As of February 1st, the new law SB 91 temporarily extends California’s state-wide eviction protections, including protection eviction for nonpayment of rent and preservation of just-cause rights, to all covered tenants until July 1, 2021. Tenants must still pay at least 25% of their rent during this extended repayment period through June 30, 2021. A covered tenant is protected by SB 91 if they are unable to pay rent due to a COVID-related financial impact and continue to submit their signed declaration of the impact within 15 days to the landlord.
In addition to continuing existing law (AB 3088, the Tenant Relief Act), SB 91 also adds significant new protections relating to late fees, the rental application process, and landlord retaliation and harassment. Additionally, until July 1, 2027 SB 91 requires landlords who are suing tenants for COVID rental debt to attach documentation showing good faith efforts were made to research rental assistance options for the tenant. For more detailed information on how the new law differs from AB 3088, which protections it extends, and the time periods and procedures involved, we recommend that tenants and their advocates consult our SB 91 FAQ and Resource Page.
Without the extension provided by SB 91, landlords would have been permitted to take legal action as early as March 1, 2021 against tenants with accrued rental debt from the pandemic. Landlords must now wait until August 1, 2021 to take legal action in small claims court against tenants for COVID-related rental debt, but a Landlord can start an eviction lawsuit for nonpayment of rent as early as July 1, 2021, if a tenant has not paid 25% of the rent during this extended period by June 30, 2021. While some of the extensions may supersede local laws, tenants living in places with stronger eviction protections than SB 91 will continue to benefit from the stronger legal protections.
Additional information about the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act extension and the new state or local rental assistance programs, including more information about how to qualify for assistance, can be found by visiting http://housingiskey.com or by calling 1-833-422-4255.