Residential Eviction Prohibition & COVID-19
Temporary Prohibition on Residential Evictions
On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, the Board of Supervisors adopted an urgency ordinance temporarily prohibiting residential evictions due to the non-payment of rent due to hardship caused by COVID-19.
Specifically under this ordinance:
- Nonpayment of rent between March 4, 2020 and September 30, 2020 due to COVID-19 caused hardship cannot be used as a cause for eviction. This includes: loss wages/ income, loss of employment, increased child care costs, increased health care costs, and any other applicable financial hardship caused by the pandemic.
- Late fees cannot be assessed for rent due between March 4, 2020 and September 30, 2020.
- Tenants are encouraged to pay what they can to landlords and make payments throughout the payback period.
- Tenants must pay back unpaid rent due to financial hardship. Generally the time period for payback is within six months of the rent due date.
On August 31, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 3088 (AB 3088), entitled the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020.
Under this law:
- Landlords must send a written notice to tenants who missed rent between March 1 and August 31, 2020, advising them of their rights under AB 3088.
- The three-day notice to pay rent or quit is converted to a 15-day notice. The notice must include a declaration, using language provided by the bill, which the tenant can sign and return if they are suffering from “financial distress” related to COVID-19. COVID-19 financial distress is generally defined as anything related to COVID-19 that prevents tenants from paying full rent.
- If the declaration is signed and returned, the landlord cannot evict the tenant. For “high income tenants,” the landlord can request additional documentation from the tenant. High income is defined as household income over $100k and over 130% of the median income in the county.
- The bill creates two time frames:
- Protected Time Frame: During the protected time period of rent due between March 1 and August 31, 2020, eviction is prohibited if the tenant signs and returns the declaration of financial distress.
- Transition Time Frame: During the transition time period of rent due between September 1 and January 31, 2021, the tenant must also pay at least 25% of the rent to be protected from eviction.
- AB 3088 designates small claims court as the forum to resolve disputes over unpaid rent due to COVID-19, and lifts limits on the number of cases that can be filed and the amounts that can be recovered. However, no such cases may be filed with small claims court until March 1, 2021.
What does this mean for tenants in Napa County?
The following depicts what tenants can expect in terms of required rental repayment times, assuming a rent due date of 1st of every month, based on how the County believes its ordinance overlaps with AB 3088. Tenants or landlords should contact their own legal counsel or Fair Housing Napa Valley for legal advice on how AB 3088 may affect their individual situations.
|Original Rent Due Date||Extended Rent Due Date||Landlord May|
|3/1/20 (100% of Rent)||10/26/20||Pursue Small Claims Court on 3/1/21|
|4/1/20 (100% of Rent)||10/26/20||Pursue Small Claims Court on 3/1/21|
|5/1/20 (100% of Rent)||10/26/20||Pursue Small Claims Court on 3/1/21|
|6/1/20 (100% of Rent)||11/28/20||Pursue Small Claims Court on 3/1/21|
|7/1/20 (100% of Rent)||12/28/20||Pursue Small Claims Court on 3/1/21|
|8/1/20 (100% of Rent)||1/28/21||Pursue Small Claims Court on 3/1/21|
|9/1/20 (25% of Rent)||25% due 9/1/20; remaining 2/28/21||Pursue Small Claims Court on 3/1/21|
|10/1/20||Minimum of 25% Due 10/1/20||Pursue eviction after 2/1/21*|
|11/1/20||Minimum of 25% Due on 11/1/20||Pursue eviction after 2/1/21*|
|12/1/20||Minimum of 25% Due on 12/1/20||Pursue eviction after 2/1/21*|
|1/1/21||Minimum of 25% Due on 1/1/21||Pursue eviction after 2/1/21*|
*Eviction actions for non-payment of rent may be processed after 10/5/2020, however a judgement in a contested case cannot be entered until 2/1/2021.