New Laws Apply to Eviction Cases

A new state law on evictions allows landlords to start filing residential eviction cases for failure to pay rent or other financial obligations on October 5, 2020. This law provides protections for renters who are given an eviction notice because they are unable to pay their rent or other charges between March 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021, due to COVID-19-related financial distress.

There are also federal protections in place and many cities and counties have local ordinances that were developed to extend special protections to renters during the COVID-19 emergency.

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, it is important to get help to understand your rights and responsibilities under these new laws and ordinances.

Are you a tenant looking for more information? Jump to Help and Resources for Tenants

Are you a landlord looking for more information? Jump to Help and Resources for Landlords

California's Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (AB 3088)

On August 31, 2020, California adopted legislation (AB 3088) to protect tenants and small landlords from the financial distress caused by COVID-19 pandemic effects. It includes the COVID-19 Tenants Relief Act of 2020, which includes the tenant protections described in the linked material. Under AB 3088, landlords may begin filing certain eviction actions for failure to pay rent or other charges as of October 5, 2020, but cannot evict tenants who have filed a specific declaration of financial distress within the required time—15-days after being served with a notice to quit by the landlord.

Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Eviction Moratorium

On September 2, 2020 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a public health order to stop landlords from taking actions to evict tenants who provide a declaration that they are unable to pay rent and meet certain other requirements.

Under the CDC order, the tenant still owes the rent and is subject to eviction for failure to pay the amount due in its entirety by December 31, 2020.

This law may protect tenants who are not covered, for whatever reason, by the state law. It is not yet clear whether this law applies in California, or how it applies to individual cases. A court may determine eventually that it does apply, at least for those tenants not protected by state law, so a tenant unable to pay rent may want to provide the landlord with a declaration under the CDC order if they can do so.   

Help and Resources for Tenants

Help and Resources for Landlords

Note: A notice to quit must have the same language and information as required before the passage of AB 3088. Read more about Eviction Notices. In addition to the information normally required on a notice to quit, a notice to quit or pay rent for COVID-19 rental debt must contain specific language regarding the tenant’s rights and responsibilities under AB 3088. The landlord must also provide with the notice an unsigned declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress.

See Landlord Forms for links to specific language for required notices to tenants.

Help for Small Landlords
California's Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 also offers some help to landlords in the form of mortgage forbearance.