Legal Aid of Sonoma County provides free, comprehensive representation for low-income tenants in housing matters, including eviction defense, Housing Choice Voucher issues, mobilehome park issues, and habitability issues.
Recursos Para Los Inquilanos en Espanol >>
Resources to Help Understand COVID-19 Protections for Tenants
Legal Aid of Sonoma County has created resources to help explain COVID-19 protections for tenants. These resources are designed to help Sonoma County tenants and landlords understand California’s COVID-19 Tenant Relief and local protections in Sonoma County.
Evictions for Nonpayment of Rent: If you lost income or have increased expenses from COVID-19, your landlord cannot evict you, as long you as you take steps to protect yourself.
Evictions Unrelated to Nonpayment of Rent: If you live in Sonoma County, you cannot be evicted unless there is an imminent threat to health or safety OR your landlord is taking the property off the rental market.
- One-page flyer about COVID-19 protections for tenants Download >>
- FAQ for Tenants – COVID-19 Tenant Protections Download >>
- Sonoma County Emergency Rental Assistance Program Flyer Download >>
- Copy of a Declaration of COVID-19-Related Financial Distress Download >>
- Monthly Rent Template Letter that tenants can send to their landlord instructing them to apply any rent payments to the current month – this version is for September but tenants can update it for any month they are able to make a rent payment. Download >>
Los Recursos Incluyen:
- Folleto de una página sobre las nuevas protecciones COVID-19 para inquilinos
- Preguntas Frecuentes: COVID-19 protecciones de inquilinos Descargar >>
- Copia de una Declaración de Socorro Financiero COVID-19-Relacionado Descargar >>
- Folleto de una página sobre la programa de asistencia de alquiler de emergencia del condado de Sonoma Descargar >>
- Carta de plantilla de alquiler mensual que los inquilinos pueden enviar a su arrendador indicándoles que apliquen cualquier pago de alquiler al mes actual – esta versión es para septiembre, pero los inquilinos pueden actualizarla para cualquier mes que puedan hacer un pago de alquiler. Descargar >>
Get Proactive as a Tenant
Here are proactive ways to advocate for yourself and bolster your rights as a tenant:
- Attend City Council and Board of Supervisor meetings when housing policies that affect tenants are on the agenda. Let your elected officials know that you support tenant-friendly policies like rent stabilization and just cause for eviction!
- Familiarize yourself with major provisions of landlord-tenant law.
- Check your lease if you are unclear about something.
- Try to maintain a positive, friendly relationship with your landlord.
- Talk to your landlord when you have an issue.
- Seek legal help.
- Make reports to Code Enforcement if you feel your unit is not being adequately maintained by your landlord.
- Pay your rent even if you think your landlord is doing something wrong. You can recover paid rent in Small Claims Court.
- Document everything! Get receipts, take pictures, have witnesses, put important communications with your landlord in writing.
- Talk to your neighbors. Form a tenants’ association or join the Sonoma County Tenants Union to get support. Contact the Sonoma County Tenants Union at 707-387-1984 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit https://www.sonomatenants.org to learn more.
Additional Resources for Tenants