Governor Newsom recently signed legislation aimed at protecting tenants and homeowners from eviction and foreclosure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants and homeowners will need to take certain steps to ensure that they are protected.
From Governor Newsom’s statement:
“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.
Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction. Landlords may begin to recover this debt on March 1, 2021, and small claims court jurisdiction is temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts. Landlords who do not follow the court evictions process will face increased penalties under the Act.
The legislation also extends anti-foreclosure protections in the Homeowner Bill of Rights to small landlords; provides new accountability and transparency provisions to protect small landlord borrowers who request CARES-compliant forbearance; and provides the borrower who is harmed by a material violation with a cause of action.”
As with any new legislation this may be intimidating to navigate. To simplify the process the California Department of Real Estate has created a website and app toolkit that walks tenants and homeowners through the process. The toolkit can be found at HousingIsKey.com