California Eviction Moratorium Ends, Renters Have Protections
The California eviction moratorium ends September 30. Foreclosures have spiked as those moratoriums ended. But for renters, there are still options, particularly locally with Los Angeles County and City of Los Angeles moratoriums on evictions.
How We Got Here: September 30 Deadline
Back in June, California governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation extending the California eviction moratorium. While federal eviction protections ended last month, California was still protected. The end date for Calif renter protections is September 30, 2021.
Legislature on Break
The COVID-19 Delta variant is running rampant. You’d think that the California state legislature would pass a bill extending the deadline. In June, legislators beat the deadline with days to spare before June 30. However, now, there are just hours to go.
The legislative session ended weeks ago on September 10. So the people California sent to Sacramento are not there to extend the moratorium.
Regardless, it appears that state representatives don’t have the will to extend the protections again. “I believed our eviction protections for tenants should be extended beyond September 30. The Delta variant and the end of many unemployment benefits make that more urgent. Unfortunately, some of my colleagues feel differently, and there’s not consensus for that,” said David Chiu of San Francisco.
So, California’s legislature is out of the picture. This leaves Gov. Newsom as the last hope to extend the landlord restrictions. However, earlier this week, Newsom signed an affordable housing package. Missing in that and his statement was any indication he’d extend the protections.
What Renters Can Do When California Eviction Moratorium Ends
Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium
First, the Los Angeles County moratorium on evictions is still in place. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors extended it to January 31, 2022.
City of Los Angeles Moratorium on Evictions
Also, there’s an LA eviction moratorium protecting renters in the City of Los Angeles until August 1, 2022.
Court Protections for Some California Renters
Further, California renters still have hope. A renter can submit a declaration that they’re unable to pay the full rent. City of Los Angeles renters can apply for relief of 100% of rent and utilities owed. Statewide, beginning Oct 1 and going through March 31, 2022, renters earning 80% of the area median income will be protected by a process through the courts . If facing eviction in state court, renters will need to show evidence they applied for rental assistance, so this is a key step.
Bankruptcy Can Protect Renters in Some Cases
Finally, if there’s the ability to make some sort of monthly payment on back-rent, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can maybe be an option. Because landlords are sacred cows in bankruptcy, renter protections are thin. But it could mean working out a deal if you have enough income to make normal rent payments, cover living expenses, and still have money left over for catching up quickly.
In short, while not perfect, it seems the best shot for CA renters with the looming end of the California eviction moratorium is the state program. This is not a guarantee that this will protect renters from a future eviction if taken to court. However, it’s at least one measure California renters can take to try to have a defense.