LA County Extended Eviction Moratorium Explained

We sat down again with Oliver John Baptiste from the Apartment Association of California Southern Cities to ask about the latest landlord and apartment owner concerns in Long Beach, California. Here are the latest topics that are impacting landlords like you!

Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium Extended Until 2023

The Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors voted last February of 2022 to extend the county-wide tenant protections through June 30, 2023 with a three-phase plan detailing how the eviction moratorium will eventually end.

Visit https://dcba.lacounty.gov for more information.

Which cities are affected by the COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution (formerly the LA County Eviction Moratorium)?

The Los Angeles County moratorium applies in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, and, effective September 1, 2020, it also applies in incorporated cities if the city does not have its own moratorium that is at least as restrictive as the county moratorium.

What types of rental properties fall under the COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution?

The moratorium applies to all residential rental properties regardless of whether the property is a single-family residence, duplex, apartment complex, etc.

Phase I: February 1, 2022 through May 31, 2022

Landlords may not evict tenants for the following reasons:

No-Fault Evictions

Standard no-fault evictions occur when the tenant has not done anything wrong, but landlords still want to remove them from the rental property. This includes evictions for substantial renovations and termination of a month-to-month tenancy for any type of no-fault reason, with very limited exceptions.

The only exception to this rule has to do with either the landlord or a qualifying member moving into the rental property (single-family home, mobile home, condo, duplex, or triplex) if it was purchased on or before June 30, 2021, AND if they meet the following criteria:

  • The Landlord or Landlords qualifying family member must physically reside at the property for at least thirty-six (36) consecutive months;
  • The Tenants of the unit must be current on rent payments and not have been impacted by COVID-19;
  • The Landlord or Landlords qualifying family member must be similarly situated to the Tenant currently occupying home;
  • The Landlord must provide at least sixty (60) days’ notice to Tenant
  • The Landlord must pay tenant relocation assistance as required by the County’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance or the incorporated city’s applicable ordinance or regulation.

Non-Payment of Rent

Tenants will continue to be protected from being eviction for failure to pay rent if the reason is COVID-related. Beginning April 1, 2022, however, tenants will receive extra protections after the California state protections expire on March 31, 2022.

Before March 31, 2022, any landlord who wants to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent due any time since March 1, 2020 must follow a certain procedure:

  1. Serve the proper documentation: a 15 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
  2. Apply for financial assistance through the state or local government’s rental assistance program. Long Beach landlords need to apply through the city.
  3. If approved, qualifying landlords and tenants will receive 100% of all unpaid rent accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. If within 20 days, the application either has received no response or has been denied, then the landlord can begin the eviction process.

After March 31, 2022, and beginning April 1, 2022, tenants are allowed to self-certify in writing that they are still financially affected by the pandemic and are unable to pay rent for the particular month. This document is due to the landlord within 7 days after rent is due.

Landlords DO NOT have the ability to ask for proof (such as paycheck stubs) from their tenants other than the self-certification document; unless they are legally able to obtain “smoking gun” evidence.

Unfortunately, It is easy for a tenant to lie about their ability to pay rent, and landlords have no other option but to accept the tenant’s self-certification.

Nuisance and Unauthorized Occupants/Pets

Landlords are not allowed to evict a tenant in Los Angeles County because of nuisance or for housing unauthorized occupants or pets.

Denial of Landlord Entry

A tenant is still able to deny the landlord access to their rental unit unless 1) the landlord needs to fix a condition that substantially affects the tenant’s health or safety, or 2) the tenant is causing substantial damage to the rental property.

Until the end of Phase I, landlords are not allowed to evict tenants for denying them entry to the rental property.

Phase II: June 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022

Landlords may still not evict a tenant for nuisance, unauthorized occupants or pets, and no-fault evictions.

Changes to No-Fault Evictions

A landlord or a qualifying member may move into the rental property (single-family home, mobile home, condo, duplex, or triplex) if they meet the following criteria:

  • The Landlord or Landlords qualifying family member must physically reside at the property for at least thirty-six (36) consecutive months;
  • The Landlord or Landlords qualifying family member must be similarly situated to the Tenant currently occupying home;
  • The Landlord must provide at least sixty (60) days’ notice to Tenant
  • The Landlord must pay tenant relocation assistance as required by the County’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance or the incorporated city’s applicable ordinance or regulation.

Please note that effective June 1, 2022, the property purchase date (June 30, 2021) and the requirement for tenants impacted by COVID-19 for Owner Move-Ins are lifted under Phase II (June 1, 2022- December 31, 2022) of the COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution.

Non-Payment of Rent

The protections are only limited to households with income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, but tenants can still self-certify their income level and do not need to provide proof to the landlord.

 Household Size 123456
80% AMI Limit$63,100$72,100$81,100$90,100$97,350 $104,550 

Denial of Landlord Entry

Landlords now have the ability to evict if a tenant denies the landlord lawful entry into the rental property.

Phase III: January 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023

All of the eviction protections will be lifted except protections for non-payment of rent for renters earning at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, but tenants can still self-certify their income level and do not need to provide proof to the landlord.

What happens to all the money owed to landlords by tenants?

A residential tenant who fails to pay rent incurred from April 1, 2022, through May 31, 2022, has until May 31, 2023, to repay the debt, unless extended by Los Angeles County. Yes, you heard that correctly. May of 2023! But it doesn’t end there. If the tenant’s self-certification says they are at or below 80% of the AMI and therefore are protected during Phase II and III, the tenant will have 12 months after that time to repay the debt, unless extended by Los Angeles County.

Landlords in the City of Los Angeles are Not Allowed to Increase Rents Until 2023

Los Angeles rent control laws generally apply only to rent-stabilized units built before October 1st of 1978. Usually, landlords were allowed to increase rents on current tenants between 3% and 8% every year, depending on the April Consumer Price Index.

But Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s emergency order changed that, and landlords have been blocked from any rent increases until January 8th of 2023. Landlords remain able to charge whatever they want for apartments once a tenant vacates.

If you’re a landlord in the city of Long Beach, the city has its own rent increase limitations. Read more about it here.

Cash for Keys: A Method to Regain Control of Your Rental Property

Some landlords in Los Angeles County have been implementing a “cash for keys” method, in which they pay their tenants to voluntarily terminate their tenancy. Although it might seem controversial or counterintuitive, it is a practice that in some instances could be less expensive than going through a lengthy eviction process.

As long as the landlord is not forcing the tenant to consider this option and both parties agree to the terms, this practice is completely legal. However, it is also important to consider that many cities have their own guidelines on how to proceed with this process. Laws are constantly changing and there may or may not be limitations placed on this type of process.

Long Beach City Council Amends City’s No-Fault Eviction for Substantial Remodel Requirements

At the Long Beach City Council’s meeting on February 15th, the Council adopted amendments to their “Just Cause” eviction ordinance’s no-fault tenancy termination based on substantial remodel provisions.

It is important to note that the City of Long Beach is subject to the Los Angeles County’s Eviction Moratorium which prohibits no-fault evictions based on substantial remodel through the end of 2022. As a result, while the Long Beach ordinance will take effect in 2022, due to the current County ban on no-fault evictions for substantial remodel, such tenancy terminations will not be permissible for the duration of this year.

The amendments to the Long Beach no-fault eviction ordinance are as follows:

  • Any kind of substantial remodel that requires a permit and takes at least 30 days is valid for a just-cause eviction
  • Landlords must issue tenants a 90-day termination notice
  • Landlords must submit a list of all tenants whose tenancies would be terminated in connection with the permitted work to the City as a condition of the issuance of all necessary City permits.
  • Increases permanent relocation fees to $4,500 or two-months’ rent, whichever is greater.
  • Imposes civil fines of up to $15,000 on rental housing providers who have violated the “just cause” ordinance’s substantial remodel tenancy termination provisions.

New Disclosure for Information on Dampness and Mold for Renters in California

The California Department of Public Health has included a new four-page document that landlords must include with contracts starting on January 1, 2022.

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