Will COVID Change Rental Laws In California?
One of the big talking points during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the rights of both landlords and tenants. On the one hand, landlords make their money from renting out their properties and take on financial responsibilities towards their tenants. They lose a lot due to non-payment. On the other hand, making people homeless during a pandemic was unconscionable.
For this reason, California implemented laws specific to the pandemic which saw to it that landlords were not left totally in the lurch while evictions due to non-payment were halted. This has allowed Californian renters to feel safe during a severely difficult time. However, many see merit to the new laws even in normal times. Kicking someone out of their home when they have no way of paying rent may be necessary, but it also leaves people trapped in a cycle of poverty. It leads to physical and mental health crises as well as loss of life.
The question now is whether COVID-19 will impact rental laws permanently in California. Will we go back to the old normal or will the responsibility still be placed on landlords to house tenants who have nowhere else to go?
COVID-19 Rental Laws
Let’s first take a look at the rental laws that have been put in place in California due to COVID-19.
One of the major protections COVID-19 rental laws put in place was a moratorium on evictions. This has been extended to the end of June 2021. Then, as long as tenants have paid at least 25 percent of their rent due, landlords cannot kick them out if they resume paying rent.
Landlords are also prohibited from demanding late fees or non-payment penalties, as well as using non-payment during the pandemic as a reason not to renew a lease. They also cannot use current payments as cover for arrears from previous months. In other words, any payment a tenant makes, unless previously arranged, is considered payment for this month’s rent.
There are regulations which landlords can follow in order to retrieve money owed to them
over the course of the months following the eviction moratorium. These laws have kept tenants housed through the pandemic thus far. Come July 2021, will these laws still be in place?
California Rental Laws Post-COVID
It is still too early to say whether these rental laws will remain in place post-COVID. However, we can take a look at some of the reasons why California rental law might change for good.
Politicians are increasingly recognizing the impact evictions have on tenants. While evictions are technically fair if rent has not been paid, and landlords not only deserve to receive their dues but would stop investing in properties if rent was not guaranteed, evictions cause systemic problems in the region.
When a person is kicked out of their rental place, they are disadvantaged in terms of their capacity for healthy living as well as finding work or other streams of income. They are less likely to find the means to start paying rent again.
In order to help tenants remain productive contributors to Californian society, the state government may decide to continue providing COVID rental protections for the sake of both landlords and renters.
Renters Insurance in California
It is important also to mention that renters insurance in California provides protections for
tenants who are still able to pay rent. An unexpected catastrophe that damages or destroys
a tenant’s possessions can leave the individual without the means to continue paying rent.
If you’re looking for renters insurance in California, Lemonade could be a solid, affordable option. Many landlords now require their tenants to get renters insurance, as they recognize that it will help them in the long run. With renters insurance, tenants can also get personal liability coverage, which will benefit the landlord if the renter causes them or their property accidental damage.
We’ll have to wait and see what’s next for rental laws in California. As of yet, we’re still some distance away from returning to normal life. Many people are still out of work and unable to pay all or most of their rent.
COVID-19 has changed a lot of things permanently. When it comes to rental law, these
changes may be for the best.
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