New bill to keep California residents from being evicted during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation to protect millions of tenants from eviction and property owners from foreclosure due to economic impacts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

"This bill provides protection for those who haven't been able to pay rent, provides protection for the safety of the community and it gives clarity as we move forward," said Joshua Howard with the California Apartment Association.

The new legislation comes just as the state's previous eviction ban was set to expire.

Under AB 3088, tenants will not have to immediately pay missed rents between March and August but moving forward, renters must pay at least 25% of their monthly rent from now until January 31 to avoid potential eviction.

Howard supports the bill but would like to see a commitment of federal funding to help struggling tenants and property owners.

"The ultimate goal here is to find federal funding that can help rental housing providers to maintain the buildings, maintain their staff and maintain their own obligations so we don't run the risk of these properties running into default and ultimately being lost."

Beginning in February of next year, tenants must start making full month's payments or face eviction.

The new state law also allows for landlords to sue for unpaid rent balances beginning in March.

AB 3088 only pertains to those renters immediately impacted by COVID-19.

"What AB 3088 does is it basically says if tenants can certify they lost income as a result of COVID 19."

The bill also allows for landlords to evict renters for unrelated financial hardships brought on by the pandemic.Tenants considered a nuisance for neighbors are still subject to eviction.
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