The State of California Dept. of Real Estate has a new Updated FAQ page, and has released four forms related to Covid-19 rent recovery. You can find the forms on their website, or here on our forms page. Remember, if you issue a 3-day Notice to Pay or Quit you must also issue a statement of the tenants rights and Covid-19 Financial Distress Declaration under the Tenant Protection Relief Act of 2020. Depending on the dates of non-payment of rent you will need to issue a 15-day notice stating how much is owed for each month. The months from March-August have different rules than the months from September-January. Finally, for those who have non-paying tenants that can be considered “High Income” earners (more than 100k a year per person) there is a more extensive declaration of financial distress.
August 31, 2020 the Governor signed the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, questions about landlord and tenant rights have come up constantly. The Courts stopped hearing unlawful detainer actions thereby putting a stop to all evictions and local eviction moratoriums have varied widely. With the passage of the COVID-19 Relief Act, we now have one statewide set of rules that should bring some uniformity to evictions moving forward.
The Tenant Relief Act applies only to residential property, the key points are as follows:
1. No Unlawful Detainer actions based on nonpayment of rent can proceed in the courts before October 5, 2020. Evictions for other reasons can proceed immediately.
2. All 3-day Notices to Pay Rent or Quit given since March 1 are void and the process must be started again. The new notice must be accompanied with a new 15-day Notice granting the tenant the ability to declare financial distress due to COVID-19.
3. In order to proceed with an eviction, the landlord must have provided the tenant with a notice of their rights under the Act and a copy of a Declaration of COVID-19 Related Financial Distress for use if necessary.
4. Any Notice to Pay Rent or Quit must give the tenant 15 business days’ notice rather than the old 3-day period. The Notice must set forth the amount of rent demanded and the date each amount became due and must also advise the tenant that they cannot be evicted if they file the Declaration and, if applicable, pay 25% of the rent due.
5. For non-payment of rent from March 1, 2020 through August 31, 2020, a tenant cannot be evicted if he/she delivers a Declaration of COVID-19 Related Financial Distress (a “Declaration”) to the landlord.
6. For non-payment of rent from September 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021, a tenant cannot be evicted if he/she delivers a Declaration to the landlord and, by the end of that period, pays “at least 25 percent of each rental payment that came due or will come due during [that] period.” Again, the 25% must be paid by January 31, 2021.
7. For a “high income tenant,” in addition to the Declaration and applicable payments set forth above, the tenant must provide documentation supporting the claim that they have suffered COVID-10 financial distress. A “high income tenant” is defined as someone with an annual household income of 130 percent of the median income in their county of residence.
8. Even though evictions are limited, landlords can collect back rent through an action in small claims court. The jurisdiction of the small claims court has been expanded for the limited purpose of collecting back COVID related rent.
June 30, 2020, Governor Newsom extended the timeframe for the protections set forth in Executive Order N-28-20, that authorized local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through September 30, 2020.
June 1, 2020
California Governor Gavin Newsom extended the executive order issued in March that allowed local governments to enact COVID-19 eviction moratoriums. The statewide order was pushed back through July 28, and applies to any local orders that were set to expire as well.
The state Judicial Council’s rule on evictions also remains in effect, which bars most new evictions and stalls previously filed evictions still winding their way through the courts.
CAL/OSHA Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols for Shown Properties
• Thoroughly clean shown properties and disinfect commonly used surfaces including counters, door and cabinet handles, key lock boxes, keypads, toilets, sinks, light switches, etc. These surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected before and after each showing.
• During a showing, introduce fresh outside air, for example by opening doors/windows, weather permitting, and operating ventilation systems.
• Instruct employees to wipe down and disinfect equipment that passes between employees and customers, including clipboards and keys, after each use.
• Provide time for workers to implement cleaning practices at shown properties during their shift. Cleaning assignments should be assigned during working hours as part of the employee’s job duties.
• Real estate licensees should ensure shown properties are equipped with proper sanitation products, including hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, for use by employees and clients as needed.
• Provide and strongly recommend clients, real estate licensees, and inspectors to use face coverings and hand sanitizer. Place these items at the property entrance so that people can put them on before entering. Ensure disposable covers are properly discarded after use, for example in a trash bag that is sealed prior to disposal.
• All people entering a property, including agents, brokers, inspectors, and clients, must wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer immediately upon entry and before touring or inspecting the property.
• Adjust or modify showings to provide adequate time for proper cleaning and disinfecting. If the property is currently occupied, ensure adequate time to disinfect after occupants leave for showings and before and after clients view the property.
California State Eviction Moratorium
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order on March 16, 2020 which allows local jurisdictions to enact eviction protection, as a result of a tenant’s medical expenses, loss of wages, layoffs or reduction of hours relating to COVID-19. Please see below for info and links to specific cities ordinances.
California Governor Newsom issued a second executive order on March 27, 2020, which took a more direct approach by mandating statewide protections for residents financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The executive order expressly states that it does not relieve a resident of liability for unpaid rent. The executive order provides temporary relief from eviction to residents who are struggling to pay some or all of the rent due because of a COVID-19 related hardship.
The resident must, prior to March 27, 2020, have “paid the rent due to the landlord pursuant to an agreement.” In other words, be in good standing with regard to their tenancy.
The resident must notify the landlord in writing within seven days (before or after) of the rent due date that they need to defer some or all of the rent because they face a COVID-19 related financial hardship. COVID-19 related hardships include, but are not limited to, the following: (a) being unavailable to work because the resident was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or caring for a household or family member who was sick with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19; (b) experiencing a lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from COVID-19, the state of emergency, or related government response; or (c) missing work to care for a child whose school was closed in response to COVID-19. This list is non-exclusive, which means that residents could qualify for the protections even if their financial hardship isn’t specifically listed but is related to COVID-19.
Residents must retain “verifiable documentation” to support their claim that they are unable to pay due to a COVID-19 related hardship. Examples of “verifiable documentation” include termination notices, payroll checks, pay stubs, bank statements, medical bills, or signed letters or statements from an employer or supervisor explaining the tenant’s changed financial circumstances.
The Governor’s executive order does not prohibit a landlord and resident from agreeing to a payment plan. Note that some local eviction moratoriums require a landlord to allow rent to be repaid over a specified period of time.
This executive order is in effect through at least May 31, 2020, but could be extended by the Governor.
City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti issued an Emergency Public Order on March 15, 2020 barring residential evictions from tenants, “who are able to show an inability to pay rent related to the COVID-19 pandemic due to circumstances including lost work, taking care of children who attend the shuttered Los Angeles Unified School District, and health care costs incurred due to the coronavirus.”
Additionally, on March 23rd the Mayor issued a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent for tenants who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
City of Los Angeles COVID-19 eviction moratorium fact sheet
Similar statutes have been enacted in Santa Monica, West Hollywood and other jurisdictions.
City of Pasadena
The City of Pasadena has passed a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent due to loss of income related to Covid-19 pandemic. Click below to link to the
Covid-19 Eviction Moratorium
City of Glendale
On March 24, 2020, the Glendale City Council issued an Emergency Order which implemented a number of measures designed to protect the Glendale public and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Among them are temporary moratoriums on evictions on residential and commercial tenancies for non-payment of rent for tenants who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and a temporary moratorium on rent increases for residential tenancies.
City of Glendale Eviction Moratorium and Rent Freeze fact sheet
City of Monrovia
On Tuesday, March 31, the City Council approved an Urgency Ordinance, which adopted emergency regulations that prohibit residential evictions for non-payment of rent and “no-fault” evictions. The ordinance took effect immediately and will remain in place through the duration of the COVID-19 emergency declaration.