Proposed Law Protecting Tenants Amended: AB 828 Updated

May 20, 2020 Published Article

On May 18, 2020, AB 828 was amended and is currently on its second reading in the Senate Rules Committee. This legislation proposes a temporary moratorium on foreclosures and unlawful detainers while Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 emergency order is in effect. In addition to the moratorium, AB 828 also required landlords to reduce rent by 25% under certain circumstances. AB 828 was amended to remove the provision that required landlords to reduce rent by 25% for 12 months. The new provision requires landlords to allow tenant to remain in possession, and requires tenants to start paying rent the month following the end of the emergency order. Tenants must timely pay monthly rent plus 10% of any rent due and owing when the emergency order ended.

Under AB 828, a tenant may stipulate to the entry of an order in response to a residential unlawful detainer action filed by the landlord. Upon a hearing, the court determines if the tenant’s inability to pay rent is the result of increased expenses or a reduction in income due to COVID-19. The court must also make a determination that there is no material economic hardship for the landlord. Upon making such determinations, the court will issue an order that permits the tenant to remain in possession, and requires tenant to commence rental payments the month following the end of the COVID-19 emergency order. Tenant’s payment would include the monthly rent plus 10% of an unpaid rent during the COVID-19 emergency order, but excludes any late charges or other fees or charges. The tenant would be required to make timely payments, and if tenant fails to do so, after a 48 hour notice from landlord, the landlord can file for an immediate writ of possession in favor of the landlord and money judgment for any unpaid balance, court costs and attorneys’ fees.

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