Sweeping new changes have been ushered in by the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (AB-3088) At the last minute, the California legislature and Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 3088, a law aimed to strike a compromise between cash-strapped tenants who have been financially impacted by the pandemic, and landlords who have been bereft of rental income and face hardship of their own.

Key provisions of the new law:

Reopens courts Allows courts to hear eviction cases other than non-payment of rent beginning September 2. Non-payment of rent cases can be heard starting October 5.

Puts the ball in the courts of tenants Tenants are required to declare under penalty of perjury that failure to pay rent is because of a COVID-19-related hardship.

Well-to-do tenants can't game the system The law establishes a means test for high-income renters who must produce documentation of distress if asked by the landlord.

Changes the 3-day notice Introduces a 15-day notice when the landlord seeks rent owed. Tenants must return a declaration of hardship within this period. MT Evictions has already prepared all of the requisite notices and declarations.

Extends "just cause" eviction protections throughout the state Forward-thinking lawmakers fearing retaliatory measures by landlords who have not received rents have subjected all properties to the just cause eviction protections of AB-1482.

Sets guidelines for recovering back rent Rent debt accrued during the pandemic is converted into consumer debt recoverable through civil court and the law lifts restrictions from small claims court.

Consolidates a patchwork of local rules Tempers a local government’s inclination to extend eviction moratoriums.

Many other provisions, but these are the key ones that jump off the page.

Download a one-page fact sheet on Assembly Bill 3088

In this handy PDF, we explain the new law in bulleted fashion.


Tenant protections and landlord obligations in a nutshell

As proud members of the California Apartment Association, we share an excellent video from the CAA that summarizes the provisions of AB-13088. Of course, the new law engenders many more questions and you can count on MT Evictions to provide clarity.