California legislators recently enacted AB 3088, also known as the the Covid Evictions Protections ACT. The Statute was only recently enacted and I am still learning it myself, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to go over the basics, on a very high level.
In the context of evictions, AB 3088 only protects tenants who are being evicted for non-payment of rent. Past due rent between the months of March 2020 and August 2020 cannot be used as the basis of an eviction, although the landlord can proceed against the tenant in small claims court for rent due for these months.
Under AB 3088, the landlord must now give the Tenant a 15 day notice which itemizes past due rent, and allow 15 days to the tenant to either pay the past due rent or Return a Declaration of Covid-19 related financial distress.
How the past due rent is treated depends on when it was incurred. With respect to rent due for the time period, March 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020, if the tenant returns the declaration to landlord on time, on time the tenant cannot be evicted for not paying this rent. For rent due from September 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021, the tenant needs to pay 25% of the rent owed by January 31, 2021. The remaining past due rent will be converted into consumer debt and although the landlord may proceed against the tenant in small claims court for recovery of said rent, the landlord cannot evict the tenant based on the nonpayment of this rent. Every time a landlord serves a tenant a new 15-day notice, the tenant must submit a new Declaration of Covid-19 Relate Financial Distress.
Above is just an overview of the new tenant protections in place which arise under AB 3088. There are additional protections for small landlords included in this bill which I will probably discuss in another Blog post.
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