Help for Renters & Homeowners

On August, 31, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act.  Information on this bill can be found here or for full text visitinghttp://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.. 

Under the legislation, no tenant can be evicted before February 1, 2021 as a result of rent owed due to a COVID-19 related hardship accrued between March 4 – August 31, 2020, if the tenant provides a declaration of hardship according to the legislation’s timelines. For a COVID-19 related hardship that accrues between September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021, tenants must also pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction.

Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction. Landlords may begin to recover this debt on March 1, 2021, and small claims court jurisdiction is temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts. Landlords who do not follow the court evictions process will face increased penalties under the Act.

The legislation also extends anti-foreclosure protections in the Homeowner Bill of Rights to small landlords; provides new accountability and transparency provisions to protect small landlord borrowers who request CARES-compliant forbearance; and provides the borrower who is harmed by a material violation with a cause of action.

Additional legal and financial protections for tenants include:

  • Extending the notice period for nonpayment of rent from 3 to 15 days to provide tenant additional time to respond to landlord’s notice to pay rent or quit.
  • Requiring landlords to provide hardship declaration forms in a different language if rental agreement was negotiated in a different language.
  • Providing tenants a backstop if they have a good reason for failing to return the hardship declaration within 15 days.
  • Requiring landlords to provide tenants a notice detailing their rights under the Act.
  • Limiting public disclosure of eviction cases involving nonpayment of rent between March 4, 2020 – January 31, 2021.
  • Protecting tenants against being evicted for “just cause” if the landlord is shown to be really evicting the tenant for COVID-19-related nonpayment of rent.

Existing local ordinances can generally remain in place until they expire and future local action cannot undermine this Act’s framework. Nothing in the legislation affects a local jurisdiction’s ability to adopt an ordinance that requires just cause, provided it does not affect rental payments before January 31, 2021.

Legal Services 

This information is for residents that find themselves in the eviction process.  The resources provided below are not affiliated with the City of Marina and therefore the City cannot endorse any legal advice.  Residents are encouraged to do their own research to ensure there interests are being protected.