A major landlords association in California is fighting the state’s extended eviction moratorium, claiming it “ignores” the burdens of small landlords.
The California Rental Housing Association, which represents more than 19,000 landlords, filed a lawsuit against the state of California over its third extension of the eviction moratorium, now set to expire at the end of September, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Sacramento.
California’s recent moratorium extension, signed in June, covers tenants who pay at least 25 percent of what they owe by the end of September.
The group alleges the extension has allowed “nonpaying [but] financially capable” tenants to “evade the obligation to pay,” according to the complaint.
In turn, owners of rental properties “will never recover the unpaid rents” that have accumulated since the state’s first moratorium in June 2020, the group said.
Under the state’s extension in June — AB 832 — California will cover 100 percent of back rent for low-income residents. Landlords will also be allowed to pursue new eviction cases against renters in October, unless tenants get approval to receive this rental assistance.
The group also claimed the moratorium has “inflicted untold mental and emotional injury on owners.”
“Small and medium rental housing providers rely on rental income to pay their mortgages and maintenance expenses, while supporting their own families,” Christine Kevane LaMarca, the president of CalRHA, said, adding the lawsuit is the group’s only option to allow landlords to enforce rental contracts.
The association has asked the court to declare AB 832 is unconstitutional and to block the state from enforcing it.