Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution, formerly known as the LA County Eviction Moratorium, which went into effect on March 4th, 2020, is finally set to expire after over three years on March 31st, 2023. Here’s what renters and landlords can expect next!
LA County Tenant Protections Active Until March 31, 2023
Until the end of March 2023, residential renters in Los Angeles County are protected against evictions for various situations.
Non-Payment of Rent
Renters are protected for non-payment of rent due between July 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023 because of financial hardship caused by COVID-19. 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.
If a tenant’s income is below the income limits stated below, they are not eligible for eviction protection.
Income Limits For Household Sizes
|80% AMI Limit||$66,750||$76,250||$85,800||$93,500||$102,950||$110,550|
If qualifying tenants are not able to pay rent, they must notify their landlord that they cannot pay rent within 7 days of the due date.
If rent is due on the first of the month, tenants have until the seventh of the month to reach out to their landlords that they cannot pay rent. This can be done either through a phone call, email, mail, or text message.
For proper notice, tenants can download the official template notice in ENGLISH or SPANISH and send it to their landlords.
IF the tenant fails to communicate or send notice to their landlords within these 7 days, then the landlord can issue a standard 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit.
IF the tenant sends a notice to their landlords within these 7 days, then the tenant is protected from eviction, and the rent is deferred.
Important note: LA County’s protection does not cancel or stop rent from being owed or stop the accumulation of rent that is owed. Tenants are still obligated to pay their rent when they can or negotiate a payment plan with their landlord during and after the end of the eviction moratorium.
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 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.
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 who began residing in the unit between March 1, 2020 and January 20, 2023.
NOTE: Commercial tenants are no longer protected as of February 1, 2023.
Rent Increase Freeze
Last November of 2022, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors imposed a temporary 3% limit on the maximum allowable rent increase for rent stabilized units in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
What Happens After March 31, 2023?
Non-Payment of Rent
After March 31, 2023, if a landlord needs to evict a residential tenant for rents due between July 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, the landlord must first serve their tenant 30-Day Notice to Pay or Quit before filing an eviction based on non-payment of rent.
If the tenant has not notified the landlord within 7 days of the rent being due that
- they cannot pay rent due to COVID-19, and
- they are at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI),
then an eviction can be initiated for non-payment of rent.
However, a tenant can claim they had an “extenuating circumstance” for not notifying the landlord within 7 days of the rent being due.
If a residential tenant utilized protections due to non-payment of rent between July 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, then the tenant is given extended “no-fault” eviction protections until the end of the repayment period, which is 12 months after the rent is due.
Otherwise, the California state law AB-1482 will be the default governing source for no-fault eviction cases. After March 31, 2023, landlords who own properties with two or more units will be able to carry out no-fault evictions for these reasons:
- The owner or their spouse, domestic partner, children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents intend to occupy the unit
- Taking the rental property from the rental market.
- An order issued by a government agency that requires vacating the property.
- Substantial renovation or remodel of the property is necessary.
If a landlord wishes to initiate an allowable no-fault eviction, then they must pay the tenant relocation assistance that is equal to one month of the tenant’s rent, which must be provided within 15 calendar days of the No-Fault Eviction Notice.
Nuisance and Unauthorized Occupants or Pets
Starting April 1, 2023, landlords are required to serve tenants with a written 30-Day Notice prior to filing an eviction based for nuisance or the presence of unauthorized occupants or pets.
What happens to all the rent owed to landlords by tenants?
If a residential tenant owes rents between March 4, 2020 to June 30, 2022, then all rents are due and payable to the landlord by May 31, 2023.
Beginning April 1, 2023, tenants have exactly 12 months to pay any rents that became due between July 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.
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.
LA County’s New $45 Million Rent Relief Fund for Independent Landlords
A new $45 million Rent Relief Fund has been created for independent, “mom-and-pop” apartment owners to repay past due rent owed by tenants in LA County due to COVID-19 and Tenant Protections.
Landlords that do not have a mortgage on their property can receive up to $30,000 per unit to cover past due rent with funds first being made available after the current eviction moratorium expires on March 31, 2023. However, landlords would need to agree that the acceptance of funds means the tenants cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent.
Important Links and Resources for Tenants and Landlords:
- Apartment Association of California Southern Cities
- Los Angeles County Eviction Protection Information
- Housing is Key California Rent Relief Program Application
- Long Beach Emergency Rental Assistance Program
- Landlord Protection Information on Rental Assistance and Mortgage Forbearance
- Murchison Updates from the City of Long Beach
- Substantial Remodel Ban Updates from City of Long Beach
The information in this blog post is not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. Laws change constantly, and this blog post may not be updated to reflect current laws. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions, and make sure that you consult an attorney.