Being a landlord can be a never-ending process of looking into ever-changing laws and guidelines that impact how you manage your rental home.
If you own a rental property or are a self-managing landlord, you’re likely all too familiar with the changing laws as a result of the pandemic.
Some of the most recent changes include an eviction moratorium by the CDC, AB3088, SB91, and AB832. These changes, and specifically the eviction moratorium, were cause for concern and confusion for those who were self-managing properties. Self-managing landlords may feel even more confused about next steps now that the moratorium has been lifted. If you want to learn more about the eviction moratorium, you can view our full article, here.
Below we share some of the most important changes to look out for in the post-eviction moratorium landscape.
The moratorium has been lifted…
As of October 1, 2021, a tenant may be evicted for any legal reason, including failure to pay rent, according to California Courts.
Any tenants taken on after October 1, 2021, can be evicted. But, as with many laws, things aren’t as simple as they may appear at first glance. It’s essential to seek out reputable sources to fully understand all of the laws surrounding managing your property to ensure you are compliant.
But that doesn’t mean things are back to normal.
A landlord is able to seek to evict a tenant whose tenancy began before October 1, 2021 and has failed to meet financial obligations due on March 1, 2020 – March 31, 2022, but is required to apply for rental assistance first.
The laws surrounding evictions can get complicated, even pre-pandemic. Post-pandemic, it is especially imperative that landlords follow local, state and national laws. While the eviction moratorium has been “lifted,” this doesn’t mean that landlords can refer to pre-pandemic laws. We caution all owners of rental properties to thoroughly review any laws, guidelines, or disclosure requirements to ensure they are compliant.
There are still restrictions, even if there is remaining unpaid rent.
It’s important to look at the time period during which rent was due, if any amount was paid, and when the tenancy began. For example, if a tenant was able to pay 25% of their remaining rental debt during certain timeframes, you are required to apply for rental assistance prior to starting a formal eviction process.
There can be a lot of nuance in how a landlord goes about evicting, when they evict, and for what reason they are allowed to evict a tenant. Having a remainder of rental payments due may not be enough for a landlord to legally evict depending on whether or not they paid 25% of the remaining balance, and many other factors.
If you’re interested in learning more about when you can legally evict a tenant, or how to begin the process, visit California Courts.
In many cases, you may have to apply for rental assistance
As we shared above, there are many cases where you may have to file for rental assistance for a tenant prior to starting the eviction process. A court will not hear your case if you have not applied for rental assistance in certain circumstances. You can learn more about filing for rental assistance by visiting CA.GOV’s Housing is Key.
Landlords and property managers are not allowed to sue for unpaid rental debt until November 1, 2021.
You may be required to provide tenants with notice depending on the date range of past-due rental payments.
According to CA.Gov, there are four different date ranges for past-due rental payments that require different notices to tenants by landlords, and even more that apply to tenant rights. For example, beginning July 21, 2021, if the owed rental payments were due from March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, you must provide this disclosure to the tenant. It is essential to keep up with which disclosure you must legally provide to tenants.
This can get complicated as certain date ranges may include nuances for expired 3-day notices, when you filed, and more.
We highly recommend that all landlords thoroughly review the changes to laws by visiting the links provided in this article. There are additional laws surrounding evicting as a means of retaliation against tenants for failure to pay COVID-19 rental debt, applying security deposits to rental debt without the consent of the tenant, and applying current payments to past-due rental debt while the tenant is still renting the property.
Because of these complications, it is worth the time to reach out to receive legal consult or to a property management company for more information. By consulting an expert, you can have peace-of-mind knowing that you are sure of your rights, and your responsibilities to your tenants, in line with current law.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can reach out to us via our contact page, here.
Disclaimer: We are not attorneys. This is not designed to be legal advice. We always recommend that you contact your attorney about your specific properties. Our information on this topic comes from the linked sources above.