The Covid-19 Eviction Moratorium Extension

*****Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only. This does not create an attorney-client privilege.

As of September of 2020, an Eviction Moratorium was put in place by the federal government as a response the Covid-19 Pandemic. The moratorium put a halt to evictions; the court has only being hearing cases that are ‘for-cause’ meaning the eviction is related to an issue outside of lack of payment (i.e. property damage, being dangerous, or otherwise violating the lease agreement. However, this moratorium was due to be lifted at the end of last month, June 2021. Many tenants will be pleased (and many landlords may be displeased) to find out that this moratorium has been extended to September 30, 2021.

The original intent behind the moratorium is multi-faceted. The most obvious reason was to protect a huge wave of tenants from facing homelessness, because with COVID restrictions, many people lost their livelihoods. But the real reason behind it was not so much compassion toward those individuals, but to avoid the consequence of spreading COVID more as people are displaced. A flood of unhoused folks onto the streets, would not only bring these people into contact with the virus outside the safety of their homes, but would also make proper hygiene very difficult.

For these same reasons, the state of California has elected to extend this moratorium until the end of September, even though many other states have lifted theirs. The three-party agreement on AB 832 will not only protect vulnerable households from eviction, but also ensure that California quickly applies the more than $5 billion in federal rental assistance to assist the state’s tenants and small landlords. The agreement broadens rental assistance by enhancing current law. Provisions include increasing reimbursement to 100 percent for both rent that is past due and prospective payments, for both tenants and landlords. Additionally, the bill ensures rental assistance dollars stay in California by prioritizing cities and counties with unmet needs, and uses the judicial process to ensure tenants and landlords have attempted to obtain rental assistance.

These decisions are designed to protect our economy. Because despite us getting a better handle on the pandemic with the dissemination of the vaccine, many people are still out of work. State senator Scott Weiner attests to this, stating; ““We’ve made strides in ending this pandemic, but its impact will continue to reverberate through our economy. Many renters are still out of work. Thousands of families tragically lost someone in their household to COVID-19, which can be both emotionally and financially devastating. We need to ensure our social safety net stays strong, so every Californian can stay stably housed.”

So renters and small landlords, breathe a sigh of relief. You have 3 months to prepare before the moratorium lifts.

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