AB 2179 Extends Some California Tenant Eviction Protections

 

AB 2179 extended some California tenant eviction protections through June 2022 and in doing so, has also preempted some parts of local eviction restrictions, including those in LA county having to do with non-payment of rent.

What Does AB 2179 Do?

AB 2179 protects California tenants from eviction if the tenant completed a rental application for COVID-related debt by March 31, 2022. AB 2179 extends these protections through June 30, 2022. If a tenant applied for rent relief by March 31, 2022, those tenants will be protected from eviction while their rental relief application is pending, or up through the end of June 2022.

AB 2179 does not protect tenants who failed to submit a rental relief application by March 31, 2022. Further, new rental relief applications will not be accepted after March 31, 2022.

What About April 2022 Rent and Beyond?

It seems that AB 2179 does not stop a landlord from creating and serving a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit for the April 2022 rent and beyond. Thus, some landlords may want to begin serving non-paying tenants with a 3 day pay or quit notice and demanding only the April 2022 rent (or beyond).

What About LA County?

AB 2179 says that some local eviction restrictions, such as those in LA county, will be preempted by AB 2179. This means the tenant self-certification that I discussed in a prior article will not take effect until at least July 1, 2022. This is overall good news for landlords who are otherwise subject to the LA county eviction moratorium, as the LA county self-certification requirement would have made it more difficult to evict non-paying tenants.

What About LA City?

Landlords who have rental properties within the city of Los Angeles are still out of luck and remain unable to evict non-paying tenants who claim a COVID hardship. AB 2179 does not preempt the LA city eviction moratorium.

AB 2179 Video

Still Have Questions?

Landlords can always schedule a consultation with us to discuss specific questions and situations relating to California landlord/tenant law. You can also read the language of AB 2179 here.

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog is not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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Civil Code 1942’s “Repair and Deduct” Remedy

 

Civil Code 1942 is the California law that discusses the “repair and deduct” rules that allow a tenant, under certain circumstances, to make repairs to the property and deduct the amount of the repairs from the rent.

Repair and Deduct Under Civil Code 1942

If a tenant notifies a landlord of problems relating to the habitability of the rental property and the landlord fails to take action to repair the problem within a reasonable time (for example, within 30 days after being notified of the issue), a tenant has the option to make the repair. This Civil Code 1942 remedy is not unlimited, however.

The cost of the repair under the Civil Code 1942 repair and deduct remedy cannot cost more than one month’s rent. Further, the tenant cannot avail himself of this remedy more than twice in any 12-month period.

If the tenant does not wish to make the repair, the tenant can instead decide to move out of the property and deliver possession back to landlord. If the tenant decides to move out under this scenario, the tenant will not need to make future rent payments and is discharged from the other conditions of the rental agreement as of the date the tenant delivered possession back to the landlord.

It is a best practice to keep all landlord and tenant communications in writing, including tenant repair requests and a landlord’s proof of completed repairs.

Civil Code 1942 Video

Civil Code 1942 FAQ

How often can a tenant use the “repair and deduct” option found in Civil Code 1942?

No more than two times in any 12-month period.

Does a tenant need to provide notice to the landlord before a tenant uses the “repair and deduct” option?

Yes. A tenant must provide written or oral notice of dilapidations rendering the premises untenantable which the landlord ought to repair and give the landlord a reasonable time to make the repairs first. Many rental agreements require a tenant to provide written notice to a landlord instead of oral notice.

How much notice should a tenant give to the landlord before using the “repair and deduct” remedy in Civil Code 1942?

As much notice as possible. If a tenant acts to repair and deduct after the 30th day following notice, he is presumed to have acted after a reasonable time. This 30 day notice period is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence and shall not be construed to prevent a tenant from repairing and deducting after a shorter notice if all the circumstances require shorter notice.

Can a tenant make large repairs to the property?

The tenant may repair the problem himself where the cost of such repair does not cost more than one month’s rent. Note that many rental agreements have a clause prohibiting a tenant from making alternations or repairs to the property without notifying or getting permission from the landlord.

If a landlord doesn’t make the needed repairs after the tenant has provided the required notice, can a tenant move out of the property instead of making the repairs under Civil Code 1942?

 Yes. As an alternative to making the repairs under Civil Code 1942, the tenant may vacate the premises and give possession of the property back to the landlord.

What if the tenant caused the problem?

The “repair and deduct” remedy found in Civil Code 1942 is not available if the tenant caused the problem or is in violation of Civil Code 1929 or Civil Code 1941.2.

Still Have Questions?

Landlords can always schedule a consultation with us to discuss specific questions and situations relating to California landlord/tenant law. You can also read the language of Civil Code 1942 here.

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog is not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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Los Angeles COVID Eviction Moratorium Videos

 

The Los Angeles COVID eviction moratorium is complex and difficult to understand. To help demystify the LA COVID eviction moratorium, the Law Office of David Piotrowski has created several videos to help landlords understand both the LA city eviction moratorium and the LA county eviction moratorium.

The videos on this page focus on the LA city and LA county COVID-19 eviction moratorium. The most recently published videos appear first, with our oldest video on the LA eviction moratorium showing up last.

LA County Owner Move-In Evictions During the COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium

This video discusses an exception to the LA county eviction moratorium ban on no-fault evictions for landlords who need to evict a tenant for owner or owner family member move-ins.

When Does the LA City and LA County Eviction Moratorium End?

This video answers the question that many landlords have: When does the LA eviction moratorium end?!

Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium Denial of Entry Rules

During the LA eviction moratorium, a tenant can deny a landlord access to the rental property except in limited circumstances. But the rules are changing in June 2022. Learn about the denial of entry rules in the LA county eviction moratorium.

Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium Extension for 2022

LA county created a 3-phase system to eventually end the eviction moratorium. Find out about the LA county eviction moratorium and how it works in 2022.

California and Los Angeles Eviction Moratorium Updates for October 2021

LA city and LA county continue to take property rights away from landlords.

Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium Extended to September 30, 2021

LA city and LA county decided to extend the eviction moratorium.

Still Have Questions?

Landlords can always schedule a consultation with us to discuss specific questions and situations relating to California landlord/tenant law.

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog is not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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Civil Code 1950.5: Security Deposits in California Residential Tenancies

 

Civil Code 1950.5 is the California law that discusses security deposits in California. Read this FAQ to learn about security deposits in California.

Security Deposit FAQ

What is the maximum amount of a security deposit in a California residential tenancy?

For an unfurnished unit, the maximum security deposit is 2x the monthly rent. For a furnished unit, the maximum security deposit is 3x the monthly rent. These amounts are in addition to any rent for the first month paid on or before the initial occupancy. Civil Code 1950.5(c)(1).

What are the proper uses of a security deposit?

Security deposits can be used for the following: (1) The compensation of a landlord for a tenant’s default in the payment of rent. (2) The repair of damages to the premises, exclusive of ordinary wear and tear, caused by the tenant or by a guest or licensee of the tenant. (3) The cleaning of the premises upon termination of the tenancy necessary to return the unit to the same level of cleanliness it was in at the inception of the tenancy. (4) To remedy future defaults by the tenant in any obligation under the rental agreement to restore, replace, or return personal property or appurtenances, exclusive of ordinary wear and tear, if the security deposit is authorized to be applied thereto by the rental agreement. Civil Code 1950.5(b).

Must a landlord notify the tenant of the right to an initial move-out inspection?

Yes, except when the termination of tenancy is due to CCP 1161(2), 1161(3), or 1161(4). Civil Code 1950.5(f)(1).

What is the purpose of an initial move-out inspection?

The purpose of the initial inspection shall be to allow the tenant an opportunity to remedy identified deficiencies in order to avoid deductions from the security deposit. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(1).

Is an initial inspection required?

No. An initial inspection is optional. It is required only if the tenant requests one. However, in most cases, the landlord is required to inform the tenant of the right to an inspection. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(1).

Does a tenant need to be present for an initial inspection?

No. If an inspection is requested, the parties shall attempt to schedule the inspection at a mutually acceptable date and time. The landlord shall give at least 48 hours’ prior written notice of the date and time of the inspection if either a mutual time is agreed upon, or if a mutually agreed time cannot be scheduled but the tenant still wishes an inspection. The tenant and landlord may agree to forgo the 48-hour prior written notice by both signing a written waiver. The landlord shall proceed with the inspection whether the tenant is present or not, unless the tenant previously withdrew their request for the inspection. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(1).

Does a landlord need to notify the tenant of problems found during the initial inspection that could result in a deduction from the security deposit?

Yes. Based on the inspection, the landlord shall give the tenant an itemized statement specifying repairs or cleanings that are proposed to be the basis of any deductions from the security deposit the landlord intends to make. The statement shall be given to the tenant, if the tenant is present for the inspection, or shall be left inside the premises. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(2).

Can a tenant fix the items identified during the initial inspection?

Yes. The tenant shall have the opportunity during the period following the initial inspection until termination of the tenancy to remedy identified deficiencies. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(3).

After a tenant vacates a residential property, how long does the landlord have to account for the deposit?

21 calendar days. Within 21 days, the landlord must provide an itemized statement along with documentation supporting any deductions. Within the same time frame, the landlord must refund any remaining security deposit balance to the tenant. Civil Code 1950.5(g).

Where should a landlord send the itemized statement and refund of the security deposit?

These documents should be sent to the address provided by the tenant. If the tenant does not provide an address, mailings should be sent to the address that was vacated. Civil Code 1950.5(g)(6).

Can a landlord deduct from the security deposit for ordinary wear and tear or for pre-existing conditions?

No. A landlord cannot charge a tenant for ordinary wear and tear or for preexisting conditions that existed prior to the tenancy. Civil Code 1950.5(e).

Can part of the security deposit be “non-refundable?”

No. No lease or rental agreement may contain a provision characterizing any security as “nonrefundable.” Civil Code 1950.5(m).

Are there penalties if a landlord violates the security deposit rules?

Potentially yes. The bad faith retention of the security deposit may subject the landlord to statutory damages of up to twice the amount of the deposit, in addition to actual damages. Civil Code 1950.5(l).

Security Deposit Videos

Still Have Questions?

Landlords can always schedule a consultation with us to discuss specific questions and situations relating to California landlord/tenant law. We also wrote an article on “Returning the Security Deposit in California.”

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog is not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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California Landlord/Tenant Videos

 

This page will provide links to a number of our uploaded landlord/tenant videos. We encourage landlords to watch these videos to learn and become educated about various landlord/tenant rules relating to California residential tenancies. Landlords can always schedule a consultation with us to discuss specific questions and situations.

The page is divided by video topic. The date the video was first published is next to the video name in parentheses.

Note that some videos may be outdated by new and subsequent laws, so do not rely on the videos when making important decisions.

For a more extensive list of our landlord/tenant videos, visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to the channel to be notified when we upload a new video.

Overview/General Information

COVID

Security Deposits

AB1482 – Statewide Rent Control

Terminating the Tenancy

Other Topics

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog are not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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