Governor Gavin Newsom (Photo Credit: Anda Chu / MediaNews Group / The Mercury News via Getty Images)

California lawmakers enacted an emergency eviction moratorium on Monday during the last two hours of its two-year term.

The measure prohibits evictions until February 1 for tenants who have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill on Monday and it went into effect immediately, according to the Wall Street Journal. The state's previous emergency moratorium expired on Wednesday.

The law converts the rent back owed by the entitled tenant from March 1st to August 31st into consumer debt and prevents landlords from using it for evacuation.

In the future, tenants will have to pay 25 percent of their total rent due between September 1st and January 31st. What is left is also converted into consumer debt. Landlords can claim these debts in a small claims court starting March.

Evictions have been suspended by the State Judicial Council since the pandemic began. The council ordered that California courts would not be able to process orders related to evictions and foreclosures of commercial and residential buildings.

The council announced in August that it would not extend the order beyond Wednesday, arguing that the state legislature and executive should address the issue.
Meanwhile, a bill that would have allowed the development of duplex apartments for single-family homes across the state died when the legislature ended before the Senate could vote on it, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Senate Bill 1120 was a spiritual successor to a number of state bills proposed in recent years to encourage denser development and alleviate the housing shortage in California. (WSJ) – Dennis Lynch

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