REDDING, Calif. — State lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 3088 Monday, August 31, to keep those who can't pay in their homes and apartments, for now.
This bill provides an extra five months of relief for some renters who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 as the original eviction ban was scheduled to expire on September 1.
An estimated 4-million Californias were at risk of eviction because of unpaid rent as the COVID-19 pandemic stretched into September.
Lawmakers extended the ban on evictions through the end of the year.
This means tenants do not have to immediately repay rent they’ve missed between March and August just yet - but they now have until February.
Tenants must pay 25% of their rent from September 1 through January 31 to be protected from eviction—so they won't be kicked out now.
Renters who don't pay will be able to be evicted in February first.
Melinda Brown, the owner of Real Property Management, says this new bill may be intended to help tenants but it could cost people like her thousands of dollars as some people take advantage of the situation.
“So in reality, I think the legislation is trying to do something good but they’re not going about it in the right way,” said Brown. “And it’s not helping the people that they really need to help. It’s really just helping the people who were in the process of being evicted before this whole thing just started.”
Brown says she had about 15 tenants who struggled to pay rent but they’ve all set up payment plans and have been working with her.
But she also had four tenants who have been living rent-free for the past six months and haven’t made the effort in setting up a payment plan and that does affect landlords directly.
“And not everybody who owns real estate has funds available - they need the rent,” Brown says. “Most people that own real estate need the rent to make the mortgage and keep up with the expenses.”
The bill would also extend some foreclosure protection to owners of rental property of four dwellings or fewer that also meet certain criteria.