Estero, FL, United States, 11/23/2021 / EZ Landlord Forms /
California’s statewide eviction moratorium was lifted. The moratorium prohibited evictions due to COVID-19 related financial distress and required that all evictions were for “just cause.” Now that the moratorium has been lifted, California landlords can evict for any legal reason, including failure to pay rent. Additionally, landlords can initiate no-cause evictions.
However, the eviction process in California is still far from “normal.” It continues to be more complex, lengthy, and expensive for landlords to file evictions than it was before the pandemic. To help landlords determine how to proceed with evictions, here’s an overview of new requirements and regulations that currently impact eviction proceedings in the state of California.
Changes in Eviction Procedures
Perhaps the biggest shift in the eviction process is the requirement that any landlord that wants to initiate eviction proceedings for unpaid rent during the period of October 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022, must first apply for rental assistance. In these cases, California courts will not issue a summons or enter a judgment until landlords have shown that they’ve attempted to get rental assistance and (1) the application was denied or (2) the tenant failed to complete their section.
While this requirement is an additional step in the process, the California rent relief program can pay eligible landlords and tenants 100% of past due rent and utilities going back as far as April 1, 2020. So, applying for this relief can be more than just a procedural step and might serve as an effective way for landlords to get much needed past-due rent. Landlords can visit housing.ca.gov to learn more or start the application process.
Beyond applying for rent assistance, Landlords seeking to recover unpaid rent from the period of September 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021, have additional regulations to consider. Current California laws prevent tenants from being evicted if they’ve paid at least 25% of unpaid rent from this period.
This means, for example, that if a tenant does not pay October 2021 rent in full, a landlord may file a 3-Day Notice to Quit and begin eviction proceedings. However, as long as all rent has been paid since October 1, 2021, and at least 25% of the rent for the previous year is paid, a landlord cannot evict the tenant.
Despite these regulations that make it difficult for landlords to evict tenants for unpaid rent, it’s important for both landlords and tenants to understand that tenants are still responsible for paying any missed rent payments. And, as of November 1, 2021, landlords may sue tenants in small claims court for unpaid rent. Keep in mind, though, that if a tenant is eligible for rent relief and an application is approved or pending, that serves as a defense in small claims court.
Local Eviction Moratoriums
Besides complying with these new requirements, California landlords also need to be aware of any city or county eviction moratoriums that prevent them from evicting tenants for unpaid rent due to the pandemic. Here is an overview of remaining eviction moratoriums in the state:
- The City of Los Angeles has enacted an eviction moratorium for failure to pay rent due to COVID-19 until the mayor ends the location emergency period, which is still in place, and for 12 months after.
- Los Angeles County COVID-19 Tenant Protections prohibit evictions for unpaid rent due to COVID-10 through January 31, 2022.
- The City of Oakland’s moratorium on evictions and rent increases will remain in place until the Oakland City Council terminates the Local Emergency.
- The City of Berkeley eviction moratorium will remain in effect as long as the local state of emergency remains in effect.
- In Alameda County, the local eviction moratorium will remain in effect for 60 days after the local public health emergency is declared to be over.
- In Solano County, the county’s eviction moratorium will be in effect until 90 days after the local state of emergency has been lifted.
- The City of Fresno’s eviction moratorium will remain in effect as long as the city’s emergency declaration is in place.
According to a recent Public Policy Institute of California analysis, at least one million Californians are currently behind on rent. And yet, between local eviction bans and COVID-19-specific state-wide regulations, the reality is that the lifting of the eviction ban last month had little impact on many struggling landlords in the state.
It continues to be a difficult time for landlords, but with increasing options and relief available, the situation is gradually improving. While it might be a while until things return to pre-pandemic normal, landlords that are able to navigate the new procedures and processes will be better positioned to get the support that they need now. This means staying up to date on current laws, following all required procedures, and taking advantage of any relief available.
Company Name: EZ Landlord Forms
City: Estero, Florida
Phone number: 1-877-367-6771
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