LOS ANGELES – The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to extend the Los Angeles County Temporary Eviction Moratorium through September 30, 2021. The moratorium, which was first put into effect March 2020, places a Countywide ban on evictions for residential tenants, commercial tenants, and mobilehome space renters.
The updated moratorium extends protection to commercial evictions; prohibits no-fault evictions, evictions for unauthorized occupants, pets, nuisances, or for tenants who reasonably deny entry to a landlord, if related to COVID-19. In a related motion co-authored by Supervisors Holly J. Mitchell and Hilda L. Solis, commercial rent protections were also expanded.
In addition to extending the moratorium, the motion begins to phase out the ban on evictions. As a first step, the motion created a limited carve-out for owner move-ins of single-family homes that were purchased on or before June 30, 2021.
The motion clarifies that, effective March 4, 2020, tenants have an affirmative defense in unlawful detainer actions and any other civil action for the collection of unpaid rent, if tenant was unable to pay rent during the timeframe from March 4, 2020 through the end of the Moratorium period, due to financial impacts from COVID-19.
Additionally, the motion also instructs County Counsel, in collaboration with the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) and the Courts, to report back in 30 days on the feasibility and impact of requiring property owners to apply for rental assistance before taking legal action or an action to recover rental debt against a tenant who has been financially impacted by COVID-19.
“By adopting deliberate, proactive strategies, we have minimized evictions during this once-in-a-century pandemic,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who authored the motion. “Our responsibility now is to phase out this moratorium in a way that ensures we don’t sacrifice our hard-won success keeping families in their homes, while thoughtfully easing rules on property owners and returning to normal.”
“The three-month extension of the eviction moratorium and gradual transition of current tenant protections will ensure that vulnerable families and residents who experienced financial hardships can remain housed as we emerge from the pandemic,” shared Hilda L. Solis, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Issues like homelessness and economic inequality will persist long after the pandemic and it is our responsibility as a County to avoid a mass eviction of vulnerable residents and ensure an equitable recovery for all.”
DCBA Director Rafael Carbajal adds, “With the passage of today’s motion, and extension of the Temporary Eviction Moratorium, we now have clear direction and a plan in place that will protect residential and commercial tenants from the impending tsunami of evictions and lessen the burden of property owners in LA County.”
Visit rent.lacounty.gov for more details or call (833) 223-RENT (7368)