Below are questions asked by rental property owners regarding California property management and resident manager laws followed by answers provided by Attorney Franco Simone.
Q: I am a landlord and heard that the state of California extended the protections of the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act. Is this true?
A: Yes, on March 31, 2022, California passed Assembly Bill 2179 (AB 2179) into law, which extends the protections of the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act. This law extends eviction protections for tenants who:
1) completed a rental assistance application on or before March 31, 2022 or
2) paid 25% of their rent payments from September 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021 and signed and returned all declarations of COVID-19 related financial distress.
While you can start an eviction based on unpaid rent from September 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022, the process still requires that the landlord have completed an application for rental assistance. If the tenant is approved for rental assistance, it will cause your eviction to be dismissed by the court. AB 2179 does not put in place protections for rent owed from April 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022.
Q: I own an apartment building in the City of San Diego and one of my tenants owes rent from December 2021 through April 2022. I would like to immediately move forward with an eviction for nonpayment of rent to recover possession of my unit. What do you advise I do?
A: I recommend that you serve the tenant with a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit for April 2022 rent and reserve your rights to collect the rent from December 2021 through March 2022. If the tenant fails to cure the notice by paying the April 2022 rent, then you can file an eviction. You should contact an attorney to discuss the best way to collect the rent owed from December 2021 through March 2022. It is likely best to sue the tenant for this unpaid rent in Small Claims Court.
Q: I have a single-family residence in the City of Chula Vista. I know that my tenant has not cooperated with the rental assistance program, and I applied on behalf of my tenant in February 2022. The rental assistance application has not been denied. Starting April 2022, my tenant began paying their full rent on time. Can I evict my tenant for nonpayment of rent from October 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022?
A: Yes, you can prepare and serve the proper 3-day notice to pay rent or quit that complies with the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act. If the tenant fails to pay the rent within the notice period and the rental application has been pending for 20 days, then you can file the eviction with the San Diego Superior Court. The court will not be able to issue you a summons until you are able to file a copy of the final decision from the pertinent government rental assistance program. You should consult with an attorney prior to taking legal action against a tenant that owes you rent from March 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022.
Q: My tenant and I jointly completed a rental assistance application with the City of San Diego prior to the end of the business day on March 31, 2022. My tenant has not paid rent for the months of March, April and May 2022. I served my tenant with a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit for only April and May 2022 rent and filed an eviction when my tenant failed to pay within the notice period. The rental assistance application was approved and will pay the outstanding rent from March to May 2022. How will this affect my eviction?
A: You cannot accept rent during your eviction case. If you accept the rent, it waives the notice that your case is based on. You should attempt to settle the eviction case with your tenant and enter into a stipulated agreement, which is also signed by the Judge, that allows you to accept the rent. After all parties have signed the agreement, then you will be able to accept the back rent without negatively affecting your eviction case.
Q: I have a Section 8 tenant who is renting my condo. My tenant has been paying their rent through the pandemic, however, they failed to pay rent for May 2022. Can I serve my tenant with a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit?
A: No, you must provide the tenant a 30-day notice to pay rent or quit due to the CARES Act. Effective March 25, 2020, the Federal Government enacted the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” known as the “CARES Act.” The CARES Act applies to residential tenancies if 1) you rent to federally subsidized tenants or receive a federal tax credit for the tenancy (i.e., Section 8), or 2) you have a federally backed mortgage on your rental property. While the CARES Act expired on July 25, 2022, the law included a requirement that tenancies affected by the CARES ACT be terminated with no less than a 30-Day notice to terminate. The 30-day notice requirement did not have an expiration date. Conservatively, you should discuss your matter with an attorney and serve your tenant with a 30-day notice to pay rent or quit.
Attorney Franco Simone, of Simone & Blevins, has been doing evictions for over 28 years. He is also an adjunct law professor at the University of San Diego. Mr. Simone’s office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Tel: 619-235-6180,
website: www.landlordslegalcenter.com or email [email protected].