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California’s Eviction Compromise – what’s in it & what’s not

September 11, 2020

California’s Eviction Compromise – what’s in it & what’s not

California renters financially hurt by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until at least next February, while small landlords will be offered some foreclosure protections, under a measure approved by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Newsom late Monday night.

The deal was passed by super majorities in both state legislative chambers, with Democrats and a handful of Republican lawmakers supporting the bill.

A two-thirds vote of lawmakers was necessary for it to become law immediately upon being signed by the governor.

A pause on California eviction court proceedings, put in place by the state Judicial Council, was set to expire Sept. 2.

The emergency measure, is the product of contentious negotiations between tenant groups, landlord interests, &  bankers over who will be left bearing the financial brunt of missed rent payments caused by the virus.

But while tenants, landlords and banking groups urged lawmakers to approve the bill, the compromise’s specifics have left some parties disappointed.

Here’s how tenants, landlords and bankers made out in the deal.

Tenants:

What’s in it

Renters can’t be evicted for payments they missed from March, when the pandemic first struck, through Aug. 31.

From September through Jan. 31, if renters come up with 25% of the rent they owe, they will also be protected from eviction. Renters can pay that 25% at any time before Jan. 31.

Starting Feb. 1, eviction rules go back to normal.

Miss your Feb. 1 rent? You can be evicted, regardless of Covid.

Unable to come up with that 25% of missed rent between September and January 31? You can also be evicted.

How can renters prove they’ve been financially impacted by COVID?

For renters below 130% of area median income, they have to fill out legal paperwork under penalty of perjury that says they’ve suffered a decline in earnings or increased expenditures because of the virus.

That paperwork must be provided by landlords when they serve initial eviction papers to renters, and renters have 15 days to fill it out.

No documentation of decreased income / increased spending is required.

Renters making ABOVE 130% AMI, need to provide some documentation for their financial hardship. Statewide median household income is $87,000.

Any evictions that occurred between March 2020 and February 2021 will not be made public, to protect renters

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