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Update on California's Latest Extension of COVID-19 Tenant Protections

April 05, 2022

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After over two years of statewide eviction moratoria in the forms of executive orders, Judicial Council rules, and legislation, California's eviction moratorium was scheduled to come to an end on March 31, 2022. However, on March 31, 2022, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, serving as acting governor while Governor Gavin Newsom was out of state, signed Assembly Bill 2179 into law, which took effect immediately. The bill extends tenant protections and places restrictions on local governments, as described in this alert. Like previous eviction restrictions, these new rules apply equally to owners and operators of senior communities.

Eviction Lawsuits Filed Between April 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022

Between April 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022, landlords may not pursue evictions for non-payment due to COVID-19 hardship in court if an application for governmental rental assistance was submitted prior to April 1, 2022, and is pending. If an application was submitted prior to April 1, 2022, the landlord may only pursue eviction if and when (1) the application is denied due to lack of eligibility or funding, or (2) the tenant fails to complete the tenant's portion within fifteen business days after the landlord submitted its portion. Landlords may proceed with eviction lawsuits at this time if no application for government rental assistance was submitted prior to April 1, 2022, or if the tenancy began on or after October 1, 2021.

Termination Notices Served Between April 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022

Until June 30, 2022, landlords serving new eviction notices for nonpayment must include new special language in the notices, unless the notice solely demands payment of amounts due beginning April 1, 2022, and later. The special language varies depending on whether the nonpayment occurred prior to September 30, 2021, or between October 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. Landlords serving notices for amounts due prior to September 30, 2021, should be aware that under existing California law, landlords may not pursue amounts that became due more than one year ago in an eviction notice. Landlords are required to issue two separate termination notices if past-due amounts were incurred both before September 30, 2021, and after October 1, 2021.

Postponement of Local Eviction Protections

Given the expected expiration of the statewide eviction protections on March 31, 2022, several localities were poised to adopt or implement new local eviction moratoria effective April 1, 2022. Under Assembly Bill 2179, localities will not be allowed to implement new tenant protections until July 1, 2022. Eviction protections put in place by local governments on or before August 19, 2020, will continue to be in effect, however.

Conclusion

Although Assembly Bill 2179 marks a notable decrease in the tenant protections afforded by California's COVID-19 tenant eviction moratorium, it sets forth new specific requirements for termination notices until June 30, 2022. Landlords must still take great care to avoid technical errors that may render termination notices legally defective. Senior communities pursuing resident evictions should consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with applicable law.

For more information, please contact:

Lori Ferguson

916-551-2813 Direct Phone
916-551-3388 Fax

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Payam Saljoughian

415-995-5135 Direct Phone
415-995-3478 Fax

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