DCBA Stories is an ongoing series of articles showcasing the many ways the staff of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs answer the call to help the people of Los Angeles County.
The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs has a long history of helping tenants and landlords resolve their issues. A local property owner and her daughter recently reached out to DCBA for help with CA-COVID-19 Rent Relief and was helped by Anait, who is part of the Housing and Tenant Protections team.
It all started when Ms. Peredes* contacted DCBA on behalf of her mother (the landlord). Their tenants had faced pandemic-related hardships and were unable to pay their monthly rent. The tenants applied for the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, which if approved would direct monetary relief directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenants.
After waiting to find out whether they were approved for the program, Ms. Peredes reached out to the CA-COVID-19 Rent Relief case worker but was unable to get any further information. However, Anait was able to contact the state and was informed that the funds, just over $7,000, had been sent to the tenant in error.
Ms. Peredes and her mother contacted the tenants who said they hadn’t received the funds, and again tried to follow up with the state case worker with no luck.
They turned again to Anait, who spoke with the state representative on their behalf and requested the state cancel the payment issued to the tenant and redirect it to the landlord. Ultimately, the state put a stop payment on the initial check and reissued a new payment to the landlord in time for her pay her property taxes.
“Now, that my mother has half of the funds owed to her,” said Ms. Peredes, “she has half of the money to pay her property taxes and the people she borrowed money from.”
“I received a telephone call from Ms. Anait saying she would help me but couldn’t promise me anything,” Ms. Peredes continued. “Well, she did help and my mother and I are very grateful for her dedication to help us resolve our problem. I don’t know if the state will approve the additional funds the tenants requested, but if the state doesn’t approve their application, I hope Ms. Anait is there to guide me on what to do.”
If you are a renter or a landlord seeking information about tenant protections or available programs to help tenants or property owners, visit rent.lacounty.gov. You can speak to a DCBA Housing and Tenant Protections counselor by calling (800) 593-8222 or make an appointment to have a DCBA counselor call you at a time most convenient for you.
* Note: Some names and specific details of cases featured in DCBA Stories have been adjusted to respect the privacy of our team members and the people we serve.