At its meeting on April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council adopted an emergency court rule that effectively stops all evictions, other than those necessary to protect public health and safety, for the duration of the COVID‐19 emergency. The rule is applicable to all courts and to all eviction cases, whether they are based on a tenant’s missed rent payment or another reason. This new court rule will apply until 90 day after the Governor lifts the state of emergency related to the COVID‐19 pandemic, or until it is amended or repealed by the Judicial Council. The rule:
In addition, the Judicial Council adopted an emergency rule related to judicial foreclosures. This rule also applies until 90 days after the Governor lifts the COVID‐19 state of emergency. The rule:
Note that this rule does not impact non‐judicial foreclosures, which comprise the vast majority of foreclosures in California. Non‐judicial foreclosure sales are conducted by private parties outside the courthouse and are not affected by these new emergency rules.
While these emergency rules effectively put evictions and judicial foreclosures on hold at least through the summer, they do not establish any new tenant rights or defenses to an eviction, address requirements for notifying landlords or providing documentation when tenants are unable to pay rent due to loss of income or other COVID‐19 related reasons, or address how repayment will be handled. These are all issues that would be difficult for the courts to take on, or that they don’t have the authority to address. We expect that the Legislature will address these issues with urgency when it returns in May.
AB 1482 – Tenant Protection Act: Summary of Key Provisions
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1482 on Oct. 8, 2019, enacting statewide rent control legislation in California, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. Below is a summary of select key provisions.
1. ANNUAL CAP ON RENT INCREASES EXPLAINED
AB 1482 Caps Annual Rent Increases at 5% Plus Inflation. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, AB 1482 caps rent increases statewide at 5% plus local inflation per year for the next 10 years, unless lawmakers vote to extend it.
If you live in a city that does not already have a local rent control law, rent increases will be limited to 5%, plus local inflation, but can never exceed a total of 10%.
For example, if the inflation rate is 3.8%, a landlord could raise rent by as much as 8.8%. If the inflation rate is 6%, a landlord could only raise rent by as much as 10%.
2. JURISDICTIONS WITH LOCAL RENT CONTROL
AB 1482 Does Not Override Local Rent Control Rules. AB 1482 does not apply to housing regulated by local rent control ordinances and the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Cities and counties can continue to pass local rent control laws consistent with Costa-Hawkins and set rent caps at any level they choose; however, they cannot affect the buildings and associated rent cap that fall under AB 1482.
3. BUILDINGS IMPACTED
AB 1482 Applies to Apartments and Other Multi-Family Buildings Containing Two Units or More. AB 1482 exempts single-family homes and condos, except when owned by a corporation, real estate investment trust, or limited liability corporation in which at least one member is a corporation.4 AB 1482 also exempts duplexes, when one of the units is occupied by the owner.
Thus, for example, apartments constructed in the future would not fall under the rent cap until fifteen (15) years after they’re built.
4. VACANCY DECONTROL
AB 1482 Does Not Apply to Vacant Units. AB 1482 does not apply to vacant units. Owners can continue to reset rents to market rate at vacancy, and then resume conforming to the annual cap of 5% plus inflation under AB 1482.
5. JUST CAUSE EVICTIONS
AB 1482 Prohibits Evictions Without Just Cause. For tenants that have lived in a unit for at least one year, AB 1482 prohibits evictions and non-renewals of leases without “just cause.”
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