California Extends, Modifies Eviction Moratorium

More than five months after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an eviction moratorium, the state has issued modified regulations for California tenants and landlords.

Newsom signed legislation Monday that extended the eviction moratorium for those who can prove COVID-19 hardship through February, but tenants will need to pay at least 25 percent of their rent starting in September — if they want to avoid eviction.

Those who cannot meet the minimum requirement from Sept. 1 through Jan. 31 could be evicted starting in February, according to the new rules.

All unpaid rent will still be due to landlords by March 2021 — the legislation allows landlords to sue for back rent at this point next year.

Some rental property owners will get a reprieve as well, with legislation extending foreclosure protections for owners of four dwellings or fewer. The new law also gives landlords the green light to proceed with eviction cases against tenants who cause problems such as nuisances or threatening neighbors.

“Rental property owners haven’t had this tool since the Judicial Council imposed its eviction moratorium on April 6,” the California Apartment Association said in a statement.

“To truly address this crisis, the federal government needs to step up,” Debra Carlton, vice president of state public affairs for the association, added in a statement. “COVID-impacted renters need financial assistance, from the feds, so they can pay their rent. Otherwise, renters will be hard-pressed to pay the rent that’s accumulated, and housing providers will go out of business.”

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