Partnership Opposes One-sided Rent Relief Bill AB 1346, SB 939 Stopped in Committee
IRWINDALE - It's been a busy week in Sacramento as a terribly one-sided rent relief bill, AB 1346 (Chiu), was introduced that would allow renters to skip out on paying rent so long as the emergency health orders for the COVID-19 crisis remain in place. Another key rent bill, SB 939 was stopped in the Senate Appropriations Committee. It would have allowed commercial tenants the option of walking away from their leases and other contractual obligations.
"The coronavirus pandemic has hit renters across the state, including businesses and property owners," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "Many local governments and the state have enacted measures to allow renters leeway and flexibility on paying rent during the stay-at-home orders, however, there are many businesses that manage property that have bills, taxes, maintenance costs, and employees to pay, and these two bills allow renters to walk away from their obligations at the expense of others."
AB 1436 is a proposal that would force landlords to defer rents for 15 months after a state or local state of emergency is lifted - which can translate to years of unpaid rent - if a tenant is unable - or unwilling - to pay rent due to COVID-19. In many cases, local governments don't lift their emergency orders for years which means an owner may never receive the rent they deferred during the pandemic. Landlords would not have incoming revenue under AB 1436 to pay their taxes, mortgages, utilities, or staff. AB 1436 only makes our housing crisis worse and will put hundreds of rental owners into default leading to mass foreclosures on rental housing.
SB 939 (Weiner) was stopped in the Senate Appropriations Committee this week and put on the suspense file. The bill would have allowed small businesses to walk away from their rent obligations at the cost of property management businesses.