February 5, 2021
Recent Update on Eviction Moratorium in California
By Mark Cianciulli, ESQ, CPA and Lee Ann Hitchman, CLPF, MBA, CMC
Do you have clients who are landlords? If so, they were probably expecting to be able to begin evictions in February 2021. However, on January 29th the California Statewide Eviction Moratorium, via Senate Bill 91, was extended through June 30, 2021.
Highlights of Eviction Moratorium Extension
Landlords cannot initiate eviction moratorium proceedings for non-payment of rent if the tenant meets the following:
(1) The tenant completes a hardship declaration evidencing low income; AND
(2) The tenant pays 25% of the missed rent, for the period of September 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, on or before June 30, 2021.
Landlords must provide notice of unpaid rent accrued from March 1, 2020 through February 1, 2021, by February 28, 2021. MAKE CERTAIN YOUR CLIENTS MEET THIS DEADLINE.
Rental Assistance Program
Landlords can opt-in to receive 80% of a qualifying tenant’s back rent from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021. In exchange, landlords must waive the remaining 20% and to qualify, the tenant must have income 80% below the area median income.
If a landlord does not opt-in to the Rental Assistance Program, eligible tenants may apply for 25% of unpaid rent.
- For example, a tenant cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent that became due between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, if they return declarations of COVID-19 related financial distress to the landlord, and if they pay 25% of that rent by June 30, 2021.
Failing to opt-in may have adverse legal impacts, including the amount of unpaid rent recoverable being treated as consumer debt in small claims.
The State of California is expected to start accepting applications for the Rental Assistance Program on March 15, 2021, however, program specifics are still becoming available to the public.
What does this mean for trust and estate administration?
- The Eviction Moratorium through June 30, 2021 will continue to hinder trustees, executors, and administrators from getting occupied properties ready for sale and will result in a delay of distributions to beneficiaries.
- If rent payments are significantly lower than previous years’ payments, and the units need to be sold immediately, the sales price will be impacted considering it is a multiple of asset income.
Mark Cianciulli, Esq, CPA, is a Principal at The Crem Group, a real estate brokerage firm specializing solely in probate and trust real property sales. Mark is also a licensed attorney and CPA. For questions about SB-19 or probate & trust real property sales inquiries, please contact Mark at email@example.com or visit the CREM Group website at www.cremgroupre.com.
Lee Ann Hitchman, CLPF, MBA, CMC, is the Founder and Principal of Hitchman Fiduciaries. Lee Ann leads a team of licensed and bondable trustees, who provide trusted support for families in need of impartial and professional trust administration. If your family is in need of an experienced, compassionate trustee or certified care manager to help you navigate complex family dynamics, call Lee Ann at 949-200-9712, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.hitchmanfiduciaries.com.