2023 is here, but for many landlords in California, they are still struggling with collecting rent that’s owed them from March 2020 through September 30, 2021, a period when renters in California were still protected by the Covid-19 statewide eviction moratorium.
The good news is that landlords may still be able to collect unpaid rent from that period, if they take their tenants to small claims court and use form SC-500 to collect back rent.
Traditional Small Claims Dollar Limits Do Not Apply
Landlords who have had a previous experience with small claims court in California, will know that dollar limits apply, and individuals can only sue for a maximum claim of $10,000.
Following Covid-19, the court changed the rules for property owners, and they may sue for the total dollar amount of back rent that their tenant didn’t pay during Covid-19.
If multiple tenants lived in the same property, landlords may sue them for $2,500 each, if that amount equals the total amount owed.
Landlords Must Prove That They Applied for Rental Assistance
Before a landlord can take their tenant to small claims court using form SC-500, they must be able to prove that they applied for rental assistance, and if they did receive help, any money that was received should be credited to the tenant.
Property management company that represents landlords with unpaid rent must fill out form SC-109 to prove that they are authorized to appear in court on the landlord’s behalf.
These small new claims court rules expire October 1st, 2025, so there’s still plenty of time for landlords to act but, it’s important to note that any landlord who waits too long to collect unpaid rent may be barred from suing to recover unpaid rent, so they should act now.
Contact GoldenWest Management
At GoldenWest Management, we specialize in managing single family and multifamily properties in San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
To learn more about the property management services we can offer you, contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.
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