The temporary Emergency Rules on Evictions and Foreclosures are scheduled to end at Midnight on September 1, while two new pieces of legislation are due to pass concurrently. The California Judicial Council published this article yesterday.
From there, we believe the next hurdle is that the courts are not holding eviction trials yet (or civil trials of any kind), even in those cases where a judge has found a public health and safety reason to order the summons issued. Without trials, there are still no evictions. Many tenants are indigent and require legal aid to represent them, or they represent themselves. It’s hard to do a good job presenting evidence in court, even for many skilled attorneys. Presenting evidence virtually via Microsoft Teams or another virtual platform presents a host of other issues, and reasons to appeal and stay court decisions.
Meanwhile, since the initial June 10 vote to sunset the rules was proposed, the state legislature has been hard at work approving a couple bills that will protect tenants in the meantime, and likely create additional burdens on landlords. These bills are likely to throw more mud on the hardships suffered by landlords these past several months since the myriad eviction moratoria began.
Recent bills include SB 1410 (to add Civ. Code section 1947.20 relating to COVID-19 emergency and tenancies) and AB 1436 (The Homeowner, Tenant, and Small Landlord Relief Act of 2020). These bills may be accessed on the California Legislative Information website.
Concerned advocates indicate that these bills will completely destroy investment properties. Our firm, So. Cal. Realty Law, APC, is not passing judgment at this time because the bills are not final. The latest amendments on AB 1436 were made on August 10 and the bill is still in committee. The latest amendments on SB 1410 were made on August 5 and it is also still in committee. We will provide more analysis and information when the bills are final.
The good news is that the court will begin issuing summons for unlawful detainer cases soon. There is a light at the end of this long, long tunnel, and we are almost there.
Please join us for a live update via Zoom on Thursday, August 27, for our next installment of LANDLORDS NEED TO KNOW (Episode #6). We will review the status of the local eviction moratoria, and some information that we’ve learned about Los Angeles and other areas. We will provide more information about pending legislation and offer you more suggestions about how landlords and tenants can work together to make life a little easier all around. We look forward to seeing you!
Shanna Welsh-Levin is a California Real Estate Attorney who assists Realtors®, investors, and homeowners with real estate sale transactions and litigation. She authored legislation that became the California short sale anti-deficiency statute, Cal. Code of Civil Procedure §580e. Her firm, So. Cal. Realty Law, resolves real estate disputes and protects real estate investments. Services also include managing risk for real estate brokers and preventing future liability.