Updated: Understanding Los Angeles' Eviction Moratorium- Yes, Tenants Must Pay Rent... Eventually
Updated: February 23, 2021
AB 3088 PROTECTIONS HAVE BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH JUNE 30, 2021- SEE GOVERNOR STATEMENT HERE.
SB91 extends AB3088, see HERE.
Governor Newsom's Memo re Eviction Moratorium
**Newest Law** SB 91- The law that extends AB3088
TENANTS DO NEED TO PAY RENT... Eventually
For Los Angeles landlords- here is a timeline:
The Announcing of Emergency
3/16/20- Governor Newsom issues executive order banning evictions due to COVID 19.
3/19/20- LA County BOS issued an eviction moratorium.
3/24/20- The current effective LA City eviction moratorium was put into place through Mayor Garcetti's Emergency Order.
3/27/20- Governor Newsom issued a notice clarifying (slightly) the eviction moratorium.
4/1/20- LA City enacted a new ordinance outlining eviction moratorium.
4/6/20- CA Judicial Council adopted new Emergency Rules re Evictions
8/31/20- Gov. Newsom signs AB 3088
9/1/20- CA Judicial Council Emergency Rules re Evictions end
The Eviction Moratoriums
9/2/2020- Unlawful Detainers (non public health & safety related) summons will be issued again, mainly for evictions not related to failure to pay rent. Still subject to local eviction moratoriums.
9/30/20- Tentative State Emergency Period as they related to evictions end, unless further extended.
9/30/20- Los Angeles County Emergency Periods end, unless further extended.
10/5/20- Summons on Unlawful Detainers for failure to pay rent will be issued.
3/31/21- Federal CDC eviction moratorium expires (unless further extended)
3/31/21- West Hollywood eviction moratorium expires (unless further extended)
3/31/21- CA state commercial eviction moratorium ends.
6/30/21- California eviction moratorium set to expire (unless further extended)
6/30/21- LA County eviction moratorium expires (unless further extended)
8/31/21- Tenants must payback COVID-19 rent on or before this date (unless further extended)
Los Angeles City and County, and other local eviction moratoriums are grandfathered in under AB 3088 but with limitations. See my post here, summarizing AB 3088 as it relates to past due rent.
Blanket Eviction Moratorium- California- AB 3088
Governor Newsom's latest eviction moratorium splits past due rent in two phases- March 1, 2020- August 31, 2020 and September 1, 2020- June 30, 2021. Landlords must give defaulting tenants specific notices (outlined in AB 3088's statute). In kind, tenants must provide declarations to landlords (also outlined in the statute) of financial hardship. Tenants are split into non-High Income and High Income. Again, seem my other post on AB 3088 (link above).
**Update** There are new notices- general notice and 15 day notices that came as the result of SB91.
The Judicial Council will issue a summons on an unlawful detainer starting September 2, 2020 for non-payment of rent evictions. Starting October 5, 2020 summons on unlawful detainers for non-payment of rent will be issued. There are additional cover sheets that need to be submitted with evictions now.
Landlords are strongly advised to consult with an attorney before serving any notices or trying to file an eviction. There are many new requirements affecting notices that must be met or a landlord will lose an eviction.
Blanket Eviction Moratorium- California- Governor Newsom Emergency Order N-80-20 (COMMERCIAL)
Governor Newsom has extended commercial eviction moratoriums in the state through March 31, 2021. It is unclear to what extend local eviction moratoriums and payback periods will be preserved.
Residential- Los Angeles City
Landlords may not initiate eviction proceedings for:
Failure to pay rent- If tenant submits statutory compliant declaration to landlord of COVID 19 financial hardship;
"No-Fault" evictions- tenant must show the tenant or any member of the household is ill, in isolation or under quarantine;
Ellis Act evictions (through 60 days after expiration of emergency order);
West Hollywood has extended its eviction moratorium only allowing evictions for (1) non-payment of rent only if not due to COVID-19 financial impacts (2) tenant using unit for an illegal purpose, was given an opportunity to cure and failed to cure, (3) where the renter has created and is maintaining a dangerous and unsanitary condition, tenant was given an opportunity to cure and failed to cure, and (4) the eviction is necessary to address an imminent and objectively verifiable threat to the health and safety of a member of the renter’s household or other residents of the rental property. The eviction notice must also include specific details of the landlord's efforts to avoid the eviction.
Updates from AB 3088
Much of Mayor Garcetti's eviction moratorium is grandfathered in, with the limitation. ** Update** now payback periods at a local level cannot be extended past August 31, 2021.
Residential landlords will need to work with tenants who can show they are unable to pay rent due to COVID 19. Non-high income tenants are not required to provide proof of hardship with a declaration. However, if a tenant does provide proof of hardship, some acceptable documents would included, but not be limited to, a letter from employer, layoff or termination notice, wage statements, medical bills for COVID 19 treatment, school closure notices and child care bills.
If a landlord does file an eviction anyways, the state and city orders can be used as an affirmative defense. In addition, a tenant may file a complaint with the Los Angeles housing authority (HCIDLA) for an unlawful 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit (linked above).
Commercial- Los Angeles City
Landlords may not file evictions against commercial tenants for failure to pay, if the failure to pay is a result of COVID 19.
Commercial tenants will have 3 months from the expiration of the local emergency order to pay back rent they could not pay as a result of COVID 19. Governor Newsom's latest Executive Order N-80-20 does not state to what extent local payback periods will be preserved for commercial. It appears local governments are left with the authority to address commercial properties as they deem fit.
Residential & Commercial - Los Angeles County (Unincorporated)
The LA County (Unincorporated) eviction moratorium models the California State Moratorium. Only differences:
LA County applies to residential and commercial;
"No-Fault" evictions not allowed during moratorium;
Applies to unlawful detainers based on notices served or filed on or after March 4, 2020;
LA County extended its residential eviction moratorium on non-payment of rent, no-fault evictions, rent increase notices and unlawful detainers served on or after 3/4/20 through 6/30/21, but will likely be extended;
Tenants are allowed to deny a landlord's entry into a unit unless the entry is for an emergency relating to the habitability of the unit or if the tenant is causing substantial damage to the unit;
Same as City, AB 3088 limits the payback period to no later than March 31, 2022. LA County gave tenants 12 months to pay back rent at the expiration of its declared emergency, commercial and residential. Governor Newsom's latest Executive Order N-80-20 does not state to what extent local payback periods will be preserved for commercial. It appears local governments are left with the authority to address commercial properties as they deem fit.
California Judicial Council Rules re Evictions
Unlawful detainers for non-payment of residential related rent will receive summons staring September 2, 2020.
Starting October 5, 2020 the courts will issue summons on evictions for failure to pay rent for residential evictions.
Federal Stimulus Aid
AB 3088 was extended as a result of $2.6 billion in federal stimulus aid coming to California. This aid comes with strings attached. Landlords must accept 80% of tenants back rent between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 and in exchange forgive the remaining 20% and not file an eviction. If landlords do not partake in this program then the landlord risks a monetary judgment in an eviction as a judge has the discretion to reduce the monetary judgment because the landlord refused to partake in the program. California is setting up its program to distribute the funds starting in February 2021.
What landlords should do.
AB 3088 requires a landlord to serve a statutory compliant notice to tenants with any notice to pay rent or quit. The time period is now 15 days instead of 3 days. Landlords will not be able to evict non- high income tenants for failure to pay rent during March 1, 2020- August 31, 2020, that rent can only be recovered in small claims. Landlords can only evict on 25% of the rent during September 1, 2020-June 30, 2021, the other 75% must be processed in small claims. However, now landlords are subject to the program rules for the stimulus funds. Landlords are encouraged to have an open dialogue with tenants, as that is your best chance of recovering either your rent or possession of the unit (outside of the scope of this article, but feel free to call me to discuss tenant buyouts or voluntary lease terminations).
As for commercial landlords, there is not much assistance for landlords. All a landlord can do is have a transparent conversation with tenants. Remind tenants that the rent is not forgiven and the further a tenant gets in arrears the more difficult it will be to catch up. Commercial tenants have less protections than residential tenants are tend to have more assets to collect a judgment from.
Landlords may now file evictions subject to AB 3088. AB 3088 does not address commercial evictions, which are still subject to the state and local eviction moratorium protections. As outlined above, residential evictions for non-payment of rent are very limited and will not receive a summons until October 5, 2020. You are strongly encouraged to read my other post summarizing AB 3088 as it relates to back due rent for residential tenancies. Link is above.
Landlords are strongly encourages to consult an eviction attorney, like myself, before serving any tenant any notice. There are new and stringent laws that, if not followed, will result in your eviction getting dismissed on a technicality. Feel free to call me (818) 306- 0686 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
The information in this post is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this post should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.