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AB 3088 - The Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 

Resources from The State of California 

Defined Payment Periods 

  • MARCH 1, 2020 to AUGUST 31, 2020  ("The Protected Period") 
  • Use SCRHA Forms 402 (COVID-19 Notice to Pay or Quit – Protected Period Rent), 401 (COVID-19 Notice of Rent Delinquency) and 299 (Declaration of COVID-19 Related Financial Distress) 
  • SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 to JANUARY 31, 2021 ("The Transition Period") 
  • Use SCRHA Forms 403 (COVID-19 Notice to Pay or Quit-Transition Period Rent), 401 (COVID-19 Notice of Rent Delinquency) and 299 (Declaration of COVID-19 Related Financial Distress) 
SCRHA members may access forms via the Member Login. Not a member? Join Today to access Rental Forms and more! 

No COVID-19-Related Evictions Until February 1, 2021  

  • Tenant cannot be evicted for a COVID-19 related hardship that accrued between March 4 – August 31, 2020 if tenant returns declaration of hardship under penalty of perjury.
     
     
  • Tenant cannot be evicted for a COVID-19 related hardship that accrues between September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021 if tenant returns declaration of hardship under penalty of perjury and pays at least 25% of the rent due.  
  • The tenant may pay you 25% EACH MONTH OR can pay a LUMP SUM equaling at least 25% of the total rent they owe for this period so long as they have paid you this amount by January 31, 2021.  
  • Higher income tenants (over $100K household income or over 130% of median household income, whichever is higher) must provide documentation to support their declaration upon a landlord’s request.  
  • Applies to all residential tenants (including mobile home tenants), regardless of immigration status. 

  • Evictions to protect health and safety will be allowed. 

  • Evictions that began prior to March 1, 2020 may proceed.  

  • In order to evict a renter on or after February 1, 2021, property owners must give a 15-day written notice (not including weekends and judicial holidays).   

Tenants Still Responsible for Paying Unpaid Amounts to Landlords  

  • So long as the tenant with COVID-19 related hardship follows the bill’s procedures, any unpaid rent due between March 4, 2020 – January 31, 2021 is not a ground/basis for eviction, but is still owed to the landlord as a form of consumer debt.  

  • Small claims court jurisdiction is temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts.  

  • Landlords may begin to recover this debt on March 1, 

Additional Legal and Financial Protections for Tenants  

  • Extends notice period for nonpayment of rent from 3 to 15 days to provide tenant additional time to respond to landlord’s notice to pay rent or quit.  

  • Requires landlords to provide hardship declaration forms in a different language if rental agreement was negotiated in a different language.  

  • Provides tenants a backstop if they have a good reason for failing to return the hardship declaration within 15 days.  

  • Requires landlords to provide tenants a notice detailing their rights under the Act.  

  • Limits public disclosure (“masking”) of eviction cases involving nonpayment of rent between March 4, 2020 – January 31, 2021.  

Statewide Consistency and a Pause on Local Measures  

  • Existing local ordinances can remain in place until they expire and future local action cannot undermine this Act’s framework.  

  • Requires ordinances that provide a repayment schedule to begin repayment no later than March 1, 2021.  

  • Clarifies that nothing in the Act affects a local jurisdiction’s ability to adopt an ordinance that requires just cause, consistent with state law, provided it does not affect rental payments before January 31, 2021. 

Protections for Small Landlords  

  • Extends the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights’ anti-foreclosure protections to small landlords, 1-4 units. 

  • 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 

  • Mortgage forbearance is provided, but on a very limited basis for owners of small rental properties only. 
  • The first lien mortgage or deed of trust is secured by owner-occupied residential real property containing no more than four dwelling units. “Owner-occupied” means that the property is the principal residence of the borrower and is security for a loan made for personal, family, or household purposes 

--or-- 

  • The first lien mortgage or deed of trust is secured by residential real property that is occupied by a tenant, contains no more than four dwelling units, and meets all of the following conditions: 

  • The property is owned by an individual who owns no more than three residential real properties, or by one or more individuals who together own no more than three residential real properties, each of which contains no more than four dwelling units. 

  • The property is occupied by a tenant pursuant to an applicable lease. 

  • A tenant occupying the property is unable to pay rent due to a reduction in income resulting from the novel coronavirus. 
  • The bill directs the State Consumer Services and Housing Agency to work on a rent assistance program, something that SCRHA has been asking for since the pandemic began. The Governor’s office has committed to working on a rental assistance program in the future, pending federal funding.  

Significantly Increases Penalties on Landlords Who Do Not Follow Court Evictions Process  

  • Increases penalties on landlords who resort to self-help (i.e., locking the tenant out, throwing property out onto the curb, shutting off utilities) to evict a tenant, rather than going through the required court process. 

Just Cause and Other Provisions (1179.03.5.): Just Cause is in place immediately for all rental properties in most cases. Substantial remodel as cause is temporarily limited as is causer relating to sale of a property. 

Before February 1, 2021, a court may not find a tenant guilty of an unlawful detainer unless it finds that one of the following applies: 

  • (1) The tenant was guilty of the unlawful detainer before March 1, 2020. 
  • (2) In response to service of a notice demanding payment of COVID-19 rental debt pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 798.56 of the Civil Code or paragraph (2) or (3) of Section 1161, the tenant failed to comply with the requirements of Section 1179.03. 
  • (3) (A) The unlawful detainer arises because of a termination of tenancy for any of the following: 
  • (i) An at-fault just cause, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code. 
  • (ii) (I) A no-fault just cause, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code, other than intent to demolish or to substantially remodel the residential real property, as defined in subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 1946.2. 
  • (II) Notwithstanding subclause (I), termination of a tenancy based on intent to demolish or to substantially remodel the residential real property shall be permitted if necessary to maintain compliance with the requirements of Section 1941.1 of the Civil Code, Section 17920.3 or 17920.10 of the Health and Safety Code, or any other applicable law governing the habitability of residential rental units. 
  • (iii) The owner of the property has entered into a contract for the sale of that property with a buyer who intends to occupy the property, and all the requirements of paragraph (8) of subdivision (e) of Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code have been satisfied. 
  • (B) In an action under this paragraph, other than an action to which paragraph (2) also applies, the landlord shall be precluded from recovering COVID-19 rental debt in connection with any award of damages. 
  • (b) (1) This section does not require a landlord to assist the tenant to relocate through the payment of relocation costs if the landlord would not otherwise be required to do so pursuant to Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code or any other law. 
  • (2) A landlord who is required to assist the tenant to relocate pursuant to Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code or any other law, may offset the tenant’s COVID-19 rental debt against their obligation to assist the tenant to relocate. 

 

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