What is Assembly Bill 3088 - The COVID-19 Eviction Protections Act?
California Assembly Bill (AB) 3088, known as the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (the Act), creates eviction protections for tenants that have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadly speaking, for those that have lost income due to COVID, AB 3088 converts rent debt owed between March - September 2020 into consumer debt which your landlord can try to reclaim in small claims court but which cannot be the basis for an eviction. After September 1st 2020, tenants who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID need to pay at least 25% of their rent before January 31st 2021 in order to not be evicted. The remaining 75% of rent will also be converted to consumer debt.
Landlords cannot file an eviction lawsuit for nonpayment of rent against tenants impacted by COVID-19 IF AND ONLY IF the tenant has returned a signed declaration of financial distress within 15 days of a notice to pay or quit.
Declaration of COVID-19 Related Financial Distress
If you can’t pay your rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic, your landlord must give you a 15-day notice to pay rent or quit before filing an eviction lawsuit.
If you receive a 15-day notice, within 15 days you must give your landlord a signed declaration that says that you cannot pay rent because of COVID-19.
Paying your Rent
If you owe rent that was due from March 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020: If you return the declaration to your landlord in time, you cannot be evicted for not paying this rent.
If you owe that was due from September 1, 2020 - January 31, 2021. You will need to pay : pay 25% of the total rent owed by no later than January 31, 2021. The other 75% of rent is converted into consumer debt and the tenant can never be evicted for not paying it. You will be required to resend the AB 3088 compliant declaration (link to declaration) each time your landlord serves you a new 15-day notice.
You can find legal services organizations in your area here: https://landlordtenant.dre.ca.gov/resources/tenant.html