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The scoop behind residential evictions resuming in California!
California’s eviction moratorium is finally coming to a close after 19 long months. The Rental Housing Recovery Act, also known as AB 832, was enacted to prolong the eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021. The act blocked landlords from evicting tenants due to nonpayment of rent. Now that the eviction moratorium is coming to a close, what is next for those on the verge of eviction?
The rent recovery window period
Between the dates October 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, if a tenant is behind on rent, it is technically classified as COVID-19 recovery period rental debt. Here, the tenant is given a “window period” after the Rental Recovery Act expires. Unlike the COVID-19 rental debt, which lasted from March 1, 2020, until September 30, 2021, the recovery period requires 25% of the debt to be repaid prior to October 1, 2021, and the window period rent needs to be paid in full to the landlord. There is government rent assistance available and landlords are required to make an effort to receive that assistance before evicting a tenant during the window period. California landlords have received a total of $526.5 million in assistance from emergency rent assistance (ERA). That’s an average of $11,800 of delinquent rent per tenant.
New further notice required
During the window period from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, landlords wishing to evict a tenant due to a monetary default on their lease or rental agreement are required to provide the following notice:
The notice is required to inform the tenant of the amount of rent due, the date each amount became due, and the phone number and website to the correct government rental assistance program.
Filing an unlawful detainer (UD)
For an unlawful detainer to be successful, the landlord must have filed a complete application for government rent assistance and their application must have been denied due to a lack of eligibility, lack of funding, or an incomplete application due to a tenants failure to complete their part within 15 business days from the landlord completing their part. To properly evict a tenant due to nonpayment of rent during the COVID-19 recovery period, the landlord is required to file either a statement verifying they were denied an application for government rent assistance or a statement verifying 20 days have passed since the date the landlord submitted the application for rent assistance and the date the landlord served the tenant with their three-day notice to pay rent.
Landlords’ use of eviction notices
There are plenty of forms that landlords can use to properly evict a tenant in California. On top of the challenges presented by the requirements during the rent recovery window period, the TPA requires landlords to have just cause to evict tenants from properties that are 15 or more years old who have been a tenant for 1 year or more.
Tenants exempt from just cause eviction requirements
For tenants not subject to just cause eviction requirements, the landlord serves the tenants with a three-day notice to pay alongside the notice of the availability of government rent assistance.