BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 3088, an extension to the statewide eviction moratorium.
The legislation went into effect immediately, and states that no tenant can be evicted before February 1, 2021 as a result of rent owed due to a COVID-19 related hardship. The tenant must provide proof of hardship from the time between March 4 – August 31, 2020. Also, from now through January 31, 2021, tenants must pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction.. provided that they show proof that it relates to COVID 19.
According to Ryan Alsop, Kern County Chief Administrative Officer, this legislation does not allow local level officials to take any action on their own creating their own moratorium.
"It specifically in Section 11.79.05 Line A Subsection 1, specifically prohibits your board from addressing eviction moratoriums on your own until at least February of next year," said Alsop.
23ABC spoke with Ian Sharples, Director of Public Affairs at the Income Property Association of Kern, about what the new legislation means for landlords.
"One of the really important things that this bill does is it provides very clear and consistent guidance from the state level. As opposed to the patch work of different regulations across 50 plus counties throughout California. So, that's really crucial for providing predictability that landlords and other just really any businesses needs in this kind of climate," said Sharples.
He also addressed the protections in place for landlords who may not be able to pay their mortgages.
"This bill, AB 3088 does include some protections in terms of foreclosures especially for small landlords, people with up to four units. So, that's the majority of our membership here in Kern County are those kind of mom and pop shops that are really using this for retirement income, really supplemental. So, those protections I think are really critical and we were glade to negotiate those into the final bill," said Sharples.
Sharples told 23ABC that more could be done to stabilize the rental housing market.
"I think the obvious solution to this crisis is something both tenant groups and landlord groups have been very consistent on basically since March, is that there needs to be some type of rental assistance. Unfortunately, the state of California has a 54-billion-dollar budget deficit right now. So, they're not really having the capacity to offer that kind of assistance. This is really where the federal government needs to step up and so far, we've just seen them falling flat on that front," said Sharples.