A state law protecting tenants from evictions in California expires in two months, but lawmakers are seeking an extension until the end of next year, citing continuing economic hardships from a new stay-at-home order that’s meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The current law bars evictions as long as renters pay at least 25% of their rent and attest to financial hardship, but it expires on Jan. 31, 2021. Legislation introduced Monday would extend the protections for 11 months, until Dec. 31 of next year.
“As we move into one of the most frightening COVID surges, keeping renters in their homes is crucial to ensuring our communities are healthy,” said Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), author of AB 15, in a written statement. “Allowing these protections to expire Feb. 1 could lead to a wave of evictions and an increase in COVID cases.”
Chiu also introduced a second piece of legislation, AB 16, that would provide unspecified rental relief for those who face debt from complying with AB 15, should that extension be enacted into law. AB 16 would require tenants to pay 25% of their rent owed between Sept. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021, to avoid eviction, with any remaining amounts owed to the landlord converted to civil debt.
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