By Sandra G. León
The Legislature and Governor passed a new law extending an eviction moratorium due to COVID-19 through the end of January to help renters remain in their homes during the pandemic.
Governor Newsom signed the bill passed late on Monday – the last day of the legislative session – t0 extend the eviction abatement that was due to expire the same day.
“We need a real, federal commitment of significant new funding to assist struggling tenants and homeowners in California and across the nation,” Newsom said when he signed the bill.
Renters that did not pay rents between March 1 and August 31 cannot be evicted for failing to pay those rents, and can also remain in their rents through January 31 as long as they pay at least 25% of the monthly rent.
State courts had stopped evictions for lack of payment during the COVID-19 pandemic, but those protections were to expire on August 31. The new law allows landlords to sue the renter for back rents but cannot evict them solely for not having paid during those months.
The rent moratoriums did not forgive the past rents but protected renters from being evicted.
Under the new law, renters have to sign a sworn statement that their incomes were affected by the pandemic. Renters that earn more than $100,000 per year, or more than 130% of the area’s median income, whichever is higher, will have to show proof that they cannot pay the rents due to the pandemic.