AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Thursday, Austin City Council approved an extension of renter protections, which requires landlords to give 60 days notice of a proposed eviction before they issue a notice to vacate. The city says this will give tenants financially impacted by COVID-19 more time to pay overdue rent or fees due on or before Dec. 31.

This ordinance was initially adopted by the council on March 26 and has been in place ever since. It requires landlords to provide notice of a proposed eviction to a tenant 60 days before they issue a notice to vacate. During those 60 days, tenants have an opportunity to respond and to pay the amount owed to avoid an eviction. This does not exempt the tenant from their obligation to pay.

This ordinance has been extended several times. Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the ordinance was set to expire on September 30.

Council approved the most recent extension on its consent agenda early on in the council meeting Thursday.

The ordinance expires 61 days after December 31, which would be March 2, 2021. After that point, if the ordinance is not further extended, the landlord would again be able to file for eviction immediately and notify tenants.

Several members of Austin’s apartment management community spoke at the meeting expressing concerns about the extension.

Paul Caduro, the director of governmental relations for the Austin Apartment Association, asked that the council let this ordinance expire at the end of September as it was written.

Caduro said while he understands the council’s reasons behind why they want to extend this protection, “this ordinance has caused confusion, destabilized apartment operations, and unfortunately has provided for residents not impacted by COVID-19 to take advantage of the situation.”

More resources from the City of Austin related to housing assistance can be found here.

A graphic from the City of Austin to inform the public about the 60-day notice to vacate.