Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday night signed an extension to the eviction moratorium, allowing millions of residents to keep their homes, for now.
The extension was scheduled to expire Monday, with evictions allowed to begin as early as Tuesday, had the extension not been signed by the governor.
Under the legislation, if a tenant is facing a COVID-19-related hardship, they cannot be evicted from their home before Feb. 21, 2021. Tenants must also pay at least 25 percent of their rent from Sept. 1 through Jan. 31, under the legislation.
According to a press release from the governor, "Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction. Landlords may begin to recover this debt on March 1, 2021, and small claims court jurisdiction is temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts. Landlords who do not follow the court evictions process will face increased penalties under the Act."
Newsom said in his press release, "COVID-19 has impacted everyone in California – but some bear much more of the burden than others, especially tenants struggling to stitch together the monthly rent, and they deserve protection from eviction. This new law protects tenants from eviction for non-payment of rent and helps keep homeowners out of foreclosure as a result of economic hardship caused by this terrible pandemic. California is stepping up to protect those most at-risk because of COVID-related nonpayment, but it’s just a bridge to a more permanent solution once the federal government finally recognizes its role in stabilizing the housing market.
"We need a real, federal commitment of significant new funding to assist struggling tenants and homeowners in California and across the nation.”