COVID-19 Eviction Protections
In 2020, City Ordinance #186606 allowed tenants to defer their rent during the City of Los Angeles’ declaration of emergency if tenants were unable to pay for reasons related to COVID-19. After the passage of the City Ordinance #186606, the State passed AB 3088, the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act (CTRA). This state law provided that landlords must serve tenants a notice of their rights under state law before September 30, 2020, and tenants must pay at least 25% of their rent by January 31, 2021, for rent owed from September 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. If tenants paid the 25%, they had to provide their landlord a COVID-19 Related Financial Distress notice and the landlord would not be able to evict a tenant for failing to pay the remaining balance of rent owed for those months covered in the notice. The City ordinance did not require tenants to pay 25% of their rent during that time unless tenants wanted the additional state law protection against eviction for the balance of rent owed.
On January 28, 2021, the state passed SB 91 which is an extension of CTRA. Landlords are now required to serve tenants with a new notice on or before February 28, 2021, to tenants that owe one or more rental payments due between March 1, 2020 and February 1, 2021. This revised state law provides tenants may not be evicted for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 if tenants pay at least 25% of their rent on or before June 30, 2021, for rent owed from September 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, and give their landlord a COVID-19 Related Financial Distress notice stating their inability to pay rent due to COVID-19 financial stress. State law indicates tenants only have to provide COVID-19 Related Financial Distress notice for rent owed from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021, to be protected from eviction without having to pay 25% for these months. If a tenant does not submit a COVID-19 Related Financial Distress notice or respond to the landlord’s 15-day notice, the tenant is still protected from eviction for non-payment under the City’s ordinance. However, the state law limits the City’s repayment period, which cannot extend beyond August 31, 2022. A sample notice can be found at landlordtenant.dre.ca.gov/. The City’s ordinance and the State’s new law do not cancel rent.
Under the City’s ordinance a tenant may not be evicted for a “No-fault” reason during the local emergency period (for example, for owner move-in or to install a resident manager). Additionally, tenants may not be evicted for having unauthorized occupants, pets or nuisance as a result of circumstances related to COVID-19. Tenancies may not be terminated in order to demolish, convert or withdraw a residential rental unit from the rental housing market under the Ellis Act until 60 days after the expiration of the declaration of emergency.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call the HCIDLA Hotline 1-866-557-7368. Or chat offline at Ask-HCIDLA (hcidla.lacity.org/ask-hcidla).