COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Fequently Asked Questions regarding the various eviction moratoriums
UPDATE: AS OF SEPTEMBER 1, 2020, THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL'S EMERGENCY RULE #1 IS HAS BEEN REPEALED, SUBSEQUENTLY CALIFORNIA PASSED AB 3088 OFFERING NEW PROTECTIONS TO TENANTS FROM EVICTION DUE TO NON-PAYMENT OF RENT AND OTHER CHARGES. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR OUR SUMMARY.
Q: I have heard/read that I can proceed with my Eviction/Unlawful Detainer after September 1, 2020 now that the Judicial Council terminated their Emergency Rule?
A: There’s no question that the end to the Judicial Council’s Emergency Rule is a victory for landlords. That Emergency Rule affected evictions with 3 rules: 1) The court prohibited the Summons from being issued; 2) the court prohibited defaults from being entered, and; 3) the court required trials be set at least 60 days out from the request to set trial.
This means if you started an Unlawful Detainer case, you can now proceed after September 1, 2020. We will be able to ask the court for the Summons, submit default and default judgments, and ask the court to set trial dates. However, Governor Gavin Newsom still has an Eviction Order in place that allows local municipalities to keep their Eviction Moratoria until September 30, 2020. There are also new Bills being proposed to protect both homeowners and renters. Those Bills will restrict Owner’s rights to evict tenants based on certain criteria. It is too early to speculate what the new rules will be. From now until September 1, 2020, we will be monitoring what new Bill gets passed to become new law.
Q: I haven’t heard from my tenant regarding rent payments or their inability to pay due to COVID-19, what can I do?
A: Each local municipality was given authority to enact their own eviction moratorium. Many cities have chosen to do so, while others have allowed the county to enact an eviction moratorium that encompasses their city. For example, the city of Azusa has its own eviction moratorium with its own rules and regulations about when a tenant can defer rent, if the tenant needs to give written notice, how much time does the tenant have to give written notice, and how long does the tenant have to repay the deferred rent. The city of Glendora does not have its own eviction moratorium, but the County of Los Angeles does have an eviction moratorium that covers Glendora. In general, if you have not heard from your tenant, you can serve a notice to pay rent or quit. Be aware that the Judicial Council of California still has a standing order delaying eviction proceedings.
Q: How much time does the tenant have to notify me that they’ve been affected by COVID-19?
A: This varies from city to city depending on its eviction moratorium. Some cities require no notice, some cities require 7 days notice, some require 30 days notice or possibly more. It is very important to be aware of the specific rules for your city. It is possible that even in a city where notice from the tenant is required, a judge could still side with a tenant who can prove their case at trial.
Q: Can I give a no fault eviction notice? For example a 30 Day Notice or 60 Day Notice to Quit?
A: This will depend on your city’s moratorium. Some cities have halted all no fault evictions. Some cities have halted no fault evictions for tenants that have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Some cities still allow no fault evictions. In these instances you still need to follow local or statewide eviction control laws if applicable.
Q: Can I serve a rent increase notice during the state of emergency?
A: Again, this will depend on your city’s eviction moratorium. You will still need to follow local or statewide rent control laws if rent increases are permitted in your city.
Q: Can I be punished for violating the eviction moratoriums?
A: Yes, even if you are ignorant of the law, you can still be punished by the law. Many, but not all, eviction moratoriums have language regarding potential fines and punishment for violating the eviction moratorium.
Frequently Asked Questions for Existing Clients
Q: What is the status of my eviction case?
A: Currently all cases are halted by the courts. No summons are being issued for new cases until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted. No default judgments may be taken for any cases until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted.
Q: What about trials?
A: All trials are being continued for 60 days and new trials being requested will have trials set no sooner than 60 days from the request. If you had a trial scheduled, you will be notified when to appear for your new trial date.
Q: Governor Newsom’s order only addressed evictions when tenants can’t pay their rent because of COVID-19, why can’t I evict my tenant for other reasons?
A: Legally, you did not lose your legal right to evict for causes other than non-payment of rent, but because of the Judicial Council’s order restricting eviction proceedings, everyone is affected.
Q: Are there are any exceptions?
A: The courts are permitting eviction cases to proceed if there is a danger to public health and safety. If you think your eviction case is necessary to protect public health and safety, please let us know and we will evaluate each case on a case by case basis. Please be aware, that new cases will incur additional fees in order to get court permission to proceed with an eviction.
Q: Is my lockout going to be scheduled/rescheduled soon?
A: Unfortunately, lockouts are on hold indefinitely. They could restart at any time, our office is monitoring the situation and we will let you know when lockouts are rescheduled.
Q: What about collections on my case where I already have a judgment?
A: We have temporarily halted collection efforts during the state of emergency. We will resume collection efforts once the emergency is lifted.
Frequently Asked Questions for new prospective clients
Q: Can I serve my tenant with a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit?
A: Yes. However, you will not be able to enforce your notice at this time. Tenants that have been impacted financially by COVID-19 will have 6 months (or longer in some areas) to repay rent that was unpaid during the state of emergency. If the tenant was simply withholding rent, without evidence of financial hardship due to COVID-19, you can proceed with evicting that tenant after 90 days from the date the state of emergency is lifted.
Q: What if my tenant is breaking covenants of the lease or other rules?
A: You can serve your tenant notice that they must comply with the covenants of their lease or other house rules, but you will not be able to enforce that notice until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted. The exception is if the tenant is causing a danger to public health and safety. Please call our office to schedule a consultation if you think that your tenant is causing a danger to public health and safety.
Q: If I can’t evict my tenants, what can I do?
A: Unfortunately, the majority of all landlords are being asked to wait out the emergency to allow tenants to comply with the governor’s Safer at Home order. We understand the frustrations and financial strain the government has placed on landlords everywhere, and we are hopeful that as people work together to stop the spread of COVID-19, the limitations could be lifted sooner and we can return to normalcy.
Q: When does the state of emergency end?
A: May 31, 2020 unless extended by Governor Newsom