Starting Oct. 1, 2021, residents who don’t pay rent and other amounts due on or after Oct. 1, 2021, can be served a three-day notice, instead of a 15-day notice to pay or quit.  This, however, is not yet a return to the standard pre-pandemic three-day notice.  For unpaid rent and other payments due between Oct. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, a three-day notice must include specific statutory text, encouraging the resident to apply for rental assistance. This notice requirement applies to any tenancy started prior to Oct. 1, 2021.

The specific three-day notice requirement comes from the COVID-19 Rental Housing Recovery Act (“Recovery Act”), which was enacted as part of AB 832 in June 2021. AB 832 is the legislation that extended the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act (CTRA) eviction moratorium to the end of September. Unlike CTRA, the Recovery Act does not require service of 15-day notice and does not allow the resident to avoid eviction by providing a declaration and paying 25% of the rent. There is no declaration to return, and the resident is required to pay the entire amount sought in the notice.

Note that 15-day notices are still required for rent due prior to Oct. 1, 2021, and the resident protections of CTRA still apply to rent and other payments due between March 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021.  If a resident still owes rent or other payments due prior to Oct. 1, 2021, CAA recommends consulting with legal counsel prior to serving a notice to pay for amounts due Oct. 1 or later.  

The Recovery Act requires landlords to apply for rental assistance prior to filing an unlawful detainer action seeking rent or other charges due between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2022. In addition, a landlord’s ability to obtain a judgment in small claims or civil court for all amounts due depend on the landlord’s effort to seek rental assistance.