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California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. (Photo: law.ucdavis.edu)

California Eviction Moratorium Could End As Soon As Next Month

Landlords and building owners are facing financial distress and lapsed mortgages of their own

By Evan Symon, July 29, 2020 9:13 pm

The statewide eviction moratorium, set in place by the Judicial Council in April, has been placed on notice for expiration next month following an announcement last Friday by California Supreme Court Chief Justice and Judicial Council leader Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

An end of the moratorium with few replacement protections

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye noted that the Council “will soon consider rescinding temporary emergency rules” that “suspended court actions on evictions and judicial foreclosures during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the the end of the eviction moratorium coming as soon as August 14th.

The Council is deciding on such changes due to Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature proposing various tenant and landlord protections, including many blanket protections proposed in the $100 billion California stimulus plan.

A lawsuit by the Pacific Legal Foundation challenging the eviction moratorium against the Judicial Council was also cited by many lawmakers and legal experts as a possible factor in the Council’s decision.

“The remedies are best left to the legislative and executive branches of government,” said Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye on Friday. “I want to give the two branches enough notice that the council will very soon resume voting to terminate these temporary orders.”

While some measures can still protect tenants from being evicted outright, most notably Governor Newsom’s Executive Order banning evictions statewide until September, the Judicial Council allowing their ban to lapse means that there is no more broad eviction protection safety net in case other branches fail to put new measures in place. It also means that landlords can now file and do everything short of an actual eviction.

“After August 14th, any tenant in California behind on rent are going to be on notice and at the mercy of new laws guaranteeing protection,” said homeless counselor Jane McCutchen to the Globe. “It’s telling hundreds and thousands of people across California that they may be homeless.”

Hundreds of thousands of people could lose their homes after the end of the moratorium

Opponents of the Judicial Council’s possible decision in the next few weeks have noted that any evictions allowed now will only hurt California, as it will bring in a large wave of newly homeless people, most notably in places such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

“I was disappointed to learn that … the Judicial Council of the state may soon vote to end its statewide eviction moratorium as early as next month,” stated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a press conference. “I agree with California’s Chief Justice that our state legislature should act. But the reality is that these measures need more time to pass. And the insecurity that getting rid of the eviction moratorium would give all the renters in this state would be very very bad.”

In a UCLA report published in May, researchers noted that around 365,000 households in Los Angeles alone may face eviction due to tenants not having jobs or falling behind in rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn. Nearly 600,000 workers alone in LA are out of work with no unemployment benefits.

Statewide, California is looking at over a possible 1 million evictions in total if all protections are dropped and if all landlords pursue evictions.

“This would make California the homeless capitol of the world,” added McCutchen. “Some landlords could adjust rents or extend some forgiveness, but the majority won’t. We’ve been seeing this happen on a small-scale for years with rising rents forcing people out and contributing to the homeless crisis.”

“If we allow this to happen we will have a homeless crisis on steroids here. Undocumented workers barely making it will be forced out, as they are one of the main groups affected. That means ICE might swoop in.”

“A lot of low-paid workers may not be in or around major cities after this, and basic services could become worsened because of it. A lot of people I help also live in their cars. We might see a flood of people suddenly having to find places to park in LA and the Bay area and San Diego. This is worst case, but now it’s more possible than ever.”

With Newsom’s Executive Order only possibly protecting the moratorium and two bills currently in the process of being passed in the Legislature, the delayed rent bill SB 1410 and AB 1436, a bill which could delay eviction until mid 2021, proponents of eviction have rallied around the likely Judicial Council decision.

Landlords and building owners celebrate likely Judicial Council decision

Landlords and building owners, many of whom are facing financial distress and lapsed mortgages of their own, have already fought back against the moratorium, such as the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles suing the city of Los Angeles in June over unfairly targeting landlords with pro-moratorium decisions.

“If I don’t get the usual rent amounts soon, we can’t make paying the mortgage. In August, part of our social security checks will actually have to go towards that,” said Los Angeles landlord Susan Chang to the Globe earlier this month. “No one ever wants to feel sorry for a landlord. They think we’re just in it for profit.”

Susan added in an e-mail on Wednesday that “[Landlords] now have a fighting chance to survive. If we aren’t there with available units, it doesn’t matter how many people are saved from eviction. If we have to close our complexes, that’s people out on the street no matter what.”

The moratorium, originally expected to expire 90 days following the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency, is now scheduled to have a vote in the next few weeks over the moratorium ending on August 14th.

Evan Symon
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21 thoughts on “California Eviction Moratorium Could End As Soon As Next Month

  1. One way to address this is to follow the science, pull back the lockdowns, flatten the fear and re-open the economy.

  2. “A lawsuit by the Pacific Legal Foundation challenging the eviction moratorium against the Judicial Council was also cited by many lawmakers and legal experts as a possible factor in the Council’s decision.”

    Thank God for the PLF and their lawsuits against judicial tyranny!

  3. Not all landlords are wealthy; in fact most are like us. My husband worked very hard over the last 40 years, fixing up distressed properties, improving the neighborhood, and providing a nice place to rent. I worked very hard to pay for the repairs until we finally were making a profit on the rentals. Our rental income now is our retirement income and we are not wealthy. We just sold our duplex and replaced it with a 4 plex in Kansas, and our single family houses are next. When we sell them, they likely will not be rentals, so fewer rentals for CA people. If even a few people do what we’re doing, the housing crisis will become critical, but the idiots in Sacramento can’t see beyond their noses to the consequences of their actions. And just wait for the blow up if they get their idea of landlords lowering rents by 30% through!!
    And YES!!! Open up the economy before it totally crashes!

    1. Most landlords are single property landlords and cannot afford to carry non-paying tenants. We have taken our home off of the rental market in San Francisco as letting tenants into our home now carries far too much risk. Tenants can break nearly every agreement on the lease and we have no recourse to evict. This includes subletting, moving in additional people, and altering the property, as well as not paying rent. There are many like us who are taking our properties off of the rental market. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

  4. Apply the action effecting landlords, to how it would effect other business owners. Tell the food shops they must give the food away. With a false promise the people will return and pay for it later. How long before the shop owner runs out of inventory. How about the utility companies? Are they forced to continue serving without payment, including those who are not even effected by COVID-19? Blanket protection for all tenants, 100% at the Landlords expense. Come up with a most equitable while compassionate. The impacted tenants should be supported by the government so as to be protected from the exposure to the virus in moving. This is a national health issue. Pay the tenants leases upon proof by them that their income is COVID-19 impacted, and that percentage of loss can be applied the amount of rent the government covers. The tenant covers the rest. Those who cannot prove qualifications, will have no protection from eviction.

    1. Great analogy! Landlords get no sympathy from anyone, especially the government and the media. Most renters just don’t understand that most of us were poor at one point too (and will be again, if this moratorium nonsense isn’t lifted soon). They all seem to think that we’re part of the so called “1 percenters” like some mega-rich bankers or something. I own two homes, one of them being my sole rental property. If I was a member of the 1 Percenter Club I doubt I’d still be driving a 20 year old vehicle!

  5. If the quantity of tenants who cannot prove impact and thus can be evicted is a danger to the public, then they too need to be supported but with a loan from the government to cover the rent in the percentage of lost income.
    Countrywide loss should not be on the shoulders of certain individuals. It should be an evenly distributed loss. For instance: What is the equity value you reported to your last lender? Use those provable answers to apply the countrywide loss to. Those at the bottom won’t starve from it. Not then. Not in any economic circumstance.

  6. The landlord is always the bad guy. Is the state going to tell people to steal food off the shelves of the grocery store because they cannot afford food? I have a tenant that gets social security, the pandemic 1200, and $4000 a month pandemic unemployment. His rent is only $400 a month but he hasn’t since March. He is clearly using this as an excuse and he is sending all the money to his family in Mexico. I have the receipts.

    1. How about subsidizing the ones who are genuinely affected by the pandemic. Then, offset the cost with fines from the abusers.

  7. How about subsidizing the ones who are genuinely affected by the pandemic. Then, offset the cost with fines from the abusers.

  8. NEITHER THE JUD COUNCIL NOR ERIC GARCETTI ARE ANY FRIEND TO RENTERS IN CALIFORNIA — I DON’T GIVE A DAMN HOW MUCH HE’S ‘SADDENED’ BY THS NEWS……..YES, THE LEG SHOULD ‘ACT’ BUT WE HAVEN’T GOT TIME FOR THIS PROCEDURAL BULLSHIT…..AND THE LOT OF THEM SHOULD BE STRUNG UP LIKE STUCK PIGS…..

  9. Thank for giving voice for the voiceless hard working trying to stand by their own leg are becoming hit left and right. The rich has reserve the poor they have government help. People independent minded the backbone the sprit of this country getting sandwich in between.
    In 2008 after the collapse of the economy I lost my job. Then I cash out my retirement and stocks and I have paid 10% penalty On my 401 for early withdrawals. With that money I bought fixer property in bad area I have worked none stop to make those properties Livable. The rental is the only income I have to pay my mortgage and put food on the table for my family. Now one of my tenant refused to pay while working not impacted by COVID-19 but claiming. This Person has to live for free on my expense in my property.
    COVID-19 . The government must consider our situation. People like us invisible for the politicians
    but we changed Nieghbor hoods, we reduce the crime creat family friendly Nieghbor hoods.
    When the rich was afraid to buy any distressed
    In 2009 people like me for our own good we jump in put our money and our life and we made a difference for the recovery.
    I want the politicians to see the reality on the ground and come out with reasonable plan.
    Extend unemployment give streamline eviction
    Those not following the rules and not impacted by the COVID-19 they should be evicted. Otherwise we are creating a lawlessness society. We have to see the world as it it is which is the world not perfect. So , government has to keep things in order . One fits all order will lead to lawlessness.

  10. I worked in rental subsidy assistance so I have some experience in seeing many different renting scenarios. I know not all landlords are rich, in fact quite a few are not. But the days of renting from “Mom & Pop” landlords are mostly over, it’s big property management companys that have taken over, and many are investments, so Profit is the main motivator not housing affordability. The math is terrible. You need two incomes pulling at least 17-20 bucks an hour full time to cover most basic rents even in rural areas now days and be able to afford a car, kids, healthcare, schooling, utilities and every-other labyrinth of problem life in this country throws at you. Affordable rent is rent that does not exceed 30% of your adjusted monthly income. 90% rents are not affordable for most folks. Rents are too high and income is too low. the reasons behind both are the same… the truly wealthy using our economy as their monopoly board. Increasing property values at the expense of the common good of all is not progress its gentrification and making being poor more likely and illegal.

  11. A blanket ban on all evictions is a decision that was meant to appease voters. It’s also an incredible abuse of power and disregard for people who own a business. Yes landlords are people like you who many have not inherited anything but worked their entire lives to purchase a few properties.

    I was in contract to buy a distressed property long before this crisis and have spent upward of 15k to do all inspections on this property. The prior owner was old and died recently so he was not keeping an eye on the property. Many of the tenants there are beyond terrible people who have no regard for laws or decency. Last week one of their boyfriends walked out threw a brick through the windows, threw a brick threw a car window and left. Today was the 3d time a pest inspector came to the property because they flat out refused to open the doors and had changed the locks on the doors. The property owners which are the sons of the prior owner literally have no power to do anything or remove these people. How insane are California legislators to make landlords into doormats with no power to protect even their own properties because some stupid people are holding up ban rent signs. What a great fucking way to reward people who don’t give a fuck about accountability and think that they should be awarded things in life that other people have worked for. I agree that people need help with rent but since when is it the fucking duty of a specific group of people (landlords) to take all of this burden and how is that fucking fair

  12. I believe government should step in to give landlords some compensation to keep tenants That are sincerely trying to pay what they can. Many times tenants are receiving subsidy checks, unemployment with cost of living increases and do not pay rent. Along with not receiving rent ,I have endured public insults and attacks Taken to court over false accusations and more. Blanket forgiveness of rent is putting the burden on business owners. We don’t get a break on continuing to provide clean drinking water even in power outs, we have to pay the mortgage and taxes. The hardship on landlords is very real.

  13. This is a landlord of Arcadia city California. My tenant do not move out after tenancy ended, I feel very stressful that I have to move in this house as my child started to go back to school. Tenant damaged my property in June and broke many of tenancy. He was harass me and do not allow me to get into my bedroom anymore (first floor bedroom do not included in lease agreement). He always using Covid-19 as an excuse do not paying rent. Why always protect tenant? I only contract for 6 months, but tenant lived more than 6 months. If I don’t evict tenant as emergency issues that I will become homeless with my little 5 year old child. Is it fair to landlord? I really need help! ! Can anyone help me??

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