AB 3088 – COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020

Complying with the
COVID-19 Tenant
Relief Act of 2020

The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020, enacted by AB 3088, was passed by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on August 31, 2020.

Here’s what you need to know.

The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (“CTRA”) enacts substantial new protections from evictions for all residents, including prohibitions on ever evicting a resident who has failed to make specified rental payments provided certain requirements are met. For a full explanation, see CAA’s Industry Insight – AB 3088 – The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020.


WEBINAR – What is the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020?

This webinar, originally broadcast on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, is now available on-demand. Click the button below to purchase the course.


Below is a brief summary of the new law

  • CTRA prohibits a landlord from evicting a resident for non-payment of rent or other charges that came due between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 if the resident provides the landlord with a declaration stating their finances have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “High-income” residents, as defined, can also be required to provide documentation of their COVID-19-related hardship, provided the landlord follows a specific procedure.
  • Landlords are also prohibited from evicting a resident for non-payment of rent or other charges that came due between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021 if the resident does both of the following: (1) provides the landlord with a declaration stating their finances have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (and documentation, if required for a high-income resident); and, (2) by January 31, 2021, pays 25 percent of the rental payments due between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021 that were missed because the resident experienced COVID-19-related financial distress.
  • Landlords are required to give an informational notice about the new law to any residents who, as of September 1, 2020, have missed one or more payments that came due between March 1 and August 31, 2020.
  • Requires a landlord to give a 15-day notice before seeking to evict for any unpaid rent or other charges due between March 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021. The 15-day period does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or judicial holidays.
  • Extends “just cause” protections under AB 1482 to all residents until February 1, 2021, with limited exceptions. Eviction for demolition or “substantial rehabilitation” is limited to circumstances necessary to comply with health and safety laws.
  • Prohibits any unlawful detainer actions for non-payment of rent or other charges (regardless of when due) prior to October 5, 2020.
  • Prohibits unlawful detainer actions against residents with COVID-19-related financial distress for non-payment of rent and other charges due between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021 until February 1, 2021.
  • Local eviction moratoria adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that are set to expire before January 31, 2021 can remain in place until the end of their term but cannot be extended or renewed with an effective date prior to February 1, 2021.
  • If a local eviction moratorium provides for repayment of back due rent to begin after March 1, 2021, or ties repayment to the end of the state of emergency or local emergency, that repayment period is required to start on or before March 1, 2021 and end by March 31, 2022.
  • Repayment periods that are set to begin prior to March 1, 2021 cannot be extended.
  • The legislature declares that nothing in the new law shall be construed to provide the legislature’s understanding of the legal validity on any specific local ordinance.
  • Allows unpaid rent and other charges due between March 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021 to be collected through small claims court. Existing small claims court limits do not apply.
  • These small claims cases may not be filed before March 1, 2021.

Compliance Materials

Industry Insight – AB 3088 – The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020

This Industry Insight provides in-depth explanation of the new law.

Industry Insight – CARES Act Federal Eviction Moratorium

On March 27, 2020, Congress enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, more commonly known as the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus package to help with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. One provision of that law places a temporary moratorium on eviction filings for residential properties that are financed by federally backed mortgage loans or that participate in federal affordable housing programs. This Industry Insight provides an overview of that moratorium.

Industry Insight – CDC Eviction Moratorium

On September 1, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an order temporarily halting most residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.  This order remains in effect until December 31, 2020.  The CDC order states that it applies nationwide, except that it does not apply “in any State, local, territorial, or tribal area with a moratorium on residential evictions that provide the same or greater level of public-health protection than the requirements listed in this Order.”


Flow Chart – COVID-19 Eviction Protections

CAA has developed a flowchart to show how tenant protections would work over time.


New Compliance Forms

CAA has published 10 new forms for complying with AB 3088.

Are you unsure of which form to use? To help you determine which form should be served, click on the CAA COVID-19 Forms Flowchart.

This table lists the new forms CAA has created to comply with the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (AB 3088) and explains when to use them.


What is 130% of Median Income for your county?

The values in this table have been adjusted to show the greater of 130% of median income or $100,000, consistent with the requirements of the law.