California passed an emergency bill identified as Assembly Bill number 2179, which changed how we evict residential tenants for nonpayment. This is a review of what is needed before filing for your eviction. This article assumes that one of the causes for eviction is nonpayment and that the payment includes only debts after April 1, 2022. (All money through the end of March 31, 2022, has been paid.)
Notices served between April 1 and July 1 for debts associated with April 2022, May 2022, and June 2022 must comply with the following restrictions: (Code Civ. Proc, § 1179.10.)
- The notice must provide at least three days (excluding weekends and holidays) to repay the debt.
- The notice must specify the total amount due and allocate each portion of the date to the time period the tenant incurred the debt. (For example: $2,000 due in total. $1,000 became due April 1, 2022, and remains unpaid. $1,000 became due May 1, 2022, and remains unpaid.)
- The notice must provide the telephone number and website address of the rental assistance program available for residents of that county. In Kern County, that would be https://kernha.org/rent-and-utility-assistance-program/ and (661) 578-5339.
- The following text in 12-point text (copy and paste, because it must read this exactly!):
IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA--YOU MUST TAKE ACTION TO AVOID AN EVICTION: As part of the state's COVID-19 relief plan, money has been set aside to help renters who have fallen behind on rent or utility payments. If you cannot pay the amount demanded in this notice, YOU SHOULD COMPLETE A RENTAL ASSISTANCE APPLICATION IMMEDIATELY! It is free and simple to apply. Citizenship or immigration status does not matter. DO NOT DELAY! IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION FOR RENTAL ASSISTANCE WITHIN 15 BUSINESS DAYS, YOUR LANDLORD MAY BE ABLE TO SUE TO OBTAIN A COURT ORDER FOR YOUR EVICTION. You can start your application by calling 1-833-430-2122 or visiting http://housingiskey.com.
- If the tenant signed a translated lease, the landlord must also provide the notice in English and translated language. (Make sure a certified translator verifies the translation.)
Things you must do before you file for eviction.
As part of the eviction, you must file certain verified statements. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1179.11.) To avoid perjury claims, the landlord must do the following:
- Provide the tenant with a Declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress.
- File a complete application for government rental assistance to cover the rental debt demanded.
- Wait at least 20 days for approval or rejection from the government agency.
Professional Assistance is Available
If you need professional assistance with evictions in Kern County, call Jared R. Clemence at Coleman & Horowitt. The phone number is 661-325-1300. Schedule a consultation with the front desk, and bring with you evidence of your contract and any notices that have been served.