Q: CA Governors powers under the Covid 19 emergency
The State of CA under the Covid 19 emergency has told tenants, broadly, that they do not have to pay rent to their landlords for up to 90 days. This, in spite of the fact that a legal contract exists between tenant and landlord. Can this be considered a "seizure" without due process under the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution? How does the State get to tear up a valid contract between two consenting parties?
A: It is not a seizure because the government isn't taking anything. A pandemic singularly triggers emergency government powers to become effective that would otherwise lay dormant. Further the state is not tearing up a contract. The tenant is breaching the contract by not paying rent, and you are entitled to receive that rent. In order to avoid panic, civil chaos and overburdening the court system, the emergency orders have been invoked to maintain the status quo for up to 90 days. It is quite possible that hold will be extended. If you have tenants I suggest that you maintain a good relationship with them so that at some point you can recoup what is owed to you.
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