Legislation makes sure weekends and holidays do not count in timelines for tenants to respond to legal notices
SACRAMENTO–A bill by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to extend the notice period for tenants facing evictions was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown On Sept. 5. Assembly Bill 2343 will give tenants more time to respond to eviction proceedings and correct an imbalance in the tenant notice and eviction process.
“We not only have a housing crisis, we have a tenant crisis,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “Tenants in California are facing unprecedented hardships and constantly living under the threat of eviction. A few extra days can be the difference between staying in their home or becoming homeless.”
AB 2343 will give tenants three court days to pay rent or comply with other terms of the lease and give them five court days to respond to an eviction lawsuit. The law changes calendar days to court days, ensuring that weekends and holidays are not counted under the timeline to respond to an eviction notice or breach of lease notice.
Legal aid attorneys across the California have reported incidents in which tenants are presented with a notice on a Friday before a holiday weekend and are essentially barred from correcting a breach of a lease or responding to a court summons because courthouses are closed or they cannot secure legal representation over a long weekend. AB 2343 will restore some fairness to the process and give tenants a chance to stay in their homes.
“This bill makes sure all tenants have a meaningful opportunity to resolve issues before they are evicted,” said Alexander “Sasha” Harnden, policy advocate with the Western Center on Law & Poverty, a co-sponsor of AB 2343. “Landlords will no longer be able to game the system by serving an eviction notice or complaint right before a long weekend or a holiday, and tenants will be better able to fix a problem with a rent payment or get help complying with an eviction notice and remain in their homes. Given California’s housing crisis, we must enact common sense reforms to prevent avoidable evictions that lead to homelessness.”
“Everyday, renters in California are feeling the heat from California’s affordable housing crisis as rents continue to go up and up. We need to make sure these hardworking families can keep a roof over their heads, and this bill help to do that by protecting renters from abusive practices and ensuring fairness for all,” said Brian Augusta, legislative advocate for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, the other co-sponsor of AB 2343.
The legislation will take effect on September 1, 2019.