**UPDATED as of September 1st, 2020**
Assembly Bill 3088 – COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020:
The Santa Barbara County eviction moratorium is scheduled to expire on September 30th, 2020, unless the Board of Supervisors extends it. A new bill, AB 3088, was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on August 31st, 2020 temporarily amending State Law regarding evictions. It is important to note that this bill does not prevent all evictions from occurring, nor does it excuse non-payments of rent.
Read below for more information regarding AB 3088:
- Any missed rental payments between March 1st and August 31st, 2020 will be converted to civil debt and landlords cannot evict you for not paying it. However, landlords can take you to small claims court for these missed rent payments, starting March 1st, 2021.
- Beginning September 1st, 2020 through January 31st, 2021, you are required to pay 25% of your rental payment each month, or you could be subject to eviction for non-payment of rent. The remaining unpaid 75% would be converted to civil debt (and is subject to small claims, as stated above).
- Your landlord must inform you of this deferment option and cannot retaliate against you for deferring.
- Under the new law, a tenant must swear under penalty of perjury that they are experiencing financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to qualify for the deferment.
- If the tenant earns more than 130% or more of a county’s median income, then a landlord can request proof from the tenant of financial hardship due to COVID-19 (i.e. a layoff or a wage-reduction notice).
- Tenants can now be evicted for reasons other than non-payment of rent (but just cause is still necessary).
- Usually, evictions for non-payment of rent or other charges require a three-day notice prior to a landlord filing an eviction case in the court. Under the new law, however, tenants are entitled to a fifteen-day notice, and the landlord must offer the tenant the opportunity to defer 75% of the rent if the tenant qualifies.
- Evictions for non-payment may not begin until October 5, 2020.
- Most of the tenant protections in the new law expire on February 1, 2021.