On September 1, 2020, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 3088, which contains the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020. This new law greatly changes your ability to collect rent through an unlawful detainer (eviction).
My tenant is not paying rent and I want to move forward immediately. What do I need to do?
You must serve your tenant with multiple notices. First, you must serve your tenants who have not paid rent between March 31, 2020 to August 31, 2020 with a disclosure that the California Legislature has enacted the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (we will refer to this disclosure as the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Disclosure. This disclosure must be served to your tenant on or before September 30, 2020. If you fail to give this disclosure to your tenant you cannot serve a notice to pay rent or quit and prevail with an unlawful detainer for nonpayment of rent.
You can download a copy of the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Disclosure by clicking HERE.
The specific notice you are required to serve to demand rent payment depends on what months your tenant owes rent for. The notices are not the same and it is very important that you serve the correct notice. Failure to give the tenant the proper notice will result in your case being defective.
- If your tenant owes rent for any time between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 you must serve Notice #1. You can download Notice #1 by clicking HERE.
- If your tenant owes rent for any time between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021 you must serve Notice #2. You can download Notice #2 by clicking HERE.
- If your tenant owes rent for both time periods described above you must serve BOTH Notice #1 and Notice #2.
Both Notice #1 and Notice #2 are a 15 day notice to pay rent or quit and are three pages long. The 15 days cannot include weekends or court holidays. Both notices also include a declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress.
What is a declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress?
A document that is now required to be served with any demand for rent payment for the period of March 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. The language that is required to be in a declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress is specified in AB 3088.
If a tenant provides a completed declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress to a Landlord within the 15 day notice period, protections are provided to the Tenant. Our office will send another email tomorrow that further explains how these declarations may affect your ability to file an unlawful detainer.
Lastly, the Court cannot issue Summons, Defaults, and/or Default Judgments on residential unlawful detainers that are based on nonpayment of rent or other monetary charges until after October 4, 2020. This gives you time to make sure the next steps you take are correct.
Our office can prepare the relevant notices for you for $89.00 plus service costs. Please email our office if you would like to have your notices served by our office. Please understand that during this time our phone lines will be extremely impacted and we ask that you send any questions that you have via email.