COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act (CTRA)

Complying with the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act. Background image virus-money-coronavirus-covid-19

The application process for the State’s rental assistance program is now open. Some local governments have also opened their application process for rental assistance. Visit CAA’s Rental Assistance Payment Program Page at caanet.org/rapp/ for more information.

On January 29, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 91. It took effect immediately.

Preview of CAA’s Industry Insight - Frequently Asked Questions: SB 91 - New State Rental Assistance Program and Extension of COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act


CAA’s Industry Insight – Frequently Asked Questions: SB 91 – Extension of COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act explains how SB 91 changes the previously existing eviction moratorium law.

This Industry Insight is available free of charge.


YouTube Video – Summary of SB 91


CAA WEBINAR – SB 91: New State Rental Assistance Program and Extension of Statewide Eviction Moratorium

This webinar, originally broadcast on Friday, February 5, 2021, is now available on-demand. Click the button below to purchase the course.

man holding a question mark

Senate Bill 91 Highlights- COVID-19 Relief: Tenancy: Federal Rental Assistance

SB 91 extends the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act (AB 3088, 2020) for another five months until June 30, 2021, and creates a state government structure to pay up to 80 percent of past due rent to landlords.

This is a test

  • Extension of AB 3088 until June 30, 2021.
  • Extension of local preemption until June 30, 2021.
  • 25 percent payment still required from tenants (but lump sum balloon payment is extended to June 30, 2021).
  • Up to 80 percent payment from state/federal dollars to cover the unpaid rent between April 2020 to March 31, 2021; (landlord must forgive the remainder of unpaid rent for that period).
  • Rental assistance payments are paid directly to the landlord.
  • Additional money is offered to local governments if they follow state payment percentages (up to 80 percent) and follow all applicable state rules (creating consistency).
  • Federal/state dollars may pay 25 percent of up to three months of future unpaid rent. Additional dollars will be paid for future unpaid rent depending on available funds.
  • Requires a monthly report from the state agency administering the program to the Legislature accounting for funds.
  • Unlawful detainer cases can continue if tenant does not respond to notices.
  • Small claims option and higher caps for small claims actions remain in place.
  • A property owner who did not offer some amenities at the property is not considered to have reduced services under local rent control laws if government mandated the service reductions (e.g., closure of the swimming pool, community room, etc.)
  • In considering tenants’ eligibility for federal dollars, the state administration will consider a hybrid model that will provide dollars for households that are at or below 80% AMI for the calendar year 2020 and will also consider households with a current monthly income at or below 80% AMI.  This hybrid model will allow more tenant households to qualify.
  • 25 percent rent balloon payment deadline moved to June 30 (The State Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency has announced, however, that the application process for rental assistance payments will open in March).
  • Prohibits debt collection through court actions until July (some cases filed before Oct 2020 can continue).
  • Landlords who want to collect debt via court action must first apply for or investigate rental assistance payments and cannot collect any amounts in court for which they were offered and refused to accept rental assistance.
  • Landlords cannot charge late fees.
  • Landlords cannot charge separate fees for items previous included in rent nor can they increase those fees (e.g., parking, utilities).
  • Landlords who refuse to accept the up to 80 percent rental assistance payment and forgive the remaining rent owned for those months, will only receive 25 percent of the past due rent.
  • Attorney fees in actions to recover rental debt are capped (consistent with most court rules).
  • Credit reports of COVID rental debt may not be used as a basis to deny tenants future housing by landlords or screening services.
  • Landlords cannot sell or assign COVID rental debt until July 1, 2021, but can sell or assign thereafter if the tenant did not qualify for state rental assistance program. (CAA is also pursuing state budget dollars for tenants who don’t qualify for federal dollars).
  • Landlords cannot apply a security deposit to unpaid rent during the tenancy unless agreed to by the tenant.
  • Landlord can only apply monthly rent payments to prospective month’s rent unless the tenant agrees otherwise in writing.
  • On or before February 28, the landlord must provide the tenant with a statutory notice about the available federal/state dollars and extension of the 25 percent balloon payment deadline.

CA-405 – Informational Notice of COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act Extension and New Rental Assistance Program – MUST BE PROVIDED BY FEB. 28

SB 91 requires landlords to send this informational notice to their residents about this new law by no later than February 28, 2021. Failure to do so may affect your ability to evict a resident who fails to comply with CTRA.

This form is available free of charge.

Preview of the first page of form CA-405 - Informational Notice of COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act Extension and New Rental Assistance Program


Compliance Materials

CAA has published new and updated forms for complying with CTRA.

Are you unsure of which form to use?

preview of CAA COVID-19 Forms Flowchart

To help you determine which form should be served,
click on the CAA COVID-19 Forms Flowchart.

preview of CAA Table of CTRA forms

This table lists the new forms CAA has created to comply
with CTRA and explains when to use them.

Translation requirement for the declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress

If the landlord negotiated the rental/lease agreement in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean and, as a result, was required by state law to provide a copy of the rental/lease agreement in one of those languages, the landlord is also required to provide the unsigned copy of a declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress to the resident in that language. As required by CTRA, the Department of Real Estate has official translations of the text of the declaration on their website, which can be found here.

For more information about foreign language translation requirements, see CAA’s Industry Insight – Foreign Language Rental Agreements and Leases.


Related Industry Insights

Industry Insight – AB 3088 –
The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020
Frequently Asked Questions: The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (AB 3088)
Preview of the first page of Industry Insight - AB 3088 – The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020
Preview of the first page of Frequently Asked Questions: The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (AB 3088)
   
Industry Insight –
CARES Act Federal Eviction Moratorium
Industry Insight –
CDC Eviction Moratorium
Preview of the first page of Industry Insight - CARES Act Federal Eviction Moratorium
Preview of the first page of Industry Insight - CDC Eviction Moratorium
   
   
   


Interaction Between CTRA and Local Eviction Moratoria

CTRA vs the City of San Jose

CTRA vs the City of Sacramento

CTRA vs the County of Los Angeles

CTRA vs the City of Los Angeles

Local COVID-19 Tenant Protections

CAA has created summaries of the moratoria in the most populous areas.


What is 130% of Median Income for your county?

Preview of the first page of 130% of median income table

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.