COVID-19, Highlights|

COVID-19 What you need to know about LA renter protections

For Updated Landlord & Tenant Information, please click here.

The City of Los Angeles Declaration of Local Emergency, effective on March 4, 2020, terminated on February 1, 2023. The provisions apply to all residential rental units in the City of Los Angeles.

Non-Payment of Rent

The City’s local COVID emergency order expired on January 31, 2023. Beginning February 1, 2023, tenants must pay their full monthly rent to avoid eviction for non-payment. Low-income renters with income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) that could not pay rent due to COVID-19 financial impact continued to have protections through March 31, 2023, if they notified their landlord within 7 days of the rent due date unless extenuating circumstances existed. You may view the Notice to Landlord of Inability to Pay Rent due to COVID-19.

State Law on Non-Payment of Rent Eviction Protections

Tenants who provided their landlord with a COVID-19 Related Declaration of Financial Distress Form by the 15-Day deadline for rent owed from March 1, 2020 through August 31, 2020, cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent from that period. A landlord can pursue a court action in small claims court for this rent. Tenants who provided their landlord with a COVID-19 Related Declaration of Financial Distress Form by the 15-Day deadline AND paid 25% of their rent to the landlord for rent owed from September 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021, cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent from that period. A landlord can pursue a court action in small claims court for this rent.

COVID-19 Rental Debt

Tenants who are not covered by the Declaration of Financial Distress process described above continue to have protections for unpaid COVID-19 rental debt and must pay their debt as follows to avoid eviction:

  • Rent owed from March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, tenants must pay by August 1, 2023.
  • Rent owed from October 1, 2021 to January 31, 2023, tenants must pay by February 1, 2024.

Eviction Protections for ULA ERAP Tenant-Approved Applications

Through May 31, 2024, the City Council extended eviction protections (view eviction protections) to tenants with ULA ERAP applications that have been approved and are waiting for their applications to be funded. To determine if a tenant’s application is approved, you can check the ULA ERAP application status, which will indicate: ‘Tenant Approved.’ Check the status of your Application.

Unauthorized Pets Eviction Protection & Additional Tenant Rent Increase

Effective February 5, 2024, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 188108 to provide eviction protection to tenants with brought into the unit before January 31, 2023, due to COVID-19, even if the pet was not allowed under the lease/rental agreement. A tenant who has yet to inform their landlord of their pet due to COVID-19 must do so before March 5, 2024, to avoid eviction due to an unauthorized pet related to COVID-19.

Effective February 1, 2024, landlords may charge an additional 10% for each additional tenant brought into a unit subject to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance before January 31, 2024. This rent increase can only be applied if the number of tenants exceeds the initial number of tenants on the lease/rental agreement or who moved in initially. A landlord may not increase the rent for the first minor dependent child added to the tenancy. Rent increases for unauthorized additional tenants who moved in before January 1, 2024, must be provided an advance written notice of rental increase on or before March 1, 2024. If a 10% rent increase becomes effective and the additional tenant subsequently moves, the landlord must decrease the rent by 10%. A landlord cannot unreasonably deny authorization of an additional tenant.

 

City of Los Angeles COVID-19 Ordinances

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. On March 15th, former Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti issued an Emergency Order which implemented measures to protect the public and contain the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, on March 23rd the Mayor issued a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent for tenants who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ordinance No.186585 effective March 31, 2020, provided additional protections and effective May 12, 2020, Ordinance No. 186606, further expanded tenants protections during the local emergency in response to COVID-19. Together, these actions were designed to prevent unnecessary housing displacement and to prevent housed individuals from falling into homelessness.

From March 30, 2020 through January 31, 2024, rent increases are prohibited for rental units subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). For more information please read the Ordinance 186607 and read the Mayor’s Order issued on March 30, 2020.

Stay Housed LA Service

Stay Housed L.A. is a partnership between Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles and local community and legal service providers. The program provides free legal assistance to tenants facing wrongful eviction. Income eligible tenants receive the legal help they need to stay in their homes. For more information, visit https://www.stayhousedla.org/.

How Will the City Implement the Residential Eviction Moratorium?

Affirmative Defense

Tenants facing eviction have an affirmative defense if the proposed eviction is for non-payment of rent and the tenant’s inability to pay rent results from circumstances related to the COVID-19 emergency. Tenants or their attorneys can raise the existence of this moratorium as a defense in an Unlawful Detainer action. Tenants and their attorneys may argue that they are an Affected Tenant by providing documentation to the Landlord that they have lost substantial income.

LAHD Administrative Process

Additionally, the Los Angeles Housing  Department (LAHD) will intake tenant complaints and inform both landlords and tenants of the requirements of the renter protections. LAHD will conduct an investigation similar to the existing process for enforcement of tenant protections under the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO).

Eviction complaints can be filed:

Electronically at: housing.lacity.org/File-a-Complaint

Telephone Hotline at (866) 557-7368.

Complaints will be assigned to a Housing Investigator, who will investigate the tenant’s claim and advise the landlord and tenant of their findings.

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