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Understanding the Eviction Moratorium in Los Angeles

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a range of unprecedented challenges and difficulties, including a looming threat of mass evictions as many renters struggled to make ends meet. In response, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors implemented an eviction moratorium in March 2020 to protect tenants from being forced out of their homes during the pandemic. The moratorium has been extended several times since then, and as of February 2023, it still remains in effect. This article will examine its impacts on renters and landlords, the ongoing debate surrounding its effectiveness and how long the eviction moratorium is in Los Angeles.

What is a moratorium in real estate?

In real estate, a moratorium refers to a temporary suspension or delay of a particular activity, such as a pause on certain types of development or construction, or a halt on eviction proceedings. A moratorium can be put in place by a government, court, or other regulatory body for a variety of reasons, such as to allow for further study or review, to address environmental or health concerns, or to provide relief to individuals or businesses impacted by a crisis or emergency. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments implemented eviction moratoriums to protect tenants who were unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the pandemic.

In Los Angeles, the current eviction moratorium was first enacted in March 2020 by Mayor Eric Garcetti and has been extended several times since then. The most recent extension was approved in January 2021 and is set to expire on March 31, 2023. It is important to note that the eviction moratorium in LA only applies to tenants who are unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 related reasons. Landlords can still file eviction proceedings for other reasons, such as lease violations, property damage, or illegal activities. Additionally, tenants who can pay rent are still expected to do so, and unpaid rent will still accrue and become due at the end of the moratorium.

What are the effects of the eviction moratorium?

The LA County eviction moratorium has had both positive and negative effects on renters and landlords in the area.

Preventing mass evictions

The moratorium has helped prevent a large number of tenants from being evicted during the pandemic, which has been especially important for those who have lost their jobs or experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Providing relief to struggling renters

Renters who were unable to pay their rent due to the financial impact of Covid-19 have found some relief in the resolution, as it delayed eviction proceedings and allowed them to stay in their homes.

Reducing homelessness

By preventing evictions, the moratorium has helped reduce the number of people who might otherwise have become homeless during the 2020 pandemic.

Potential for long-term consequences

Some experts have raised concerns that the moratorium could have long-term negative consequences for both renters and landlords, such as a decrease in available rental housing or a lack of investment in new rental properties.

When is the eviction moratorium over in Los Angeles?

The Los Angeles City Council officially approved the end of the COVID-19 eviction moratorium on January 31, 2023. This decision follows years of advocacy by the California Apartment Association and its members. While tenants are no longer allowed to delay payment of current rent, some aspects of the moratorium, such as the prohibition of evicting unauthorized occupants, will remain in effect for another year.

From February 1, 2023, tenants are required to pay their complete monthly rent amount to avoid eviction due to non-payment. However, low-income renters whose income is equal to or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and are unable to pay rent due to financial impacts caused by the pandemic will still be protected until March 31, 2023.

What protections remain in place after the LA county eviction moratorium ends?

Commercial tenants are no longer protected by the Resolution as of February 1, 2023, but until March 31, 2023, the following protections are in place for residential tenants, including mobile home space renters, in unincorporated areas of LA County:

  • Protections against evictions for no-fault reasons (except for qualified Owner Move-in), nuisance, and unauthorized occupants or pets who moved in between March 1, 2020, and January 20, 2023.
  • Anti-harassment and retaliation protections.
  • Rent increase freeze for rent-stabilized units.
  • Protections against evictions for non-payment of rent between July 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, due to a COVID-19 financial hardship, but only for tenant households with income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

If you are a tenant and have been served with an eviction or if you are unsure whether you are protected by the eviction moratorium, you should seek legal advice from expert eviction consultants.

The Conclusion

The eviction moratorium in Los Angeles has been a crucial lifeline for many renters who have faced financial hardship due to COVID-19. It has helped prevent a mass eviction crisis, provided relief to struggling renters, and reduced the number of people who might have otherwise become homeless during the pandemic. However, it has also had negative effects on landlords who have faced financial strain due to a lack of rental income. As the eviction moratorium approaches its expiration date, there is an ongoing debate about whether it should be extended further, and what the long-term consequences of the moratorium might be.

If you need further advice on this or you are facing an eviction, get in touch today and our legal team will offer you the help you need!