Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020
On August 31, 2020, Assembly Bill (AB) 3088 or the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020, was signed into law. AB 3088 extends eviction protections to residential tenants who face financial hardship because of COVID-19 until January 31, 2021.
Specifically, AB 3088 ensures:
- Any tenant who have been unable to pay rent between March and August 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic will be shielded from eviction;
- Tenants who miss payments between September 2020 and January 2021 will also be protected from eviction; and missed rent payments cannot be used as justification for future eviction. However, 25 percent of rent is due by January 31, 2021.
These protections apply to all residential tenants, including mobile home tenants, regardless of immigration status.
Tenants must provide a signed declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress to their landlord within 15 days of receiving a notice to pay or quit (vacate). Financial distress means that tenants must have reduced income or increased expenses due to COVID-19 that make them unable to meet their monthly rent or other obligations under your lease (e.g. loss of income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, increased expenses directly related to performing essential work or due to health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, childcare or responsibilities to care for other family members directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic that may limit the ability to earn income etc.)
Note that back rent will still be due to the landlord. Under AB 3088, tenants will have to pay the full amount of rent to be protected from eviction. Moreover, beginning March 1, 2021, landlords can take tenants to small claims court to recover unpaid rent debt regardless of how much the tenant owes.
AB 3088 does not preempt existing eviction moratoriums by local governments, which remain in place until they expire.
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