Eviction Protections Extended Into 2021, With New Exceptions

Millions of California renters suffering economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will not be evicted anytime soon, after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation extending the statewide eviction moratorium late Monday night.

While some cities and counties have instituted their own local protections, California’s moratorium was set to expire at midnight Tuesday.

The new law, AB 3088, extends protections through January 2021 with provisions attached.

Tenants will now have to prove that they are experiencing financial issues as a result of the pandemic and pay at least 25% of their monthly rent starting Tuesday. In exchange, they cannot be sued for eviction or back pay until the law expires February 1.

The new provisions were key to winning over support from landlords.

"Back rent, there’s no requirement that they pay that back immediately but it’s still due," explained Debra Carlton with the CA Apartment Association, which represents landlords.

Nuisance tenants or those who cannot prove financial hardship can be evicted right away.

State Assemblymember David Chiu of San Francisco is hoping that between now and February, the federal government will step in and provide a renter’s bailout. "We can’t allow a massive wave of evictions. This would be catastrophic for coronavirus spread as well as homelessness."

Surveys suggest four to five million renters in California are currently having trouble making rent.