California bill would ban evictions until February

California

Renters and housing advocates attend a protest to cancel rent and avoid evictions in front of the court house amid Coronavirus pandemic on August 21, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders have reached an agreement on a bill to temporarily protect people from evictions.

The bill would ban evictions for tenants who haven’t paid their rent between the months of March and August because of the coronavirus. Tenants need to sign a document saying they have a financial hardship because of the virus.

The protections would continue beyond August if tenants can pay at least 25% of their cumulatively owed rent between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31. Evictions could resume on Feb. 1.

The bill would not forgive the missed payments. Tenants would still owe the money. Landlords could sue them to get the money back, and a judge could order them to pay it. But tenants could not be evicted.

The California court system has halted most eviction and foreclosure proceedings since April 6 because of the pandemic. But those protections end Tuesday, prompting concerns of a wave of evictions in a state that already has the largest homeless population in the country.

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