Motion extends tenant protections; Residential tenants urged to apply for state rent relief program

LOS ANGELES – On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted to extend Los Angeles County’s temporary eviction moratorium through January 31, 2022. These protections, which went into effect March 2020 and set to expire on September 30, 2021, provided a set of affirmative defenses against evictions for residential and commercial tenants, as well as mobilehome space renters.

The updated policy, now renamed the County’s COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution, continues to provide a defense against eviction for residential and commercial tenants, while also expanding the owner move-in provisions. Notably, the updated Resolution expands the owner move-in exception to allow property owners or their qualifying family members to move into up to two units as their principal residence(s) if the single-family home, condominium unit, mobilehome space, duplex and/or triplex was purchased by the property owner on or before June 30, 2021, and if certain conditions are met. It also clarifies provisions not preempted by State law, such as residential nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 financial hardship.

“Unfortunately, the County no longer has the authority to extend non-payment of rent protection to local residential tenants. The motion extends non-payment of rent protections to commercial tenants, and extends limited protections to residential tenants as permitted by law. I hope that LA County residents who fell behind on their rent during the pandemic act quickly to apply for the state’s Housing is Key rent relief program in order to secure protection from eviction while the state processes the applications,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the primary author of the motion.

“Los Angeles County’s temporary tenant emergency protections have served as a safety net for both residential and commercial renters of the same communities that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why we must continue to provide protections for those who are struggling to pay rent and on the verge of falling into homelessness,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “I am proud to join my colleague, Supervisor Kuehl, in co-authoring Tuesday’s motion on extending protections for tenants to January 31, 2022. While our temporary emergency protections are for only certain matters where we are not preempted by the State of California, this motion will allow us to provide robust harassment protections to keep our families safe and to give them peace of mind. This pandemic has not affected everyone equally and to that end, I am focused on meeting the needs of our community to stabilize households and mitigate the detrimental effects of disruptive displacements across the County.”

“With the Board’s passage of the motion and the extension of COVID-19 Tenant Protections, we have a clear path forward,” said Rafael Carbajal, Director of the LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at a press conference Wednesday. "While some of the State’s eviction protections are slated to expire this week, it’s important to note that there are still resources available to help and rent relief continues to be available to cover up to 100 percent of past-due rent and utilities. Each situation is unique but struggling renters and property owners should reach out to us immediately to determine what protections apply and what resources are available. Call us at 800-593-8222 for more information.”

“LA County renters were struggling to keep up with skyrocketing rents prior to the pandemic and COVID-19 has increased housing instability across the region,” said Jenny Delwood, Executive Vice President of the Liberty Hill Foundation, one of the lead coordinating organizations for Stay Housed L.A. “The Stay Housed L.A. program is here to help tenants understand and exercise their rights. Together, we can prevent homelessness and ensure renters stay housed.”

For more information about the LA County COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution, visit dcba.lacounty.gov/noevictions.

For any additional questions about landlord/tenant laws and programs in LA County, visit rent.lacounty.gov.

For more information about the Housing is Key rent relief program, visit housingiskey.com.

Media kit available at bit.ly/TenantsMediaKit.

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Contact: Jethro Rothe-Kushel, Director of Communications
(213) 247-0482, jrothe-kushel@dcba.lacounty.gov

Keven Chavez, Public Information Officer
(213) 974-9699, kchavez@dcba.lacounty.gov