California Takes Interim Action to Protect Tenants, Long-Term Solution Still Needed
On Aug. 31, the Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 was passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The bill (AB 3088) provides several critical, short-term eviction protections to tenants who cannot afford to pay rent due to Covid-related economic hardship. However, a long-term solution that includes both legal protections and financial relief is still needed to address the eviction and foreclosure crises that this interim solution helps to mitigate and delay.
The state also launched a new website and campaign, Housing is Key, to connect renters and landlords with information and resources on their new rights and obligations under the law. The Housing is Key website provides an overview of the new protections and processes, sample forms for tenants and landlords and an interactive app for tenants and landlords to better understand their rights and options under the new law.
The Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis has only underscored how important it is for all Californians to have a safe, stable place to live, and now to shelter in place. Evictions and the displacement and homelessness that often follows are a significant threat to the health and well-being of California families as well as our collective public health.
For tenants with Covid-related economic hardship, the new law requires that missed rent payments between March 1, 2020-Aug. 31, 2020 must be converted to civil debt, and tenants are protected from eviction for missed rent during this period. The bill protects tenants from eviction if they pay 25 percent of their rent between Sept. 31, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021. The bill also extends the mandatory eviction notice period for eviction to 15 days.
Enterprise remains committed to finding solutions with the California Legislature and Gov. Newsom to create a more permanent solution at the start of the next legislative session that ensures the sustainability of existing rent-restricted affordable housing and centers accessibility for all of California’s most vulnerable renters.