Existing law prescribes various requirements to be satisfied before the exercise of a power of sale under a mortgage or deed of trust. Existing law requires that a notice of default and a notice of sale be recorded and that specified periods of time elapse between the recording and the sale. Existing law establishes certain requirements in connection with foreclosures on mortgages and deeds of trust, including restrictions on the actions mortgage servicers may take while a borrower is attempting to secure a loan modification or has submitted a loan modification application. Existing law applies certain of those requirements only to a first lien mortgage or deed of trust that is secured by owner-occupied residential real property containing no more than four dwelling units. This bill, the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020, would, among other things, until January 1, 2023, additionally apply those protections to a first lien mortgage or deed of trust that is secured by residential real property that is occupied by a tenant, contains no more than four dwelling units, and meets certain criteria, including that a tenant occupying the property is unable to pay rent due to a reduction in income resulting from the novel coronavirus. The bill would also enact the COVID-19 Small Landlord and Homeowner Relief Act of 2020 (Homeowner Act) , which would require a mortgage servicer, as defined, to provide a specified written notice to a borrower, as defined, if the mortgage servicer denies forbearance during the effective time period, as defined, that states the reasons for that denial if the borrower was both current on payments as of February 1, 2020, and is experiencing a financial hardship that prevents the borrower from making timely payments on the mortgage obligation due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 emergency. The Homeowner Act would also require a mortgage servicer to comply with applicable federal guidance regarding borrower options following a COVID-19 related forbearance. Existing law provides that a tenant is guilty of unlawful detainer if the tenant continues to possess the property without permission of the landlord after the tenant defaults on rent or fails to perform a condition or covenant of the lease under which the property is held, among other reasons. Existing law requires a tenant be served a 3 days' notice in writing to cure a default or perform a condition of the lease, or return possession of the property to the landlord, as specified. Existing law, the Mobilehome Residency Law, prohibits a tenancy from being terminated unless specified conditions are met, including that the tenant fails to pay rent, utility charges, or reasonable incidental service charges, and 3 days' notice in writing is provided to the tenant, as specified. This bill would, until February 1, 2025, enact the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (Tenant Act) . The Tenant Act would require that any 3 days' notice that demands payment of COVID-19 rental debt that is served on a tenant during the covered time period meet specified criteria, including that the notice include an unsigned copy of a declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress and that the notice advise the tenant that the tenant will not be evicted for failure to comply with the notice if the tenant delivers a signed declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress to the landlord, as specified. The Tenant Act would define "covered time period" for purposes of these provisions to mean the time between March 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021. The Tenant Act would deem a 3 days' notice that fails to comply with this criteria void and insufficient to support a judgment for unlawful detainer or to terminate a tenancy under the Mobilehome Residency Law. The Tenant Act would prohibit a tenant that delivers a declaration, under penalty of perjury, of COVID-19-related financial distress pursuant to these provisions from being deemed in default with regard to the COVID-19 rental debt, as specified. By expanding the crime of perjury, this bill would create a state-mandated local program. The Tenant Act would prohibit a court from finding a tenant guilty of an unlawful detainer before February 1, 2021, subject to certain exceptions, including if the tenant was guilty of the unlawful detainer before March 1, 2020. The bill would prohibit, before October 5, 2020, a court from taking specified actions with respect to unlawful detainer actions, including issuing a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer in any action that seeks possession of residential real property and that is based, in whole or in part, on nonpayment of rent or other charges. The Tenant Act would also authorize a landlord to require a high-income tenant, as defined, to additionally submit documentation supporting the claim that the tenant has suffered COVID-19-related financial distress if the landlord has proof of income showing the tenant is a high-income tenant. The Tenant Act would preempt an ordinance, resolution, regulation, or administrative action adopted by a city, county, or city and county in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to protect tenants from eviction based on nonpayment of rental payments, as specified. The bill would require the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency to, in consultation with the Department of Finance, engage with residential tenants, landlords, property owners, deed-restricted affordable housing providers, and financial sector stakeholders about strategies and approaches to direct potential future federal stimulus funding to most effectively and efficiently provide relief to distressed tenants, landlords, and property owners, as specified. Existing law prohibits a landlord from taking specified actions with intent to terminate the occupancy under any lease or other tenancy or estate at will, however created, of property used by a tenant as the tenant's residence. Existing law makes a violator of those provisions subject to certain damages in a civil action. This bill would, until February 1, 2021, make a violator of those provisions whose tenant has provided to that violator the declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress described above liable for damages in an amount between $1,000 and $2,500. Existing law, The Small Claims Act, grants jurisdiction to a small claims court in cases where the amount demanded does not exceed $5,000, as specified, and prohibits a person from filing more than 2 small claims actions in which the amount demanded exceeds $2,500 anywhere in the state in any calendar year. This bill would instead, until February 1, 2025, provide that a small claims court has jurisdiction in any action for recovery of COVID-19 rental debt, as defined, regardless of the amount demanded and would provide that a claim for recovery of a COVID-19 rental debt is exempt from the prohibition on filing more than 2 small claims actions described above. Existing law, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, prohibits, with certain exceptions, an owner of residential real property from increasing the gross rental rate for a dwelling or unit more than 5% plus the "percentage change in the cost of living," as defined, or 10%, whichever is lower, of the lowest gross rental rate charged for the immediately preceding 12 months, subject to specified conditions. The act exempts certain types of residential real properties, including dormitories constructed and maintained in connection with any higher education institution within the state for use and occupancy by students in attendance at the institution and housing that has been issued a certificate of occupancy within the previous 15 years. This bill would revise and recast those exemptions to exempt dormitories owned and operated by an institution of higher education or a kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, school. The bill would also make clarifying changes to the definition of "percentage change in the cost of living." This bill would also make clarifying and conforming changes. The bill would include findings that changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Read third time. Urgency clause adopted. Passed. Ordered to the Assembly. (Ayes 33. Noes 2.).
Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 37, Statutes of 2020.
Approved by the Governor.
Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 10:30 p.m.
Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling. (Ayes 61. Noes 8. Page 5463.).
Assembly Rule 63 suspended. (Page 5463.)
From committee: That the Senate amendments be concurred in. (Ayes 6. Noes 0.) (August 31).
Joint Rule 62(a), file notice suspended. (Page 5456.)
Re-referred to Com. on H. & C.D. pursuant to Assembly Rule 77.2.
In Assembly. Concurrence in Senate amendments pending.
Joint Rule 10.5 suspended. (Ayes 29. Noes 10.)
(Ayes 29. Noes 10.)
Ordered to third reading.
Withdrawn from committee.
In committee: Hearing postponed by committee.
Re-referred to Com. on RLS. pursuant to Senate Rule 29.10(c).
Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
Read third time and amended. Ordered to second reading.
Ordered to third reading.
From Consent Calendar.
Read second time and amended. Ordered to consent calendar.
From committee: Amend, and do pass as amended. To Consent Calendar. (Ayes 9. Noes 0.) (July 30).
In Senate. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment.
Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Senate. (Ayes 70. Noes 0. Page 4680.)
Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
From committee: Do pass. (Ayes 7. Noes 0.) (May 20).
From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re-refer to Com. on H. & C.D. Read second time and amended.
Read first time.
From printer. May be heard in committee March 23.
Introduced. To print.
|Bill Text Versions||Format|
|02/21/20 - Introduced|
|05/12/20 - Amended Assembly|
|08/01/20 - Amended Senate|
|08/28/20 - Amended Senate|
|08/31/20 - Enrolled|
|08/31/20 - Chaptered|
|No related documents.|
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