California Eviction Moratorium Ended September 30, 2021

California Eviction Moratorium Ended
September 30, 2021

By: Laura E. Ferret, Esq.

October 5, 2021

Since the beginning of the pandemic, residential property owners have been restricted in their ability to terminate the leases of their tenants. California’s eviction moratorium first went into place in March of 2020, was extended in September of 2020, extended for the second in January 2021, and extended for a third time in June of 2021. The third extension went through September 30, 2021. Accordingly, tenants have been protected by federal, state, and even county-wide eviction moratoriums for over a year. However, on August 27, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that CDC had overstepped its authority and struck down the federal eviction moratorium. Then, on September 30, 2021, California’s eviction moratorium expired without being renewed.

What does this mean for investors in California? While some counties still have tenant protections in place, most single-family property owners in California will regain their right to terminate month-to-month tenancies without cause. Multi-Unit owners will still be subject to the “just cause” eviction requirements and rent control provided in AB- 1482. However, whether the property is a single-family or multi-family unit, the owner will also now be able to proceed with evictions that are based on failure to pay rent.

Tenants who signed COVID declarations during the moratorium but did not pay 25% of the rent may be evicted starting October 1, 2021. Owners can proceed with their small claims court suits to recover any remaining unpaid rent starting November 1, 2021. However, tenants must be given the opportunity to apply for government rental assistance before the landlord can evict based on rent that went unpaid during the moratorium. Owners who plan to file unlawful detainers or sue their tenants in small claims court for past due rent may face scrutiny if they do not cooperate with the tenant’s application for rental assistance.

Moreover, starting October 1, 2021, tenants must go back to paying the rent in full. If they do not pay on time, landlords can go back to using a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit instead of the 15-day notice that was required during the moratorium. However, pursuant to Civil Code 1179.10, all 3-day notices served from October 1, 2021, to March 1, 2022, must contain specific language notifying the tenant of their opportunity to apply for rental assistance. Failure to include this language can be fatal to any unlawful detainer case filed based on the three-day notice.

The information presented in this Article is not to be taken as legal advice. Every person’s situation is different. If you are facing a legal issue of any kind, get competent legal advice in your State immediately so that you can determine your best options.

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