Understanding SB-91 FAQ

1. What are the two periods under the California COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act?
  • March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020 (“The Protected Period” under the Act)
  • September 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 (“The Transition Period” under the Act)
2. What is a “Notice to Pay or Quit”?
  • A legal notice that your landlord gives in which the tenant has a certain amount of time to pay the outstanding rent OR vacate the home (also known as an eviction notice)
3. What happens if your landlord gives a “Notice to Pay or Quit” on or afterSeptember 1, 2020?
  • The landlord cannot evict the tenant for overdue rent for either or both periods as defined above IF the tenant gives the landlord a signed “Declaration of COVID-19Related Financial Distress” Declaration within 15 BUSINESS DAYS of receiving the“Notice to Pay or Quit” and pay 25% of the rent for the transitional period by June 30, 2021.
  • Landlords should have provided an unsigned Declaration to the tenant with the Notice to Pay or Quit. If in case a form was not provided, tenants can download an unsigned declaration at https://housing.ca.gov/tenant/forms.html
4. Why should a tenant fill out a Declaration form and submit it to their landlord?
  • If the tenant submits a declaration form within 15 business days from receiving the Notice to Pay or Quit (eviction notice), the tenant can get permanent protection from eviction for overdue rent until at least July 1, 2021.
  • Sign and submit the Declaration and return it to your landlord in person or by email(if the eviction notice included a physical address or email address), by mail, or by other methods used to pay rent.
  • Make sure to keep a copy of the Declaration you send to your landlord.
5. How can I, the tenant, get eviction protection past June 30, 2021?
  • In order to continue to get eviction protection past June 30, 2021, the tenant must pay at least 25% of the rent due during the Transition Period (September 1, 2020 -June 30, 2021) by June 30, 2021, AND submit the Declaration within the allotted timeframe as explained above.
6 . What happens if I move out before June 30, 2021, and I still have an outstandingrent due from March 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021?
  • Tenants are still obligated to pay the remaining rent due if not covered by any emergency rental assistance. If not, landlords have the right to seek to collect unpaid rent by making a claim in Small Claims Court starting August 1, 2021.
7. What happens if I get eviction protection past June 30, 2021?
  • The tenant is still obligated to pay the full past due rent unless your landlord has indicated otherwise.
  • Starting August 1, 2021, your landlord can make a claim in Small Claims Court if seeking to collect your unpaid rent.
  • After June 30, 2021, tenants must pay their full rent due each month or be at risk for eviction through the traditional process.
8. Can a landlord deny an application to rent if the applicant’s prior landlordinforms me that that the applicant failed to pay rent due between March 1, 2020,and June 30, 2021?
  • No, SB 91 prohibits a landlord, resident screening company, or other entity that evaluates applicants on behalf of a housing provider from using an alleged COVID-19 rental debt (amounts due between March 2020 and June 2021) as a negative factor for the purpose of evaluating a prospective resident. This requirement applies even if the resident’s reason for not paying the rent was not due to COVID-19financial distress.

Eviction Prevention Resources

  • If you have any questions, would like more information about fair housing laws, or feel that you have been discriminated against, please contact us.
  • fhcrc@fairhousing.net
  • 1 (800) 655-1812
  • www.fairhousing.net
  • Committed to providing self-represented litigants with remote assistance through phone, email, and Webex
  • 951-274-4499 or 760-393-2163
  • 8:00am – 2:00pm, Monday – Friday
  • riverside.courts.ca.gov