The Difference a Landlord Attorney Can Make
Los Angeles County’s eviction protections for tenants unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic expired two months ago, resulting in a growing number of eviction cases. Recent data indicates that eviction filings in March reached the highest levels for that month since 2015. Since April, when the county’s COVID-19 protections ended, eviction attorneys believe that the number of filings has likely increased.
According to UCLA postdoctoral fellow Kyle Nelson, who specializes in studying eviction trends in L.A., the courts are expected to face a backlog of cases, which is why a landlord should use an eviction attorney to help make the process faster.
At the Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in downtown L.A., judges handle numerous eviction cases daily. Landlords are almost always accompanied by attorneys, while tenants usually represent themselves.
The atmosphere inside the courtroom can be chaotic and disorienting. Lawyers enter and exit the room hastily, parties sometimes fail to appear, observers disrupt the proceedings with their conversations, and hearings can conclude in less than five minutes. On any given day, numerous landlords end up repossessing their rental property.
Most landlords have attorneys
According to housing advocates and Kyle Nelson, a UCLA researcher, the majority of Los Angeles renters involved in eviction cases do not have legal representation. On the other hand, a UCLA study reveals that 95% of landlords appear in court accompanied by lawyers which is why hiring the services of Mike Earle and the Fast Eviction team is the smart choice to help win your cases in LA County.
Outside the courtroom,landlord attorneys can be seen taking breaks from their long list of cases. While talking with a few attorneys, one explained they witnessed two self-represented tenants lose their cases making it that much more important that landlords don’t self-represent.
It’s important to note that it’s important to represent landlords who are only striving to make ends meet and supplement their income.
Although the majority of landlords have legal representation, it’s possible for tenants to seek assistance from legal aid groups but given the substantial number of eviction filings in Los Angeles County each month (4,053 in March alone), and with an estimated count of only around 50 specialized eviction defense lawyers in the county, the availability of legal representation for tenants can be limited.
Tenants struggle to fight back in eviction court
Amid the pandemic, the city and county of Los Angeles have implemented a program called Stay Housed L.A., which offers free legal assistance to tenants. However, due to limited resources, the program cannot provide an attorney to every tenant seeking help.
Currently, the L.A. city council is contemplating the establishment of a program that would provide free legal representation to many tenants in eviction court, similar to the guaranteed representation afforded to defendants in criminal court. Several other cities, such as New York and San Francisco, have already implemented such right-to-counsel ordinances.
For now, L.A. renters must navigate the complexities of the legal proceedings on their own which makes it important for landlords to have legal representation to secure a win in LA County.
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