On August 31, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB-3088, enacting the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020. Among other things, this legislations affects the rights of landlords to collect unpaid rent from residential tenants, while extending relief to tenants who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On September 30th there was a deadline for serving tenants with some very important papers relating to this legislation. Landlords who didn’t send tenants the proper California “Protected Period” notices by that deadline may find themselves in a bureaucratic and legal mess if they subsequently move to collect back rent or serve eviction notices. These notices are part of the state’s COVID relief actions, and allowed qualified tenants to defer rent payments and avoid eviction if they met certain criteria for having suffered financial distress as a result of the pandemic.

The broad array of forms were issued in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Many landlords found the process confusing and had trouble understanding which forms needed to be served to whom, in what language, and by which means of delivery (regular mail, certified mail, hand delivered, etc.). With titles such as “Notice for Code of Civil Procedure Section 1179.02.5(d)” and requirements for proof of income statements to be on file, it’s possible some landlords simply ignored the cumbersome procedure entirely. The result could be lost rental income or extra legal wrangling over future evictions of tenants who resided in the landlord’s building during the Protected Period.

Gaetani clients, however, can rest easy. Our team has been carefully monitoring the development of these laws since the COVID crisis hit, so we were fully prepared to successfully execute this complex operation for the thousands of units under our management. It’s this kind of attention to detail and diligent follow-through that has made Gaetani the longest-running family-owned property management company in the Bay Area. The rental housing industry is in uncharted territory during this evolving crisis, so we’ll be continually updating our procedures as COVID-related legislation continues to impact the property owners we serve.

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