RSO Commission Recommends Moratorium on Eviction for Nonpayment to End

The Beverly Hills Rent Stabilization Commission has recommended that city council sunset our local moratorium’s prohibition on eviction for nonpayment as soon as September 30th. The recommendation was suggested by the Apartment Owners Association and supported by landlord representatives on the commission and it passed by a vote of 4-2. If city council agreed then we could see local tenant protections end as soon as Sacramento decides to sunset its own moratorium. Will the commission follow with a recommendation to end the prohibition on rent increases and no-fault evictions too?

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Beverly Hills Moratorium Likely to Sunset on September 30th [updated]

County and state COVID–19 moratorium protections are set to expire on September 30th and it looks like City of Beverly Hills will follow suit. City hall has been mum about it yet the evidence suggests that city council will sunset our local moratorium by September 30th. That will open the door to eviction for nonpayment and even rent increases. More surprising is that council is tasking the newly reconstituted Rent Stabilization Commission with making a recommendation. Tenants, brace for a rent increase come October!

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State Eviction Protections End on June 30th

“California is open for business!” proclaimed our governor who is facing a recall. He’s talking “dream vacations” and $1.5 million lottery jackpots as he tosses pandemic restrictions to the dustbin. He wants to turn a depressing COVID–19 story into an uplifting tale of triumph but the messaging coming from his office seems like a trailer for a Hollywood blockbuster. Tenants in dire straits need more than a lottery and free queso from Chipotle. Yet Sacramento is silent about renewing COVID–19 tenant when they expire.

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City Council to Discuss COVID-19 Emergency Order on June 24

A question on the mind of many tenants is when will the tenant protections enacted under the Beverly Hills COVID–19 emergency order come to an end. City of Beverly Hills imposed a moratorium on evictions for non-payment and blocked no-fault evictions last fall. Subsequently city council amended the emergency order to put a moratorium on rent increases for rent-stabilized tenants too. With state emergency orders getting rolled-back when will state and local tenant protections expire? We may know more on Thursday June 24 when city council discusses it.

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Local Moratorium vs. Tenant Act Which Rules Apply? [Updated]

The Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 was signed by Governor Newsom at the end of August. Among other things, the legislation enacted the Tenant Act to establish a statewide framework for delaying rent due to COVID-19 financial hardship. It did so by preempting local moratoriums like ours. The Act also mandates a new process for requesting rent forbearance and, importantly, a new deadline for repaying back rent. What does it mean for Beverly Hills tenants?

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How Beverly Hills Tenants Lost Local COVID-19 Eviction Protections

The ‘Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020’ (AB 3088) was enacted on August 31st to protect COVID–19 affected tenants from eviction. And just in the nick of time: just hours later the California courts would resume processing evictions for non-payment of rent! But lawmakers had another motive: to make COVID–19 evictions policies consist statewide by preempting local measures (like the Beverly Hills eviction moratorium) under certain circumstances. Now it looks like Beverly Hills unwittingly played into the hands of the state and ceded authority over our own COVID–19 protections.

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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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