A new state law on evictions allows landlords to start filing residential eviction cases for failure to pay rent or other financial obligations on October 5, 2020. This law provides protections for renters who are given an eviction notice because they are unable to pay their rent or other charges between March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, due to COVID-19-related financial distress.
There are also federal protections in place and many cities and counties have local ordinances that were developed to extend special protections to renters during the COVID-19 emergency.
Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, it is important to get help to understand your rights and responsibilities under these new laws and ordinances.
Are you a tenant looking for more information? Jump to Help and Resources for Tenants
Are you a landlord looking for more information? Jump to Help and Resources for Landlords
- 1 California’s Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (AB 3088)
- 2 COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act (SB 91, 2020 Budget Act)
- 3 Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Eviction Moratorium
- 4 New and Revised Forms
- 5 Help and Resources for Tenants
- 6 Help and Resources for Landlords
- 7 How Lynx Legal Service Can Help
California’s Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (AB 3088)
On August 31, 2020, California adopted legislation (AB 3088) to protect tenants and small landlords from the financial distress caused by COVID-19 pandemic effects. It includes the COVID-19 Tenants Relief Act of 2020, which provides the tenant protections described in the linked material. Under AB 3088, landlords may begin filing certain eviction actions for failure to pay rent or other charges as of October 5, 2020, but cannot evict tenants for failure to pay rent who have delivered to their landlord a declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress within 15-days after being served with a notice to quit by the landlord.
COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act (SB 91, 2020 Budget Act)
On January 29, 2021, the Governor signed a bill that extends the protections in AB 3088 through June 30, 2021 and includes some additional protections. Landlords may not evict tenants for failure to pay rent if those tenants have delivered to their landlord a declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress within 15 days of being served with a notice to quit based on nonpayment of rent. By June 30, 2021, tenants are required to pay 25% of the total amount of rent due between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Senate Bill 91 also establishes a new emergency rental assistance program to help renters who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Eviction Moratorium
On September 2, 2020 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a public health order to temporarily stop landlords from taking actions to evict tenants who provide a declaration that they are unable to pay rent and meet certain other requirements.
Under the CDC order, as extended recently by another CDC order, a tenant who provides this declaration may not be evicted for failure to pay rent through March 31, 2021.
This law may protect tenants who are not covered, for whatever reason, by the state law. It is not yet clear how this law applies to individual cases in California. A court may determine that it does apply, at least for those tenants not protected by state law, so a tenant unable to pay rent may want to provide the landlord with a declaration under the CDC order if they can do so.
- Sample declaration under the CDC Eviction Moratorium
- FAQ about the CDC Eviction Moratorium
- Full text of the CDC Eviction Moratorium
New and Revised Forms
- The following forms are new as of October 5, 2020:
- The following forms will be revised soon to reflect recent legislative changes and the extension of the CDC Eviction Moratorium:
You can use the current forms until the new versions go into effect, and should complete the items knowing that the state law legal protections now extend until June 30, 2021 (rather than ending on January 31, 2021) and the federal protections until at least March 31, 2021 (rather than ending on December 31, 2020).
Help and Resources for Tenants
- Checklist for Tenants Spanish Checklist for Tenants
- Housing is Key: Resources for Tenants (this site includes notice and declaration forms required under the new law)
- LawHelp California Statewide Disaster Resources: COVID-19
Help and Resources for Landlords
- Checklist for Landlords Spanish Checklist for Landlords
- Housing is Key: Resources for Landlords
- LawHelp California Statewide Disaster Resources: COVID-19
Note: A notice to quit must have the same language and information as required before the passage of AB 3088 and SB 91. Read more about Eviction Notices. In addition to the information normally required on a notice to quit, a notice to quit or pay rent for COVID-19 rental debt must contain specific language regarding the tenant’s rights and responsibilities under the new laws. The text required is in the statute (and on the forms linked below). If served on or after February 1, 2021, the notice must contain information about the new time frame in the law and the emergency rental assistance program in SB 91. The landlord must also provide with the notice an unsigned declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress.
See Landlord Forms for links to specific language for required notices to tenants.
Help for Small Landlords
California’s Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 also offers some help to landlords in the form of mortgage forbearance.
- For more information on mortgage forbearance: State of California Landlord Protection Guidelines
- For a fact sheet with additional information on resources for small landlords: New Protections and Guidelines for Homeowners and Small Landlords
See also: Why You Should Hire A Landlord Attorney
How Lynx Legal Service Can Help
Lynx Legal Service does evictions for a low serious expense that saves landlords the confounded and tedious cycle of reviewing sees, serving them, documenting the Unlawful Detainer in court and having the tenants presented with the Summons. On the off chance that your tenant challenges the eviction, our attorneys will go to court with you and speak to you before the appointed authority.
For inquiries concerning landlord-tenant law or for help with an eviction, regardless of whether in a private or business property, reach us today.