The COVID-19 pandemic has created serious hardships for both tenants and landlords, alike.
The Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (AB 3088) or “Tenant Relief Act” took effect in August 2020, which provided relief and assistance for tenants and landlords who are struggling financially due to the pandemic until January 31, 2021.
The Tenant Relief Act Extension of 2021 extends protections until June 30, 2021 and creates a new State Rental Assistance Program. There will be $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance available statewide.
Check out this link to visit Housing is Key or call 1-888-422-4255 for more information on the Rental Assistance Program.
What the extension means for tenants and landlords:
$2.6 billion for Californians to Pay off Unpaid Back Rent
- Pays up to a year of unpaid back rent (April 2020 through March 2021) and allows up to three months of future rent payments (April 2021 through June 2021), depending on availability of funds.
- Prioritizes households with highest need, targeting households with less than 80% area median income (AMI)* with special focus on households below 50% AMI and households experiencing unemployment for at least 90 days.
*Area Median Income or “AMI” measures the average income for an area. It can be seen as an indicator of income-related characteristics of a community. In other cases, lenders and organizations use this measure to establish income levels for certain loan products.
Strong Incentives for Landlords and Tenants to Mutually Participate in Obtaining Assistance
- Offers participating landlords 80% of a tenant’s remaining back rent owed as long as the landlord forgives the remaining 20% owed.
- Pays 25% of back rent owed if the landlord declines to participate in order to secure monthly rental payment eviction protection for the tenant.
- Provides 25% of prospective rental payments after accounting for unpaid back rent.
- Allows courts to reduce COVID-19 back rent owed if a landlord refused to participate in the rental assistance program with a qualified tenant.
Significant Financial COVID-19 Protections for Tenants
- Tenants choose which months are covered with back rent payments.
- Prohibits a landlord from charging late fees on COVID-19 rental debt.
- Imposes a moratorium on a landlord’s ability to sell or assign COVID-19 rental debt to a debt collector until June 30, 2021.
- Prohibits a landlord from selling or assigning COVID-19 rental debt to a debt collector for a tenant who qualifies for the rental assistance program and is below 80% AMI.
Strong Legal COVID-19 Protections for Tenants
- Prohibits legal actions to recover COVID-19 back rent until July 1, 2021.
- Prohibits a landlord from recovering COVID-19 back rent unless the landlord demonstrates a good faith effort to cooperate with a tenant who qualifies for the rental assistance program.
- Allows a court to limit attorneys’ fees in COVID-19 back rent cases.
- Prohibits a housing provider from using COVID-19 back rent history as a negative factor in evaluating a tenant’s ability to rent a unit.