Monday, the California Legislature approved emergency legal action to protect residents from evictions due to financial stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill was sent to Governor Gavin Newsom after it was approved by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the state Legislature. Newsom signed the measure, on the eve before the measure expires Tuesday at midnight.
“That is why we must act today to establish new protections to get us through the next few months to prevent a wave of mass evictions in the middle of a public health emergency with no clear end in sight,” Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) on Monday during floor debate on AB 3088, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“COVID-19 has impacted everyone in California — but some bear much more of the burden than others, especially tenants struggling to stitch together the monthly rent, and they deserve protection from eviction,” Newsom said in a statement announcing the signing. “This new law protects tenants from eviction for non-payment of rent and helps keep homeowners out of foreclosure as a result of economic hardship caused by this terrible pandemic.”
Under the legislation, no tenant can be evicted before February 1, 2021, as a result of rent owed due to a COVID-19 related hardship accrued between March 4 – August 31, 2020, if the tenant provides a declaration of hardship according to the legislation’s timelines. For a COVID-19 related hardship that accrues between September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021, tenants must also pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction.