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County-wide eviction moratorium approaching its end

The less stringent statewide moratorium remains in place through September 30, protecting tenants who can't pay their rent due to hardships suffered because of COVID

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — While the statewide eviction moratorium remains in place through the end of September, the additional renter protections approved by San Diego County last spring are quickly coming to an end. 

So far, San Diego's Board of Supervisors has not made any moves to possibly extend the county-wide ban. 

San Diego County made headlines in May when it passed the strictest eviction ban in the entire state: but it's days might now be numbered.

"All the tools that property owners typically have at their disposal to address issues at their property have essentially been taken away from them," said Molly Kirkland of the Southern California Rental Housing Association, a group representing property owners.

Under San Diego's county-wide eviction moratorium, landlords can not remove a tenant by moving back into their own property, or by making major repairs to their property, nor can they currently evict a tenant for 'just cause,' such as lease violations, unlike in other parts of the state.

"It does close a lot of loopholes and makes it more likely that families will be able to stay in their homes," said Jose Lopez, deputy director of the Association of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, a non-profit which advocates for low-income tenants.

Those permissible "loopholes," though, designed to keep renters in their homes to curb the spread of COVID-19, are about to come to an end.

While the Board of Supervisors originally voted to keep the ban in place for 60 days after the state re-opened, which would be August 14, court filings by the county indicate the moratorium will end Tuesday, August 10  

"Once these protections expire, we're going to be left with only the statewide protections which is definitely not enough," Lopez told News 8. 

Lopez said that even with the county's added protections, renters are still vulnerable.

"We still see a lot of landlords trying to bypass those laws and continuing to harass and intimidate tenants," he added.

Landlords counter that the county's ban  is unfair and unconstitutional, and even challenged the moratorium in federal court, which a judge denied. The Southern California Rental Housing Association, which filed the original legal action, has since filed an appeal.

"It was certainly a blow, though not entirely unexpected," Kirkland told News 8. 

Kirkland added that 'mom-and-pop' property owners are suffering the most under this ban.

"Quite often it is their retirement or their sole source of income," she said. "There is no moratorium on paying your property insurance, your other bills or your mortgage for that matter."

Even with the county eviction ban expiring, the less stringent statewide moratorium remains in place through September 30, protecting tenants who can't pay their rent due to hardships suffered because of COVID-19.

In the meantime, rental assistance still remains available: for more information click here

WATCH RELATED: CDC issues new eviction ban for most of US through Oct. 3 (August 2021)