Property owners in California who need to evict a tenant have some new challenges to face as the pandemic continues to rage throughout the state and the entire country. Not only has the eviction moratorium put in place by the CDC been extended on a federal level, there are additional restrictions for California landlords and property management companies.
The best advice we can give you is to communicate with your tenants as much as possible. Try to get a plan in place for at least partial payment if they’re struggling to meet their obligations with the rent. The sooner you can get out ahead of the problem, the less of an expense you’ll face if your tenants cannot pay rent.
It’s in the tenants’ best interests to work with you. The eviction moratorium is a halt on evictions, but it’s not a rent forgiveness program. They still owe you this money.
If you have a good relationship in place with your tenants, this is going to be easier to manage.
Understanding the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020
In August, California passed a law that prevents rental property owners from evicting a resident for non-payment of rent or other charges that came due between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020. In order to maintain this protection, the tenant must submit a written declaration to their landlord that their financial status has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Landlords, property managers, and rental property owners are also unable to serve an eviction notice on tenants with unpaid rent that was due between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021. However, to avoid eviction for missing or late rent payments during this period, your tenant will have to do the following:
- Your resident must provide a declaration stating their finances have been negatively affected by the pandemic.
- Your resident must pay 25 percent of the total rent due between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021 by January 31, 2021.
Notify Your Tenants of Their Rights
Landlords are required to provide an informational notice about this new law as of September 1, 2020, to any of your residents who recently missed a payment or who miss a payment between March 1 and August 31, 2020. Make sure any of your non-paying tenants or residents who are late receive a copy of that notice and the instructions they’re required to follow to avoid eviction.
The rules are a bit different if you have high income tenants, and you might be able to evict them if they’re not complying with the requirements and also not paying rent. If you believe you still have standing to move forward with an eviction, you must provide a 15-day eviction notice before you evict for any unpaid rent or other charges due between March 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021. As with any court proceeding, your 15-day period does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or judicial holidays.
California Just Cause Evictions
The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 also extends the just-cause eviction protections that were already established under AB 1482 until February 1, 2021. Three specific things must be noted when it comes to just-cause evictions:
- Eviction for demolition or “substantial rehabilitation” is only permitted if a landlord needs to comply with habitability and safety laws.
- Unlawful detainers for nonpayment of rent, regardless of when they’re due, are not permitted for time periods prior to October 5, 2020.
- You cannot file an unlawful detainer action on unpaid rent from September 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021 against any resident who claims financial injury due to the COVID-19 pandemic until February 1, 2021.
Communicate with Your Sacramento Tenants
Working out a payment plan or a payment arrangement with your tenants is going to be the best way to get through this crisis. We know that many of our tenants in Sacramento have remained employed during this period, and it’s reasonable to expect them to continue paying rent as always.
For residents who have lost jobs, seen their hours cut, or struggled to access the benefits they are entitled to, you may need to work something out together. Remember that this is stressful for everyone. While you have your own financial obligations to meet, most good tenants will pay rent if they can. Anyone who is suffering financially during the pandemic should have an opportunity to work things out with their landlords or property management companies.
We invite any landlord struggling with this situation to contact us at Titan Property Management. We can work out a solution and help you with professional Sacramento property management.