AB 3088: State Law Preempts Beverly Hills Moratorium on Eviction for Non-Payment

Governor Newsom signed AB 3088 at the end of August to establish a statewide framework for delaying and repaying back rent due to COVID-19 financial distress. The important legislation also defined a new process by which tenants request forbearance and imposed a deadline for the repayment of all rent due. The legislation explicitly preempts local measures like our Beverly Hills moratorium that has been in place since late March. Or doesn’t it preempt?

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Trump’s Executive Order: Too Little for Tenants, and Late Too

The president of the United States on August 8th signed an executive order “to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, residential evictions and foreclosures during the ongoing COVID–19 national emergency.” The rationale was to prevent the “further spread of COVID–19,” but the order didn’t specify any measure to stem the expected wave of evictions. Namely there was no actual prohibition on eviction for non-payment and no provision for subsidies to help tenants. So what did this executive order accomplish exactly?

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Courts Can Process Evictions. What Does That Mean for Tenants?

The state policy-making body for the courts decided last week to sunset Emergency Rule #1 that puts the brake on unlawful detainers in Superior Court. The rule is providing immediate relief for tenants with cases in the eviction pipeline. But the greater effect is to prevent tenants from being summoned in such cases. Emergency rule #1 was issued by the Judicial Council in April in response to the pandemic but as of September it goes away even though we’re stuck with the pandemic. What does it mean for tenants?

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California Courts Again Are Open for Eviction Proceedings

Tenants who may have viewed the Superior Court’s pause on evictions as a backstop to our local eviction moratorium should know that eviction cases (and filings) will proceed as of September 1st. An amended rule by the court’s Judicial Council on August 13th imposes a sunset clause on its Emergency rule #1 promulgated in April to pause evictions. It may sound arcane but it augurs some pain for tenants who are at risk of displacement during the pandemic.

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Renters Alliance Position on Mandatory Rent Repayment Plans: A Bad Idea!

City council will discuss modifying the urgency ordinance to possibly implement something like a mandatory rent-repayment plan for tenants who seek forbearance of rent due to COVID-19 emergency measures. No other major California city imposes the requirement as a condition for assistance because it means committing the tenant to an additional monthly financial obligation (on top of the regular rent) at a time when economic uncertainty is at its highest. Here are the points I made to city council.

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The Mandatory Rent Repayment Plan: No Good Option for Tenants

Tuesday afternoon city council will consider modifying the urgency ordinance that sets the terms for the moratoriums on eviction for non-payment. The agenda item A–2 is titled ‘Consideration of Modifications to the City’s Urgency Ordinance 20-O–2808.’ We could have missed this important discussion had we not read through each of the five meeting agendas on the council calendar that day. Good thing we noticed: up for discussion is a proposal to make a rent repayment plan mandatory for tenants who delay paying the rent.

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Mandated Moratorium Rent Repayment Plans? A Solution in Search of a Problem!

On Tuesday afternoon’s city council meeting agenda is an item dryly titled, ‘Consideration of Modifications to the City’s Urgency Ordinance 20-O–2808.’ Proposed for council consideration is a major change to the terms of the city’s residential eviction moratorium: A tenant who asks for rent forbearance could have to sign on to a rent repayment plan in order to receive it. Here’s why that is a solution in search of a problem!

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Moratorium on No-Fault Eviction: What It Means

The revised emergency measures related to COVID–19 adopted by Beverly Hills is notable for the moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent and the moratorium on rent increases. But as important is a moratorium on no-fault eviction. State law allows for terminating a tenancy for reasons where the tenant is not at fault and localities are preempted from stepping in with more restrictive regulation. But that’s gone out the window during this emergency. Here is what you need to know about no-fault eviction.

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Moratorium on Eviction for Non-Payment: What You Need to Know

Beverly Hills city council has revised the moratorium on eviction for the non-payment of rent to add two important protections: it now prohibits any no-fault eviction including under the state’s Ellis Act (and stops the clock on evictions underway); and it puts the freeze on rent increases for residential tenants effective April 1st. But the most significant protection is against eviction for non-payment related to COVID–19. Here’s what you need to know.

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Tenants Suffer as City Stays Mum on the Revised Moratorium Ordinance

Five days have elapsed since Beverly Hills enacted a revised moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent. Yet we have not heard a word about it from the city: no update to the rent stabilization website, no email announcing it, and no guidance for tenants who cannot pay the rent due to COVID-19. Landlords will take advantage of that information vacuum and tenant uncertainty and anxiety will result. Here’s one example courtesy of landlord Elm Enterprises, LLC.

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City Council Extends and Enhances Emergency Tenant Protections

After another marathon eight-hour emergency meeting, Beverly Hills city council unanimously agreed to improve our moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent due to COVID–19 by extending the repayment period from six months to one year AND adding a new protection against Ellis Act eviction. City council also agreed to freeze rent increases, too, so no tenant will see a rent hike while the local emergency is in place.

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