5 Things you should be aware of with Senate Bill 91

In response to the pandemic we have been forced to endure, changes have been made to landlord-tenant and mortgage foreclosure provisions. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act (AB 3088, 2020) into place to aid renters who were struggling due to the pandemic. As of January 29, 2020, Senate Bill 91 has extended the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act for another five months until June 30, 2021.

This applies to qualifying tenants who have been affected by COVID-related hardships:

Landlords CANNOT charge late or separate fees.

  • According to this bill, you cannot charge late fees or separate fees previously included in rent. This includes separate expenses such as utilities, parking, electrical, etc.

The Rental Assistance Program

  • The COVID-19 Relief Tenancy: Federal Rental Assistance Program created under SB 91 offers to pay up to 80% of past rent due to landlords. While indeed helpful, “Landlords who refuse to accept the up to 80 percent rental assistance payment and forgive the remaining rent owed for those months will only receive 25 percent of the past due rent”.

Tenants Credit Reports

  • Another important update you should know is that you cannot deny a future tenant housing based on credit reports that indicate COVID-related rental debt. 

Extensions to the Tenant Relief Act

  • The extension of the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act also changes the 25% rent balloon payment deadline to June 30, 2021. Additionally, you cannot collect a rental debt through court action until July. 

Further Landlord Restrictions

  • As a landlord, you cannot apply security deposits to unpaid rent during the tenancy. So, unless your tenant says it’s fine, don’t do it. In addition to this, monthly rent payments made can only go towards the month at hand.

In addition to this, all landlords are required to provide tenants a statutory notice detailing the extension of the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act.

COVID-19 has been changing our way of life for the past year. This has been causing a variety of new issues and forcing us to adapt. The loss of income as a landlord can be a  difficult thing to overcome. But, staying up to date and understanding the regulations currently in place may provide peace of mind. For more information on AB-3088, check out this article.

Allison Letender

Allison Letender is passionate about learning all-things related to psychology, business, and real estate, and is currently pursuing her real estate license. When she’s not working or conducting research, she enjoys golfing, cooking, working out, and most importantly spending time…
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