AB 3088, the Tenant Protection Act of 2020, provides two sets of rules for tenant protection, for two time periods for all rents payed or owed from March 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021.

The fist time period is the “Protected Time Period” and covers the dates from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020. The second time period is the “Transitional Time Period” and covers the dates from September 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. 

Protected Time Period

Regulations for the Protected Time Period are for rent due between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020. 

If the tenant does not pay rent, the tenant must be served with a 15 day notice along with information on tenant’s rights and how to claim a COVID-19 hardship.

Landlords and Property Managers must also provide a blank Declaration of Hardship form for the tenant to complete. 

Landlords and Tenants must wait 15 days before next action. 15 days does not include weekends or judicial holidays.

If tenant returns declaration

If tenant returns declaration (and documentation, if income is 130% above area median income as documented when application was submitted)

Landlords nor property managers can ever evict tenants for nonpayment of March to August rent

Rent for March to August can be collected in a breach of contract action on or after March 1, 2021

If tenant does not return declaration

If tenant does not return declaration (and documentation, if income is 130% above area median income as documented when application was submitted)

Landlord and Property Managers can proceed with filing unlawful detainer on or after October 5, 2020

Eviction judgments are subject to protective “masking” even if tenant loses in court. 

Transitional Time Period

Regulations for the Transitional Time Period are for rent due between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021

If the tenant does not pay rent, the tenant must be served with a 15 day notice along with information on tenant’s rights and how to claim a COVID-19 hardship.

Landlords and Property Managers must also provide a blank Declaration of Hardship form the tenant to complete. 

Landlords and Tenants must wait 15 days before next action. 15 days does not include weekends or judicial holidays. 

If tenant returns declaration

If tenant returns declaration (and documentation, if income is 130% above area median income as documented when application was submitted)

Tenant cannot be evicted if they pay 25% of rental payment due for the month by January 31, 2021. This applies to any month during the Transitional Time Period. 

The remaining 75% can be collected in a breach of contract action on or after March 1, 2021. 

If tenant does not pay 25% of the Rent

Landlords Property Managers can proceed with filing the unlawful detainer on or after February 1, 2021

If tenant does not return declaration

If tenant does not return declaration (and documentation, if income is 130% above area median income as documented when application was submitted)

Landlords and Property Managers can proceed with filing the unlawful detainer on or after October 5, 2020. 

Eviction judgements are subject to protective “masking” even if the tenant loses in court. 

Some Things to Keep in Mind…

  • If, as of September 1, the tenant has any unpaid rental payments that came due between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, Landlords and Property Managers must send the tenant an informational notice regarding the new lay by September 30th
  • If the tenant was serviced with a 15-day notice to Perform or Quit demanding an amount other than rent that came due during the covered time period, the landlord must serve a final 3-day notice to quit for breach of covenants before filing an unlawful detainer action. 
  • All outstanding debt is converted to civil debt – which is cause for a civil claim – but cannot be used as grounds for eviction.
  • Until February 1, 2021, tenants can only be evicted for the following reasons:
    • The tenant was holding over after lawful termination of lease or rental agreement prior to March 1, 2020
    • If evicting for non-payment of rent, the tenant failed to comply with the declaration procedure
      • Tenant can still claim mistake, did not understand, carelessness, etc up to and including at time of trial
    • The Landlord or Property Manager has an “at-fault” reason specified in AB 1482 (breach of lease)
      • Terminations based on intent to substantially remodel are not permitted unless necessary to comply with health and safety laws.