BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Over the past year, government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels have worked to protect those facing financial burdens during COVID-19. With the national eviction moratorium ending those barriers are slowly chipping away.
After more than a year, the national eviction moratorium came to an end over the weekend. But in California, most landlords can’t move forward with evictions until October. In September, renters will be expected to make 25% of their monthly rent payment.
“The statewide eviction moratorium that is set to expire on September 30. so what that’s going to do is that means once that date hits landlords can start evicting people for cause," said Ian Sharples, board member for the Income Property Association of Kern.
IPAK acts as a sort of chamber of commerce for the rental housing industry — representing landlords, property managers, and vendors.
Sharples says despite the protections this year, tenants still have an obligation to pay their unpaid rent — or back rent.
When the state moratorium ends, landlords will be able to take tenants to small claims court to recover unpaid rent.
“This particular bill did have a provision in it that if a landlord wanted to evict a tenant for failure to pay rent they do have to apply for rental assistance before that can be processed," Sharples said. “If you’re behind on rent, you should be applying for rental assistance and you should be doing it now.”
Sharples says while there’s still time for Californians, renters need to take action now if they want assistance.
“Once October hits, I think you’re going to see a lot of evictions head to court. I think you’ll also see a lot of these programs ramp up but you’ll also see a sort of eviction cliff, which may open up some properties but it's like musical chairs with rental properties right now in Kern County.”
Sharples says under the latest state bill landlords are entitled to receive 100% of back rent pay — but they must apply for rental assistance in order to receive that pay.