Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed legislation to protect tenants from eviction and property owners from foreclosure due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. These protections apply to tenants who declare an inability to pay all or part of the rent due to a COVID-related reason.

Under the legislation, no tenant can be evicted before Feb. 1, 2021 as a result of rent owed due to a COVID-19 related hardship accrued between March 4 and Aug. 31, 2020, if the tenant provides a declaration of hardship according to the legislation’s timelines. For a COVID-19 related hardship that accrues between September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021, tenants must also pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction.

Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction. Landlords may begin to recover this debt on March 1, 2021, and small claims court jurisdiction is temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts. Landlords who do not follow the court evictions process will face increased penalties.

The legislation also extends anti-foreclosure protections in the Homeowner Bill of Rights to small landlords; provides new accountability and transparency provisions to protect small landlord borrowers who request CARES-compliant forbearance; and provides the borrower who is harmed by a material violation with a cause of action.
A fact sheet with details can be found HERE.