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Rental Housing Information

Tenant Relief Act of 2020

Effective August 31, 2020, AB 3088 enacted three important new laws:  The Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020; the COVID-19 Small Landlord and Homeowner Relief Act of 2020; and, the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020.  AB 3088 is available HERE.

We have prepared a brief, preliminary summary of the Tenant Relief Act of 2020 HERE.

This new law requires landlords to provide a special notice by September 30, 2020, to all tenants who have not paid one or more rental payments between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020.  The form of notice is HERE.

This new law requires tenants who are unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 to provide their landlord with a declaration, under penalty of perjury, of COVID-19 related financial distress.  The form of declaration is HERE.

These new laws are very complex.  This office cannot provide legal advice to the public.

Invitation for Public Comment on Draft Just Cause Eviction and Relocation Assistance Ordinance

On February 11, 2020, the Santa Barbara City Council directed preparation of a Just Cause Eviction Ordinance which would be more protective than the state's Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB 1482).  The City Council also directed preparation of a Relocation Assistance Nexus Study for further consideration of possible relocation assistance payments for no-fault just cause evictions.  The City retained Keyser Marston Associates, Inc. (KMA) to prepare the study.

On April 17, 2020, the City Attorney's Office released a Public Comment Draft package including four documents:  1) Staff report to the City Council's Ordinance Committee, 2) draft Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, 3) draft Relocation Assistance Payment Amount Resolution, and 4) the KMA Relocation Assistance Study.  The package is available for download HERE.

On August 18, 2020, the Ordinance Committee reached several unanimous policy determinations on Just Cause Eviction, and directed the City Attorney to prepare the necessary ordinance and resolution.  The Ordinance Committee also directed that the City Attorney release the package for a second public comment period between September 8th and October 2nd.  This package is now available HERE.  The Ordinance Committee intends to hear this matter next on Tuesday October 20, 2020 beginning at 11:00 a.m., however, interested persons should confirm the date by checking the City’s website.  A Spanish translation of the October 20, 2020 agenda report is available HERE.

You are invited to deliver written comments to City Attorney Ariel Calonne at no later than Friday October 2, 2020.  Timely comments will be summarized and presented to the Ordinance Committee during its deliberations. 

Please call City Attorney Ariel Calonne at (805) 564-5326 should you have questions.

Temporary Eviction Moratorium Due to Coronavirus COVID-19

On March 24, 2020, the Santa Barbara City Council adopted Ordinance No. 5941 which allows commercial and residential tenants to defer rent payments when they are unable to pay because of income reductions due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  The Temporary Eviction Moratorium Ordinance (TEMO) became effective immediately.  The TEMO was initially slated to expire on May 31, 2020.  Tenants must provide written notice of their request for rent deferral within 20 days after the rent is due.  Details on the form of the notice and what it must contain are in the Ordinance and FAQs available below.

On May 19, 2020, the Santa Barbara City Council adopted Ordinance No. 5943 to extend the TEMO to be in effect as long as the Governor's Executive Order N-28-20 remains in effect.  On May 29th, Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-66-20 extended EO N-28-20, and as a result the TEMO, until July 28, 2020.  On June 30, 2020, Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-71-20 again extended EO N-28-20, and as a result the TEMO, until September 30, 2020.  The Council also specified that tenants must repay any deferred rent in 12 equal monthly installments after expiration of the COVID-19 emergency orders.  For residential tenants, EO N-28-20 expires on September 30, 2020, and under AB 3088 repayment must commence on March 1, 2021.

On September 23, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-80-20 which extended the effect of EO N-28-20 until March 31, 2021 as to commercial evictions only.  As a result, the TEMO extension Ordinance No. 5943 is likewise extended as to commercial tenancies only.

We are not permitted to provide legal advice to the public.  City Attorney Ariel Calonne will provide technical assistance to attorneys by telephone at (805) 564-5326.

UPDATED JUNE 10, 2020:  The adopted text of the TEMO extension, Ordinance No. 5943, is located HERE.

The adopted text of the TEMO, Ordinance No. 5941, is located HERE.  

UPDATED JUNE 10, 2020:  Frequently asked questions (FAQs) in English are located HERE.  

UPDATED JUNE 10, 2020:  Frequently asked questions in Spanish are located HERE.


Mandatory Lease Ordinance Information

On May 7, 2019, the Santa Barbara City Council adopted Ordinance No. 5885 to require landlords to offer residential tenants one-year leases in many circumstances.  The Ordinance will become effective on June 7, 2019.  The Ordinance requires landlords to make the lease offer for current month-to-month tenants on or before September 5, 2019.  This office will not begin enforcement until September 9, 2019.

The Ordinance requires the city attorney to prepare a lease rejection form and post it on the City's website.  You will find the form as a Microsoft Word document HERE or as a Adobe Acrobat pdf HERE.  You may lawfully create your own form, or include lease rejection language in another rental document.


Last Updated: Dec 1, 2020
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