AB 3088 – Important takeaways – COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act
AB 3088 has been announced by Governor Newsom after a few weeks of negotiations among lawmakers, tenant advocate and landlord organizations. The bill, known as the Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020, is aimed to help ease the looming eviction crisis set to come on and after 9/1/20 which is when the statewide eviction ban officially expires.
Here are some important takeaways from AB 3088:
Rents due between 3/1/20 through 8/31/20
- Residential tenants cannot be evicted if they provide their landlord with a declaration stating that they have experienced “COVID-19 related financial distress” within the 15 day notice period.
- Only “high income” tenants (those who earn 130% or more of the county’s average annual income, or more than $100,000 annually) would be required to show proof of financial hardship.
Rents due between 9/1/20 through 1/1/21
- Landlords cannot evict their tenant if tenant provides a filled out declaration letter within the 15 day notice period AND pay 25% of their rent by January 31, 2021.
- Landlords can file for evictions as of 10/05/20 if tenants fail to declare their COVID-19 related financial hardships and have not paid at least 25% of their rent.
- The notice periods stemming from failure to pay rent have been extended from 3 to 15 days (excludes weekends and judicial holidays). This is intended to provide affected tenants more time to either pay their rent due or provide their landlord with the required “Declaration of Hardship” to qualify for new eviction protections.
- Eviction for just causes (as defined in AB 1482) can be filed as of 9/2/20.
- Any and all unpaid rent is not forgiven. The owed amount is to be converted to consumer debt. Landlords will be allowed to collect through small claims court as of 3/1/21. A tenant cannot be evicted for any owed rent between 3/1/20 through 8/31/20.
- Landlords are required to provide their tenants blank copies of the hardship declaration form along with printed information regarding their rights and protections under AB 3088 when serving the 15 day notice. If their lease was negotiated in a different language other than English, a version in that language must be provided.
- All eviction judgments in failure to pay rent cases within the dates of 4/4/20 through 1/31/21 are subject to “masking” and not required to be made public regardless of the unlawful detainer outcome.
- Landlords who do not follow the new guidelines can be fined anywhere from $1,000 up to $2,500.
AB 3088 Status Update – 9/1/20
Right before the mid night deadline on 8/31/20, governor Newsome signed the statewide COVID-19 Tenant and Landlord Protection Legislation, or AB 3088 for short.
Additional Important Information
All local ordinances already in place can remain in place until they expire. Any future local legislation and ordinances cannot undermine the new statewide AB 3088.
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