Rep. Delia Ramirez has filed another amendment to the proposed SB3066 “COVID-19 Emergency and Economic Recovery Renter and Homeowner Protection Act”. I am hearing that this was done to resolve some of the complaints about the law. I am also hearing that this is likely to go to a vote tonight.
What has changed? First, this law applies to residential properties as well as “small business commercial tenants”. They have amended the definition for small business commercial tenants to remove the requirement about average income of the employees and limit it to commercial tenants who are not part of a multinational corporations and who have less than 25 employees.
They have clarified the length of the Covid-19 related eviction moratorium to be defined as the time between March 9, 2020 to 60 days after the law is enacted and they are going to invalidate any eviction notice served on or after March 9, 2020 through the expiration of the moratorium unless the notice is related to an eviction related to a credible threat of violence or any pending eviction filed on or before April 22, 2020.
The provisions relating to sealing the eviction record have been changed from being automatic to one where the tenant demonstrates Covid-19 related hardship.
They have changed some of the criteria for how the Residential Housing Relief Fund will be set up and some of the criteria to be examined for distributing funds.
Finally, rather than the act being repealed once the Covid-19 emergency and economic recovery period is over (which was previously tied to the time when unemployment rate was no more than 1.5% higher than the rate for February, 2020 which we likely will never see again), the law will terminate on January 1, 2021.
Clicking on this link will allow you to see a compared version of amendment 2 to 3.
Well folks, the rubber will now meet the road. At least there is not rent cancellation. The moratorium on evictions will definitely be a hardship on landlords though. I guess we will see what will happen tonight. I fear that in a world where state representatives want to say “I did something”, this has a real chance to pass. I will say this, the law is a long way from the bill that was debated in the House Executive Committee yesterday.
You can still file a WITNESS SLIP here.
UPDATE: The bill did not pass out of committee tonight (5/22/20). However, the legislature has decided to add an extra day to their session tomorrow (Saturday) and we hear rumblings that there will likely be a FOURTH attempt on 5/23/20. Apparently, there are three Democrats on the Executive Committee that did not vote “yes” to the proposed law. Now, tenants’ rights advocates are targeting those three legislators. If you care about this issue, please call these representatives and let them know you OPPOSE SB3066