Louis Esbin of the Law Offices of Louis J. Esbin has seen many renters being asked to “jump through hoops” by their landlords as they attempt to obtain the forbearance they are entitled to as a result of the governor’s executive order.
“The governor’s executive order basically said that you were entitled to a forbearance from your landlord, and then there were certain conditions that you had to meet,” Esbin said.
For example, those who should meet required conditions include individuals who have been under quarantine orders because of the coronavirus, who are providing care for a loved one positive for coronavirus or who were forced to close their non-essential business because of the “Safer at Home” order, according to Esbin.
“Let’s take a business that has been closed,” Esbin explained. “That’s cause for a landlord to give you a rent abatement. There is nothing else but that that’s stated in the executive order. And yet what we’re hearing from people is that landlords are coming back and saying, ‘Well I need six months of bank statements, I need last year’s tax returns,’ and all this financial disclosure that is not a requirement in the executive order.”
These apparently unneeded financial disclosure requirements could be the result of advice landlords are receiving from their own resources, Esbin speculated.
“But I don’t see anything in the executive order that supports that type of disclosure to be made to a landlord,” Esbin said.
Consequently, Esbin is counseling people to ask their landlord questions in response to any requested financial disclosures.
“Basically say, ‘Where in the executive order from the governor does it require me to provide you with anything other than my business is closed as a result of the shelter-at-home orders?’” Esbin said. “If you cannot pay your rent, the executive order seems to cover you with nothing more than identifying the cause as it relates to the COVID-19 crisis.”
When having these conversations, Esbin stressed that it is important to confirm everything in writing and leave a “paper trail,” but added that escalating things to a lawsuit should not be necessary.
“There doesn’t need to be (lawsuits) if there are conversations,” he said. “The only ones who really benefit are my colleagues who like to litigate this stuff. So, let’s be proactive and see if we can get through this with some old-fashioned conversation and exchange of correspondence.”
Louis Esbin of the Law Offices of Louis J. Esbin is an attorney in Santa Clarita and Canyon Country, Valencia, Saugus, Stevenson Ranch, Newhall and Castaic neighborhoods who specializes in bankruptcy law, business law and consumer protection. The motto of his firm is, “When experience counts, count on experience,” and Esbin has been practicing law locally since 1993. His experience in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York also enables him to pledge to provide his clients with high quality, big-city legal services as a Santa Clarita attorney. In addition, the bankruptcy attorney in Santa Clarita is founding treasurer of the Santa Clarita Valley Bar Association, a founding member of the Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Association and a member of the Financial Lawyers Conference and California Bankruptcy Forum. Those searching for the best attorney in Santa Clarita or an “attorney near me,” can contact the Law Offices of Louis J. Esbin today for more information.
27451 Tourney Road, Suite 120
Valencia, CA 91355-6304