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LOS ANGELES TENANT EVICTIONS & RENT INCREASES AFTER OCTOBER 1, 2021 - POST COVID.
In both the City and County of Los Angeles there were temporary eviction moratoriums on Residential Tenant Evictions and in some cases Rent Increases. This article explains the new procedures and rules for residential tenant rent increases and evictions in the City of Los Angeles and the unincorporated areas in the County of Los Angeles beginning October 1, 2021. This article also sets forth the new Los Angeles Covid 19 residential tenant protections in the City of Los Angeles and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County as of October 1, 2021.
Rent Increases Still Prohibited on Residential Properties Subject to the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
On March 30, 2020, Mayor Garcetti instituted a rent freeze on all rental units in the City of Los Angeles subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. “Property owners shall not increase rents on occupied rental units subject to the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance beginning on the date of this Order through sixty days after the expiration of the local emergency period.” See, the order here. This still remains in effect and its reiterations prohibit rent increases on rent stabilized units until 12 months after the state of emergency is lifted.
Rent Increases on Residential Properties in Los Angeles NOT Subject to the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance, or the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB 1482).
California Penal Code 396 commonly known as the Anti-Price Gouging Law, prohibits all businesses (including landlords) from raising the price of goods or services (including rent) more than 10% during a declared state of emergency. California has been under a declared state of emergency since March 4, 2020. Although it appears that the state of emergency MAY be lifted on October 1, 2021 by the state, there is no indication that it will be lifted in the City of Los Angeles or the County. Landlords with properties in the state of California would be well advised to not increase an existing tenants rent beyond 10% (if the property is not subject to any form of state or local rent control) or by the amount allowed under a local rent stabilization ordinance.
Can I Evict My Tenant after October 1, 2021 for Unpaid Rent? YES If You Comply With The Rules
1. Evictions For Covid-19 Back Owed Rent Accrued Before September 30, 2021.
If your tenant signed declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress, the landlord is prohibited from charging any late fees for non-payment of rent unless the tenant received funds from the California Rent Relief Program and failed to turn over those funds and paid the rent in full within 15 days, excluding weekends and holidays. As of October 1, 2021 (assuming the moratorium officially ends), a landlord can file an unlawful detainer ( eviction ) IF: (1) the tenant has failed to pay 25% of COVID-19 rental debt that was due between Sept. 1, 2020 and Sept 30, 2021 AND (2) the landlord has applied for the California Covid-19 Rent Relief on behalf of the tenant and was denied. To win the eviction case, the Landlord will be required to show proof that the Landlord applied for rent relief through Housing is Key on behalf of the tenant and either did not receive a response for 20 days, or was denied, before the summons and complaint for eviction was filed. If the landlord cannot show proof that they either applied for rental assistance through Housing is Key and were denied or did not receive any response after 20 days of applying, the court will rule in favor or the tenant and may award legal fees.
2. Evictions For Unpaid Rent Between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
As of October 1, 2021 (assuming the Covid-19 eviction moratorium officially ends), a landlord can file an eviction (unlawful detainer) for unpaid rent due between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 IF: (1) the tenant fails to pay the monthly rent when due AND (2) the landlord has applied for the California Covid-19 Rent Relief on behalf of the tenant and was denied. To win the eviction case, the Landlord will be required to show proof that the Landlord applied for rent relief through Housing is Key on behalf of the tenant and either did not receive a response for 20 days, or was denied, before the summons and complaint for eviction was filed. If the landlord cannot show proof that the landlord applied for rental assistance through Housing is Key and was denied or did not receive any response after 20 days of applying, the court will rule in favor or the tenant and the court may award the tenant their legal fees and court costs even if the landlord attempts to dismiss the case. Therefore, a California landlord should wait until at least 20 days after applying for relief from Housing is Key to file an eviction against a tenant that has failed to pay the rent due on October 1, 2021, unless the landlord previously applied through Housing Is Key for rental assistance and the tenant was denied.
Please note that the above restrictions do NOT apply to new tenants with a lease commencement date post October 1, 2021, nor do the above restrictions apply to evictions based on the failure to cure a violation of the law, or term of the lease.
© 2021 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved.
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Located in Los Angeles, California, the Law Office of Melissa C. Marsh handles business law and corporation law matters as a lawyer for clients throughout Los Angeles including Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village, North Hollywood, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West LA as well as Riverside County, San Fernando, Ventura County, and Santa Clarita. Attorney Melissa C. Marsh has considerable experience handling business matters both nationally and internationally. We routinely assist our clients with incorporation, forming a California corporation, forming a California llc, partnership, annual minutes, shareholder meetings, director meetings, getting a taxpayer ID number (EIN), buying a business, selling a business, commercial lease review, employee disputes, independent contractors, construction, and personal matters such as preparing a will, living trust, power of attorney, health care directive, and more.