The City Council on Tuesday aligned with Assembly Bill No. 3088, the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020, which took effect on Aug. 31.
This act imposes a statewide eviction moratorium regarding residential tenants who are unable to pay their rents on account of the coronavirus pandemic. It also supersedes any existing measures by city governments imposing their own eviction protections, and also outlines a rent repayment plan for those tenants. The council is expected to consider adoption of these repayment guidelines soon.
The city recently published guidelines on the new bill for its tenants.
For those unable to pay all or some of your rent between March 1 and Aug. 31:
• If your landlord gives you a notice to “pay or quit,” they must provide a notification that explains your rights and obligations. (A notice to pay or quit is a notice from your landlord that gives you a certain amount of time to pay the outstanding rent you owe or vacate your home.)
You cannot be evicted if you return a declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress, signed under penalty of perjury, and returned within 15 business days of receiving a notice to pay or quit.
The declaration form can be found at landlordtenant.dre.ca.gov/tenant/forms.html.
If your household income is more than 130% of the median household income in your county and more than $100,000, your landlord may demand proof of your COVID-19-related hardship be provided to support your declaration. There are several things you can use to satisfy this requirement, such as a tax return, pay stubs and a statement from your employer, among other things.
If you are unable to provide the declaration to your landlord within 15 business days, you may still submit the declaration to the court for similar protections if you have a good reason for not providing it. Good reasons include mistakes, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect as interpreted in the California Code of Civil Procedure.
If the council adopts the repayment schedule, this will begin on March 1 and requires back-rent to be paid in 12 equal monthly installments.
If you are unable to pay all or some of your rent between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31, all of the same rights and obligations above apply. Additionally, at least 25% of the unpaid rent from that period must be paid by Jan. 31. This can be done by paying at least 25% each month, or by paying a lump sum equaling 25% of your rent during the time period.
Beginning March 1, landlords can take tenants to small claims court to recover unpaid rent debt regardless of how much the tenant owes. In any case, beginning on Feb. 1, you will have to pay the full amount of your rent to be protected from eviction. Until that time, a landlord can only evict a tenant if they provide a legally valid reason.
It is currently illegal for a landlord to give a tenant a 30- or 60-day eviction notice without a stated reason. This is commonly known as a no-cause eviction. The stated reason must match one of the valid reasons allowed by the law, a just cause eviction. Landlords who do such things as lock tenants out, remove personal property or shut off utility services to evict a tenant, rather than going through the required court process, could face fines of between $1,000 and $2,500. These penalties are in effect until Feb. 1.
For additional information, visit glendaleca.gov/home.