ASSEMBLY BILL 832 / EVICTION MORATORIA UPDATE Overview of AB 832 1. AB 832 extends the current COVID-19 eviction protections under AB 3088 and SB 91 for 90 days, including the obligation to pay 25% of the unpaid COVID-19 rent through September 30, 2021. 2. It expands the existing State Rental Assistance Program to provide landlords with 100% of unpaid rent owed by qualifying tenants which will be paid to landlords for unpaid rent accruing between April 1, 2020 and September 1, 2021.
a. Not all tenants will qualify. Only tenants with an income at or below 80% of the area median income are eligible for the funds. b. Landlords who have already received the 80% from the rental assistance program will automatically receive the 20% increase without having to submit a new application. c. AB 832 will pay 100% of unpaid rent for qualifying tenants, even where the tenant has vacated.3. AB 832 allows landlords to apply to the State Rental Assistance Program on behalf of the tenants and requires the rental assistance program to notify both the landlord and the tenant when either has submitted a completed application for rental assistance. 4. AB 832 requires state and local rental assistance programs to provide landlords and tenants easy access to online websites/portals which will allow both to verify the status of an application. Access is required to be made available on or before September 15, 2021. 5. AB 832 includes new provisions known as the “COVID-19 Rental Housing Recovery Act” (CRHRA) (which is different than, and in addition to, the “COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act”, (CTRA). 6. CRHRA creates new procedures for unlawful detainer to be implemented and used between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. 7. As of October 1, 2021, a tenant is required to pay 100% of the monthly rent to be protected from eviction. This could change if AB 832 is extended. Required Informational Notice 1. Similar to AB 3088 and SB 91, a new informational notice must be given to all parties who owe a balance from the COVID-19 period by July 31, 2021. Residential Procedures 1. Relevant dates: “COVID-19 Rental Debt” period-March 1, 2020-September 30, 2021
a. First date to file civil COVID-19 Rental Debt Actions-November 1, 2021 (all civil actions seeking COVID-19 rental debt and which were pending before January 29, 2021 are also stayed until November 1, 2021, unless they were already pending before October 1, 2020)2. 25% requirement ONLY applies if a landlord serves a 15-day notice for such period, so it is imperative to continue serving the 15-day notice every month 3. AB 832 has unfortunately greatly expanded local entities’ powers to extend their own moratoria calendars as follows:
a. The final date for the commencement of a repayment period is extended May 1, 2022.
b. The final date for the completion of a repayment period (i.e., the last date by which all repayments of COVID-19 rental debt must be paid) is now May 31, 2023. That means, for example, in the City of Los Angeles, the local ordinance provides for a repayment period of 12 months after the end of the local emergency. Under SB-91, that provision would have been illegal, as the prior completion date was August 31, 2021. However, if LA were to end their emergency status October 1, 2021, thus providing until October 1, 2022 to pay back all COVID-19 rental debt, that provision would now be legal.Future Eviction Requirements 1. Beginning October 1, 2021, landlords are required to serve a tenant who fails to pay rent with a specific 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit informing the tenant about how to apply for rental assistance. 2. When filing the eviction, the court will not issue a summons on nonpayment of rent unless the landlord files a statement that meets requirements
a. REQ 1: The landlord must include both of the following with the complaint:
i. Statement verifying, under penalty of perjury, that before filing the complaint, the landlord completed an application for government rental assistance to cover the rental debt demanded in the case, but the application was denied, AND ii. A copy of the “final decision” from the pertinent government rental assistance program denying the rental assistance applicationOR
b. REQ 2: The landlord files a statement, under penalty of perjury, verifying that all four of the following are true:
i. Before filing the complaint, the landlord submitted a completed application for rental assistance to the pertinent government rental assistance program to cover the rental debt demanded from the defendants in the case, AND ii. Twenty days have elapsed since the latter of: 1. The date of the landlord submitted application OR 2. The date of the landlord served the tenant with the three-day notice. iii. The landlord has neither received notice, nor obtained verification from the pertinent government rental assistance program, indicating the tenant has submitted a completed application for rental assistance, AND iv. The landlord has received no communication from the tenant indicating the tenant has applied for government rental assistance.Commercial 1. The governor extended the state law permitting local moratoria evictions to September 30, 2021. 2. It clear, though not guaranteed, this will be the final extension made as a “transitionary” period to full normalcy regarding commercial evictions starting October 1, 2021.