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California’s Statewide Eviction Protections Could End September 1

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An eviction notice and paperwork. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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California’s eviction protections — a statewide pause on nearly all eviction cases — could end as soon as Sept. 1, according to the Judicial Council, which oversees courts in the state.

The Judicial Council will vote on the changes this week.

The emergency rule was adopted in April, preventing summonses from being issued in nearly all “unlawful detainer” eviction cases, unless public health and safety were at stake. That was a stronger protection than the actions taken by many local governments, which require tenants to prove their income has been affected by COVID-19.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye earlier indicated that the rule could lift as soon as this Friday, Aug. 14, sparking fears of an imminent wave of evictions. Statehouse leaders last week asked the Judicial Council for additional time to pass legislation to protect tenants and support landlords.

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Up to 5.4 million Californians could be at risk of eviction, according to a report issued last week.

In announcing the vote today, Cantil-Sakauye argued that it was not the judicial branch’s job to find a fix, imploring legislators to act:

“They have had since March 2020 to explore remedies that will provide fairness to all parties while recognizing the limitations the pandemic has placed on our residents and our institutions.”

Renter advocates were cheered. “This is great news,” Brian Augusta of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation said. “We are relieved that the Judicial Council has given renters a reprieve. Now we need the Legislature and Governor to act to truly protect tenants.”

Landlords say they are struggling as many tenants don’t pay rent and are likely to decry any delay.

“Rental property owners ... are already struggling, particularly this year without being able to collect rent under these various eviction moratoria,” Daniel Yueklson of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles told LAist week.

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