. The bills pay up to a year of unpaid back rent (April 2020 through March 2021) and allow up to three months of future rent payments (April 2021 through June 2021), depending on the availability of funds.

  1. Landlords who choose to participate can receive 80% of a tenant’s back rent as long as the landlord forgives the remaining 20%.​​
  2. Tenants can apply for a 25% payment if their landlords decline to participate so that they can be protected monthly rental payment eviction protection.

The bill prioritizes households with the highest need for rent relief, targeting households with less than 80% area median income (AMI) and utilizing rounds to prioritize those who need rent relief the most:

  • Round 1: Below 50% AMI or unemployed for 90 days.
  • Round 2: Income below 80% AMI and in a community disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • Round 3: Everyone below 80% AMI not addressed in round 1 or 2 above.

Updated 6/19:

Federal

  • The House of Representatives passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act receiving support mainly from House Democrats. President Trump and Senate GOP leaders are pumping the breaks and opting for a wait and see approach to additional coronavirus relief: wait for state economies to reopen over the next few weeks, and reassess if future aid is needed. With $100 billion in funding left, we will not likely see any movement on a larger package in the Senate until sometime in June leading up to Congress’ July 4th recess. NAR sent a letter to Congressional leaders last week outlining our legislative priorities for inclusion in any future package.

  • President Trump signed the CARES Act into law, a $2 trillion piece of legislation that is the largest ever in US history. NAR has released a summary of the provisions in the CARES Act that will be of most benefit to REALTORS® and their consumers as secured by NAR’s advocacy efforts over the past two weeks: Click Here for More Information

  • Please see the section below titled “Resources Available for Independent Contractors and Small Businesses” for specific programs and applications regarding the CARES Act
  • The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has suspended all evictions of tenants on HUD owned property (mostly apartment complexes with deed restricted affordable housing units).  Click Here for More Information
  • The Federal Housing Administration has enacted a foreclosure moratorium that applies to homeowners that have an FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion mortgage. Click Here for More Information
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency will begin offering mortgage forbearance to multifamily property owners on the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters who can’t pay their rent because of the coronavirus. Click Here for More Information

State

CA Judicial Council Anti- Eviction Orders Challenged as Unconstitutional

  • Two landlords filed a lawsuit earlier this week challenging California courts’ refusal to hear eviction proceedings. In its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency that oversees California’s courts declared that courts would not consider any eviction cases for the duration of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s state-of-emergency declaration plus 90 days.
  • The lawsuit claims the California Judicial Council violated the California Constitution, overriding state law without authority. Christiansen and Martin v. California Judicial Council was filed on June 15, 2020, in Kern County Superior Court. The plaintiffs are represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF). C.A.R. IMPAC regularly awards grant money to PLF along with SCCAOR and other local associations.
  • Click Here to Read More
  • Friday, March 27th Governor Newsom signed a statewide executive order creating a statewide eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 financial hardships. However, if a local jurisdiction has a more comprehensive moratorium the local ordinance supersedes the state executive order. Due to this see the information below regarding the Santa Clara County Eviction Moratorium which supersedes the state executive order. Click Here for the Executive Order

Santa Clara County Eviction Moratorium

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve an eviction moratorium effectively immediately as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, for all residential tenants and commercial tenants defined as a small business. Due to emergency powers granted to the County under an executive order from Governor Gavin Newsom this moratorium applies to all unincorporated areas AND all cities within the County’s jurisdiction. It is important to note all of the following information from the moratorium.

  • It is in effect until July 28, 2020.
  • ALL back rent unpaid during this moratorium is still owed by the tenant to the housing provider.
  • The tenant will have 120 days from the end of the moratorium to pay all back rent, in addition to new current rent due. After this point, late fees and penalties can begin to be assessed.
  • When the moratorium is lifted during the 120 days grace period late fees and evictions can still continue for unpaid new rent due.
  • The moratorium only protects tenants who can prove significant financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. Other forms of evictions can still occur. The tenant must be proactive and provide documentation to the landlord showing proof in any of the following ways: 
    • Substantial loss of income from: (i) job loss; (ii) layoffs; (iii) a reduction in the number of compensable hours of work; (iv) a store, restaurant, office, or business closure; (v) a substantial decrease in business income caused by a reduction in opening hours or consumer demand; (vi) the need to miss work to care for a homebound school-age child or a family member infected with coronavirus; or (vii) other similarly-caused loss of income, where the conditions listed in (i) through (vii) resulted from frorn the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic or related guidance or public health orders from local, state, or federal authorities
    • Substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses for themselves or their immediate family members related to the 2020 COVID-l9 pandemic.
  • Failure to comply as a housing provider is not a criminal offense but punishable through civil fines and penalties. 
  • Any notice of termination served on a Tenant during the 2020 COVID-I9 pandemic must also include a notice of Tenant’s rights under this Ordinance as well as a notice of emergency rental assistance programs.
  • SCCAOR encourages all tenants and housing providers to read the entire ordinance for a comprehensive understanding of the moratorium. Click Here to Read the Ordinance
  • If any local Cities that have enacted an eviction moratorium have a stricter ordinance it still applies along with the County ordinance
  • Click Here for City of San Jose Eviction Moratorium Information
  • Click Here for City of Santa Clara Eviction Moratorium Information
  • The cities of Campbell, Milpitas, Morgan Hill and Gilroy have all deferred to the County Eviction Moratorium.

Relief Resources Available for Independent Contractors and Small Businesses

Updated 1/15:

Round 2 of the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opens Feb. 2 through Feb. 8, 2021
Round 1 closed Jan. 13 – approvals will be sent Jan. 15-22
Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for the second round of California Relief Grants, starting at 8:00 AM, February 2. Applications close at 6:00 PM, February 8.
The grants are in amounts from $5,000 to $25,000 and are meant to help small businesses and non-profits that have been affected by the pandemic. It is not a first-come, first-served program.
If you applied during the first round, received a confirmation email, and were notified of the outcome, you do NOT need to re-apply. Your application will be included for consideration in the second round.
Priority will be given to applications from regions and industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income communities, and underserved small business groups, and how much impact the business experienced.
Because the application period for Round 2 is so short, small business owners are encouraged to reach out as soon as possible to the partners that will provide free assistance in the application process, such as Small Business Development Center (https://www.norcalsbdc.org/). For more providers, see the California Relief Grant partners page. (https://careliefgrant.com/partner/santa-clara/)

Updated 12/30:

C.A.R. has released an updated FAQ on the new SBA loans in the second stimulus bill passed this week.

Round 1 of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will begin accepting applications from 6:00 AM Wednesday, December 30, and closes Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 11:59 PM. The grants are available in $5,000, $15,000, and $25,000 amounts, to help with the costs of the COVID pandemic on your business.

In this webinar available on YouTube, OED’s Vic Farlie is joined by representatives of the Small Business Development Center to explain the application process and answer questions from business owners. We encourage you to watch so that you can apply for this important source of non-loan funding!

Click Here to View the FAQ.

Updated 12/26:

The second COVID-19 relief package has officially been signed into law – a $900 billion stimulus bill that will provide direct payments and additional unemployment benefits to struggling Americans and badly needed funds for housing providers and small businesses, including REALTORS®.

Unemployment Benefits and Direct Payments

  • Allow an individual to receive unemployment benefits (traditional or PUA) for up to 50 weeks, through March 13, 2021 in California.
  • Provide an additional $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits for individuals receiving PUA or traditional unemployment compensation for 11 weeks, beginning December 27, 2020, and ending March 13, 2021 in California.
  • Provide a one-time direct payment of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, as well as an extra $600 per eligible child dependent. Payments are expected to begin rolling out before the end of the year but will take time to get to all eligible recipients.

 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • Provide an additional $284 billion for PPP loans.
  • Allow certain eligible businesses to receive a second PPP loan of up to $2 million. To qualify for a “PPP second draw,” businesses, independent contractors and other self-employed persons must have 300 or fewer employees, have used or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan, and be able to demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.
  • Create a simplified forgiveness process for PPP loans up to $150,000.
  • Allow use of PPP funds to cover purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees and certain other expenses not eligible for the first round of PPP loans.

 Eviction Moratorium & Rental Assistance

  • Provide $25 billion to states and local governments for rental assistance.
  • Allow landlords to directly apply for the funds.
  • Extend the CDC’s eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021. California’s eviction moratorium already extends through January 31, 2021, so REALTORS® should see little effect from this provision.

Additional details on these and other financial relief programs can be found on our REALTOR® Relief page on C.A.R.’s coronavirus microsite.

Updated 7/4:

Congress Grants SBA PPP Extension (7/4):

  • In a surprise move on July 1, the U.S. Congress cleared legislation extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), popular with REALTORS®, through August 8.
  • Although the program quickly ran out of money, it was injected with new funding a month later. The application period for the program was extended with $130 billion still unallocated.
  • Click Here to Read More.

SBA PPP Reform Act Details / New Application Process Released (6/17):

  • The Small Business Administration and U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday rolled out major updates to the Paycheck Protection Program, offering automatic forgiveness for certain independent contractors and creating a broader application form for forgiveness.
  • The deadline to apply for a PPP loan is June 30. The program still has funding available and will close at the end of the month unless Congress acts to extend it.
  • Click Here to Learn More About the PPP Reform and How to Apply 

SBA Now Accepting Applications for the EDIL Again (6/16):

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants. This allows additional small businesses and non-profits experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 to receive long-term, low-interest loans, and emergency grants to help reduce the economic impacts of COVID-19 for businesses.
  • Click Here to Learn More and Apply

NAR has several terrific resources available through the Coronavirus main page:

How to Secure Your Business Through the CARES Act (Video)

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) vs SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) (Graphic)

  • The Treasury Department and SBA finally released the documents that PPP loan borrowers will need to fill out and provide to their lenders when applying for forgiveness, which you can find here Of the four documents posted, all borrowers will need to fill out and provide their lenders with two of them: the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form and the PPP Schedule A. The documents include detailed instructions for borrowers, delineate the eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses the loans can be used for, and provide step-by-step calculations to determine forgiveness/show that the borrower has met the program’s requirements.
  • NAR has updated our SBA FAQs to reflect this new information. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also released an excellent PPP Loan Forgiveness Guide.
  • The SBA has begun accepting applications again for the Paycheck Protection Program & Economic Injury Disaster Loans after an initial lapse in funding. Please know that Congressional leaders worked hard in negotiations to appropriate additional funding replenishing the funds with $480 billion, after which, the programs should begin accepting applications again. The NAR Advocacy Team has been working tirelessly for Congress to approve more funding for these crucial SBA relief programs.
  • If you already submitted an application for any SBA relief resources or programs, be patient as they are inundated with applications right now.
  • As a part of the CARES Act two major federal resources have been allocated to independent contractors through the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The first $10,000 of each loan will be forgiveable (a non repaid grant) with any amount over that being a low interest loan. REALTORS® and Brokerages are eligble to apply for both, but only one of the two loan programs will include the forgiveable $10,000.
  • Click Here for Information and How to Apply for the Paycheck Program Program
  • Click Here for Information and How to Apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan
  • The CARES Act also approved independent contractors to be eligble for pandemic unemployment assistance. Information on this can be found in the states resources area as it will be implemented by the California Employment Development Department (CA EDD).
  • The US Small Business Administration will provide Disaster Assistance Loans for those impacted by COVID-19. Click Here for More Information
  • President Trump has signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) providing support to American workers, families, and businesses, including the expansion of paid sick leave and family medical leave. It will enter into effect on April 2, 2020. Click Here for More Information
  • Bank of America is allowing its borrowers to pause mortgage payments and is offering other support to small businesses. Click Here for More Information
  • The IRS has delayed the tax payment deadline by 90 days. Click Here for More Information
  • Opportunity Fund is an organization that provides loans to underserved small business owners. They have developed a program to help those struggling from COVID-19 impacts. Click Here for More Information
Updated 3/18/21:
The California Relief Fund will be open for a new round of business grant applications on Thursday, March 25th through Wednesday, March 31st. Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000.
New applicants will need to apply on this website.
If you have already applied in earlier rounds you do NOT need to reapply as they will be automatically moved into Round 5.

Updated 3/15/21:

The state has begun to accept applications to distribute the first $2.6 billion of direct rental assistance. This was allocated to California from the December 2020 federal stimulus package. Tenants and housing providers will be eligible for up to a year of unpaid back rent (April 2020 through March 2021) and allow up to three months of future rent payments (April 2021 through June 2021), depending on the availability of funds. Both tenants and housing providers are eligible to apply if certain criteria are met. Check out our recent blog post to learn more and apply.

Updated 2/1/21:
Round 2 of the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opens Feb. 2 through Feb. 8, 2021
Round 1 closed Jan. 13 – approvals will be sent Jan. 15-22
Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for the second round of California Relief Grants, starting at 8:00 AM, February 2. Applications close at 6:00 PM, February 8.
The grants are in amounts from $5,000 to $25,000 and are meant to help small businesses and non-profits that have been affected by the pandemic. It is not a first-come, first-served program.
If you applied during the first round, received a confirmation email, and were notified of the outcome, you do NOT need to re-apply. Your application will be included for consideration in the second round.
Priority will be given to applications from regions and industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income communities, and underserved small business groups, and how much impact the business experienced.
Because the application period for Round 2 is so short, small business owners are encouraged to reach out as soon as possible to the partners that will provide free assistance in the application process, such as Small Business Development Center (https://www.norcalsbdc.org/). For more providers, see the California Relief Grant partners page. (https://careliefgrant.com/partner/santa-clara/)

Updated 12/1/20:

  • Tax Relief for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19: In April 2020, the Governor, through Executive Order, allowed taxpayers to apply for penalty and interest relief for 90 days for any taxpayer reporting less than $1 million in sales on their tax return. Through November 22nd, some 9,287 plans with almost $149 million in tax relief have taken advantage of this program. The Governor will direct the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to do the following:
    • Provide an automatic three-month extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax on the return and extend the availability existing interest and penalty free payment agreements to companies (with up to $5 million in taxable sales)
    • Broaden opportunities for more businesses to enter into interest-free payment arrangements.
    • Expand interest-free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions.
  • $500 Million for New COVID Relief Grant for Small Business: The Governor announced the creation of a $500 million COVID Relief Grant administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID and the health and safety restrictions. Funds would be awarded to selected intermediaries with established networks of Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute relief through grants of up to $25,000 to underserved micro and small businesses throughout the state by early 2021. Non-profits would also be eligible for these grants. CalOSBA is establishing the program and will make it available to small businesses as soon as possible.
  • Increase Funding for the California Rebuilding Fund by $12.5 million. Last week, the Governor announced the opening of the California Rebuilding Fund which makes available $25 million to help impacted small businesses rebuild from the economic crisis and keep local economies strong. This program is built to be a resource in the market for the next year as businesses pivot and recover. An increase of $12.5 million would allow the Fund to be fully capitalized. The additional funding will help the 3rd party administrator of the fund raise $125 million to make more low-interest loans to small businesses with less access to loans from traditional banking institutions.
  • For more information click here.

Updated 4/28:

Updated 5/12:

The Silicon Valley Strong Small Business Grant Program will accept applications now until Sunday, May 17th, 11:59pm. The grant program will provide working capital grants of $10,000 to eligible small businesses in San Jose that have suffered financial loss due to the COVID-19 crisis. Examples of what the grant can be used for include payroll, rent, and other overheads. The fund is anticipated to make 142 grants in total.

Opportunity Fund, a Non-Profit Financial Institution, will be responsible for managing the fund. To be eligible to apply, businesses must meet all of the following criteria:

  • A business must be located in the city of San Jose.
  • The business owner must be a resident in Santa Clara County.
  • Business owner must have a low or moderate-income below 80% of the Area Median Income. Please review this prior to applying.
  • The business must have five employees (full-time equivalent) or fewer.
  • The business must have existed prior to January 31, 2020.
  • The business must have experienced approximately 25% loss of income due to COVID-19.

Priority is given to:

  • Essential businesses as defined by Santa Clara County public health order.
  • Businesses complying with the City’s two-week paid sick leave requirements and have experienced cash-flow problems as a result.

Please note: Businesses that are franchises, chains, or that limit their services to those over the age of 18 are not eligible.

Due to the short deadline to apply, this is an online application process only. Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions on the Opportunity Fund website, before you apply.

Other Regional Resources Available:

  • County Business Liaison COVID-19 Resources

cboliaison@eoc.sccgov.org
CBO/Business Liaison
County of Santa Clara Emergency Operations Center
Website: http://sccphd.org/coronavirus
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sccpublichealth/
Instagram: @scc_publichealth
Twitter: @HealthySCC

Updated 3/20: 

Additional Resources (free for SCCAOR Members)

C.A.R. COVID Relief Hotline

Phone: (213) 351 8450

C.A.R.’s COVID Relief Hotline is a one-stop resource offering assistance with applying for financial relief efforts available to REALTORS®, such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Hours
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:45  p.m.

NAR COVID-19 Response Hotline

Phone: (800) 874-6500

Members members can call this hotline if they have questions about the association’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to get the latest information on what programs and services are being developed to help them in their business during this time.

C.A.R. Legal Hotline

All Agents
(213) 739-8282

Broker-Owners, Office Managers, Designated REALTORS®
(213) 739-8350

Get free legal advice over the phone on a vast array of real estate related topics. You can speak directly with one of C.A.R.’s attorneys about things like contract interpretation, arbitration, litigation, tax issues, commission disputes, disclosure requirements, and so on.

Hours
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

C.A.R. Mortgage Rescue ™ Helpline

Phone: (213) 739-8383
Email: financehelpline@car.org

Providing both answers and assistance with moving your stalled real estate transactions forward. It provides you with invaluable one-on-one assistance with finding a Lender, loan qualifications, Down Payment Assistance, closing transactions, underwriting, short sales, funding, payoffs, REOs, Deeds in Lieu, and more.

Hours
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

SCCAOR Tech Helpline

Phone: (888) 784-5410
Email: support@techhelpline.com
Also available via online chat

Unlimited free tech support. They can help with new devices, slow devices, viruses, and any other tech-related issue. You can call as many times as you like and the Tech Helpline’s friendly staff will stay on the line with you until your issue is resolved.

Hours
Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.