Renters Now Have 12 Months To Repay Unpaid Rent In Santa Monica

In a move that is undoubtedly going to cause chaos for landlords in Santa Monica, the city extended its moratorium on residential and commercial evictions to June 30 and extended from six to twelve months the time tenants have to pay rent they were unable to pay late last week.

But it was both tenants and landlords who critiqued the city's previous bill allowing 6 months when neighboring Los Angeles had passed a bill allowing tenants to have 12 months to repay, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press

Interim City Manager Lane Dilg said: “The city is constantly monitoring the emergency situation and updating our local orders to provide the most sensible and meaningful response. The extensions of the moratorium period and the time to pay the unpaid rents, are intended to provide some relief to our residents and small businesses, restaurants, stores and offices, in light of the uncertainties we face as to when the safe-at-home orders will be lifted, and when we can all go back to work.”

The kicker is that under the previous moratorium, renters needed to prove that their earnings had been affected by coronavirus. Under the new bill, tenants can simply describe in a written notice - without definitive proof - how their earnings have been impacted. 

City spokesperson Constance Farrell said: "Landlords must notify tenants of the moratorium and may not require tenants to enter into payment plans for delayed rent, although tenants must repay any unpaid rent 12 months after the city lifts its emergency orders."

The order also clears up that commercial eviction bans do not apply to "multi-national companies, publicly traded companies and companies that employ more than 500 employees."

Santa Monica's coronavirus tally is now at just 159. Cases have increased just 10% week over week, down from a 44% clip from the week prior. 

But the facts like are that, regardless of when things return to normal, we're certain tenants are going to use their full 12 months before eventually paying their landlords - or deciding to stiff them. Regardless, even though they may not understand it yet, it seems to us that landlords in Santa Monica will be getting the short end of the stick.

Here at Zero Hedge, we'll be poised on watch for crashing housing prices in the area after landlords finally decide the income isn't worth dealing with the red tape and eventually turn around and hit the housing market bid with a barrage of properties.