COVID-19 Coronavirus Information for Landlords and Property Managers
Due to Covid-19, our office is closed to the public, but we are still available for telephone consultation on an appointment basis. The basic charge or a 30-45 minute consultation is $85.00.
Q: Is my tenant required to pay rent during the Covid-19 State of Emergency?
A: Yes….But: There is no law requiring rent forgiveness, but there are a number of State and Local measures which provide rent deferments for tenants who are not paying rent at this time and for the duration of the State of Emergency. So if you demand rent, and the tenant claims an impact as a result of lay-off, illness or loss of income, the Landlord will need to negotiate a payment plan which may begin after the emergency is lifted, which is at this point undefined.
Q: Can I serve a notice to pay rent if a tenant is delinquent in rent?
A: Probably not. The Federal CARES ACT makes it unlawful to act on a demand to pay rent during the emergency period on any property which is under a federal program (HUD, Section 8, Voucher or other program) and on any mortgage that with federally backed financing (Fannie Mae, FHA, VA and other Federally backed mortgage loan programs).
Q: Can I serve a notice for other breaches of my lease?
A: Yes….But: The Judicial Council of California has ordered that no Summons for Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) will issue for 90 days after the State of Emergency is lifted, unless the tenant is proven to pose a serious threat to the safety of others (violent, destructive action with eye witness testimony, preferably with police reports). Other than that, subletting, refusing inspections, and other lesser violations will not be enforced for the duration the emergency period which means at least 4 months and possibly longer.
Q: How is the California Legislature Responding?
A: By making matters worse, in most cases. AB 828 would permit any tenant who is sued for eviction for not paying rent to submit a hardship claim and make payments on the back rent. Unless the landlord can prove they will become impoverished as a result missing necessities of life (like Food and Shelter), the tenant will be allowed to stay, without paying late fees, attorney's fees or any penalty. The State will increase perjury prosecutions against landlords who may be caught giving false information to get rid of such tenants.
Q: Is there anything I can do?
A: Yes. Contact your legislators and the Judicial Council of California and tell them to stop destroying and start supporting the Housing industry. If good people stop investing in California Real Estate, we will all pay the price. Most of our clients do not like politics, but politicians make laws, and if you do not get involved, then others who do not have your interests at heart will gladly take your place.