In March, 2020, the governor issued an emergency proclamation to protect tenants from being evicted during the pandemic. Hotel guests were originally defined as tenants under the proclamation, but this legislative session, we fought to change the definition, so short-term hotel guests wouldn’t be considered tenants.
Under Senate Bill 5160, guests must have been staying for more than 30 days prior to March 1, 2020, for the guest to be considered a tenant eligible for protections. This means that guests who don’t meet these criteria can be asked to leave, but hoteliers may face a delay before they are able to do so.
SB 5160 contains an emergency clause, which means it becomes law immediately upon signature. However, some members have been informed by the Attorney General’s office they must wait until the current proclamation expires on June 30 before asking nonpaying guests to leave. We are working to clarify with the Office of the Attorney General, the Governor’s office and housing stakeholders. Until this issue is resolved we renew our suggestion to members to exercise extreme caution when arranging accommodations for guests for longer than 13 days.