Prince Girn, Esq
On June 28, 2021, the California Legislature passed AB 832, which extends the existing COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act that was set to expire in at the end of June. AB 832 builds upon the existing law by enacting the COVID-19 Rental Housing Recovery Act, which would, until September 30, 2024, among other things, place certain restrictions on an unlawful detainer action pertaining to residential real property that is based, in whole or in part, on nonpayment of rental debt that accumulated due to COVID-19 hardship, including by prohibiting a court from issuing a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer that seeks possession of residential real property based on nonpayment of rental debt that accumulated due to COVID-19 hardship unless the plaintiff also files a statement, under penalty of perjury, that the plaintiff attempted to obtain rental assistance and was denied and a copy of a final decision, as defined, from the pertinent government rental assistance program denying a rental assistance application for the property at issue in the case.
In other words, filing an unlawful detainer action against a tenant through September 30, 2024 on the basis of a residential tenant’s nonpayment of rent that became delinquent between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021 due to the tenant’s coronavirus (COVID-19)-related financial distress is prohibited unless the landlord (plaintiff) files a statement, under penalty of perjury, that the plaintiff attempted to obtain rental assistance and was denied and a copy of a final decision.
“Final decision” means a determination by a government rental assistance program regarding an application for rental assistance.
If the application is approved, then that would constitute a final decision.
A denied application would constitute a final decision if the denial was based on any of the following reasons:
-The tenant is not eligible for government rental assistance.
-The government rental assistance program no longer has sufficient rental assistance funds to approve the application.
-The application for government rental assistance remains incomplete for 15 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and other judicial holidays, after the landlord properly completed the portion of the application that is the responsibility of the landlord because of failure on the part of the tenant to properly complete the portion of the application that is the responsibility of the tenant.
A final decision does not include any of the following:
-The rejection of an application as incomplete or improperly completed by a landlord.
-Notification that an application is temporarily pending further action by the government rental assistance program or the applicant.
-Notification that the landlord or tenant applied to the wrong government rental assistance program for the property or rental debt at issue.
NOTE: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. For legal advice please contact an experienced attorney. For assistance please contact PKS Law Group, P.C. by visiting www.pks-lawgroup.com or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org