Los Angeles County No Fault Eviction Protections
The County has imposed a moratorium that prevents evictions for “no fault” reasons, except for those that are necessary for health and safety, and an extremely limited exception for owner move-in evictions, which is explained further below. A “no fault” reason is defined as any eviction where the notice to end the tenancy is not based on any alleged fault by the tenant. This protection applies irrespective of whether the tenant has experienced any COVID-19-related difficulties and regardless of household income until March 31, 2023. On November 15, 2022, the County revised the moratorium to extend the no fault protections only to those tenants who have used the moratorium’s non-payment protections until the end of the repayment period, which is March 31, 2024.
Allowed Owner Move in Evictions
The moratorium features a highly restricted and intricate exception to the no-fault eviction prohibition, which permits certain landlords to terminate a tenancy to enable themselves or a qualified relative to move in, provided they meet all of the complex requirements. Initially, the exception enables a landlord to repossess up to two units if they seek, in good faith, to repossess the property for their or their qualifying family member’s personal use and occupancy as their primary residence for a minimum of thirty-six (36) consecutive months. The following family members are recognized as qualifying under the moratorium:
- The qualifying family members recognized under the moratorium include a landlord’s parent, child, spouse or registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, aunt or uncle who is at least sixty-two (62) years of age, or any other dependent over whom the landlord has guardianship.
- The qualifying family members under the moratorium also include the spouse or registered domestic partner’s parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, aunt or uncle who is at least sixty-two (62) years of age, or any other dependent over whom the landlord’s spouse or domestic partner has guardianship.
Furthermore, the exception only pertains to single-family homes, condominiums, mobile home spaces, duplexes, and triplexes. In the case of triplexes, the landlord or their qualifying family member must first attempt to occupy any unoccupied unit(s) on the rental property. If no such unoccupied unit(s) is available, then the landlord or their qualifying family member can displace the most recently occupied unit(s) so that they can move into the unit(s).
The following conditions must also be met:
- The landlord must be an individual and own at least 50% of the single-family home, mobile home space, condominium unit, duplex, or triplex, or be a beneficiary with an interest of at least 50% in a trust that owns the property. A landlord who owns at least 50% but less than 100% of a duplex or triplex may only occupy one unit within the duplex or triplex. A landlord who owns 100% of a duplex or triplex may use and occupy up to two units in the duplex or triplex. The landlord or their qualifying family members may use and occupy a total of up to two units as their primary residence, regardless of the type of units.
- The landlord can only terminate a tenancy if the landlord or the qualifying family member is in a similar situation as the tenant or the tenant’s household members who are being displaced, as outlined below:
- If the tenant or one of the tenant’s household members is sixty-two (62) years of age or older, the landlord or qualifying family member who will live in the unit must also be sixty-two (62) years of age or older.
- If the tenant or one of the tenant’s household members has a disability that limits one or more of their major life activities, as defined by the California Fair Housing and Employment Act under California Government Code section 12926, the landlord or qualifying family member who will live in the unit must also have a disability.
- If the tenant or one of the tenant’s household members has a terminal illness, as confirmed by a medical care provider, the landlord or qualifying family member who will live in the unit must also have a terminal illness.
- If the tenant is a low-income household, which refers to a household with an income that falls below the qualifying limits for lower income households set forth in Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 or as defined in California Health and Safety Code section 50079.5, then the landlord or qualifying family member who will live in the unit must also be a low-income household.
- The landlord must give the tenant at least 60 days’ written notice that they or a qualifying family member will be occupying the unit as their principal residence, and the notice must include specific language mandated by the moratorium. The notice must also be accompanied by a declaration signed under penalty of perjury stating that the landlord is terminating the tenancy to allow themselves or a qualifying family member to occupy the unit, and the declaration must include certain information about the landlord and the qualifying family member. The landlord must also provide a copy of the notice and declaration to the DCBA, along with proof of timely service on the tenant.
- If anyone in the tenant’s household or the landlord’s or qualifying family member’s household has been diagnosed with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within fourteen days of the final date of the tenancy, the landlord must provide an extension of the sixty-day notice period until all affected parties have been deemed to no longer be infectious. This is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of all parties involved.
- The landlord or qualifying family member must move into the unit within sixty (60) days of the tenant vacating the unit, and they must also live in the unit as their principal residence for at least thirty-six (36) consecutive months. This means that the landlord or qualifying family member cannot use the exception to displace tenants and then rent out the unit again within the next three years. If they do not live in the unit as their principal residence for at least thirty-six (36) consecutive months, they may be subject to penalties and liability under the law.
- Under this exception, the landlord must provide the tenant with relocation assistance. According to the moratorium, the amount of assistance will depend on the rules and regulations of the local jurisdiction where the unit is located. If there are no such requirements in place for owner move-ins, the landlord must pay the relocation assistance amount specified in Section 8.52.110 of the County Code and DCBA’s policies and procedures. This means that if the unit is located in a city with relocation assistance requirements, the landlord must pay the amount set by those rules. If there are no such requirements, the landlord must pay the amount specified by the County Code. The relocation assistance amounts published by the County as of July 2022 are as follows:
|Studio||1 Bedroom||2 Bedroom||3 Bedroom||4 Bedroom|
|Seniors, Minors, w/ Disabilities||$9,272||$10,675||$13,359||$16,043||$17,995|
- The landlord must submit a form approved by DCBA, disclosing the name(s) of the eligible individual(s) who will occupy the unit at least sixty (60) days before the final date of the tenancy. According to the moratorium, DCBA reserves the right to contact the landlord during the thirty-six (36) month occupancy period of the landlord or qualifying family member to verify their residency and obtain written confirmation of such residency.
- Using this exception to terminate a tenancy and recover a unit requires the landlord to be in compliance with all of Chapter 8.52 of the County Code if the unit is located in an unincorporated area of the County. This chapter sets forth the County’s rent stabilization and tenant protections ordinance, which outlines a variety of requirements that landlords must follow.
The owner move-in exception is a complex and detailed process with many specific requirements that must be followed. If you have any questions, please contact our office for assistance.
Filed under: Los Angeles County