Los Angeles New Ordinance Extends Temporary Tenant Protections

Los Angeles New Ordinance extends temporary tenant protections

On Wednesday, May 6th 2020, the Los Angeles City Council voted on and passed an ordinance dubbed as the “New Ordinance”. This ordinance would amend the L.A. Municipal Code regarding tenant protections during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current temporary ban on residential and commercial evictions for failing to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic is limited to the Local Emergency Period as declared by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

This time frame is mentioned in what is called the “Original Ordinance”. The temporary ban ends as soon as the Local Emergency Period is lifted

The keynote change in the Los Angeles New Ordinance is how residential and commercial evictions would be affected. The new ordinance extends the previous provision on when the temporary ban on residential evictions would end from when the emergency ordinance is lifted to 12 months past the local emergency period. Commercial eviction protections now extend 3 months past the local emergency period. 

This emergency period began on March 4, 2020 and is still ongoing as of May 5, 2020, the day this article was written.

Other key Los Angeles New Ordinance Amendments

  • The New Ordinance grace period of giving current tenants notice of the ordinance is 15 within becoming effective. This notice must also be included in any eviction notice served listed under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1161 and California Civil Code section 1946.1. The form of the notice to residential tenants will be provided by HCID and must be used without modifications (above).
  • On top of failure to pay rent, the new ordinance adds other reasons to the list of why a landlord cannot temporarily evict a tenant. During the emergency period, residential tenants cannot be evicted for a “no-fault reason”, unauthorized occupant issues, unauthorized pet issues or nuisance problems related to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Landlords are not allowed to “endeavor to evict” due to COVID-19 related circumstances. In other words, we strongly recommend against serving a notice to pay rent, notice to vacate, or any other eviction notice at this time.
  • There are no changes in what Los Angeles City Council considers “triggers” as eligible circumstances for these protections. They include
    • Substantial loss of income due to loss of hours or workplace closures.
    • Child care costs because of school closures.
    • Medical expenses due to COVID-19 or having to take care of a family member under similar circumstances.
    • Expenses due to government ordered measures.
  • Landlords and property managers should not try to influence residential tenants to pay with any sum of money received as part of government stimulus relief programs.
  • Tenants may be able to use any of the protections stipulated in the New Ordinance as defense in an unlawful detainer case warranting administrative citations to landlords and owners if found in violation.
  • Residential tenants would also have private right of action in court which would give landlords 15 days to fix any violations of the Los Angeles ordinance
  • The Los Angeles New Ordinance does not forgive any rent amount deferred during the Local Emergency Period. Residential tenants have the obligation to pay back the owed rent during the 12 month period. Commercial tenants are granted 3 months to catch up on back rent.

We’d like to remind you that the Los Angeles New Ordinance is an additional blanket to the overwhelming changes in regulations, ordinances, moratoriums and legislature on a municipal, local, city and state level. The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the key changes and not to attempt to interpret the law. Please get legal advice from your eviction lawyer before serving notices during these times. Stay safe!

At Fast Eviction Service, help on any of the issues discussed in this article is simply a click or phone call away. Email intake@fastevict.com or call our office at (800) 686-8686 to discuss your questions for a free evaluation of your case.

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