Los Angeles Renter Protections During the COVID-19 Pandemic

los angeles renter protection

A lot of people are struggling right now. While some people are getting to rest at home unbothered, others are struggling to make ends meet. It’s important to help when possible and be there for each other in times like these. The Mayor and the City Council of Los Angeles have adopted a new plan of tenant protections in light of the current crisis posed by COVID-19. Due to the circumstances and the loss of income of so many residents, steps have had to be taken. In the interest of protecting residents who have lost their income due to this new normal, here is an overview of the current Los Angeles renter protections.

Los Angeles Renter Protections in Place

No owner can evict a residential tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant is unable to pay rent due to circumstance related to the COVID-19, such as:

  • Loss of income due to workplace closure or reduced hours due to COVID-19
  • Loss of income or increased child care expenditures due to school closures
  • Health care expenditures stemming from COVID-19 infection of the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household who is ill with COVID-19
  • Reasonable expenditures stemming from government ordered emergency measures.

It’s important to know that tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent. However, during this emergency period, tenants may not be evicted for failure to pay rent due to the financial impacts related to COVID-19. Tenants will have up to twelve months following the expiration of the local emergency to repay any back rent due. For more information, read the whole ordinance here.

What Happens if I Get an Eviction Notice?

You need to let your landlord know that you can’t make rent because of the pandemic. If you receive an eviction notice regardless that you feel violates one of the protections ordered, don’t worry. Even though the LA County Superior Court is not hearing eviction cases, landlords can still file paperwork for evictions. However, the housing department recommends that you do not leave your home. 

As explained in council candidate Nithya Raman’s website, “As a tenant, the biggest piece of leverage you have is that you are occupying your unit. The only person who can physically remove you is a sheriff. Do not self-evict.” File a complaint with the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID), which is handling eviction investigations. You can file a complaint with them on their website or by calling them at 1-866-557-7368.

For more information about Los Angeles renter protections, here are a few additional resources: