The L.A. County Board of Supervisors issued an executive order to extend the moratorium on evictions to July 31. The order also lets tenants delay rent payments.
The order was originally enacted on March 4 in response to the COVID-19 health emergency and put a freeze on rent within unincorporated areas of the county. Under that “rent freeze” tenants have the right to delay rent payment if they were financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. After the order ends, residential tenants have up to a 12-month period to pay back the due rent.
Supervisor Hilda Solis said that the moratorium was set in an attempt to prevent furthering homelessness in L.A. County.
“We have to make sure that the homeless crisis is not further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Solis said Wednesday. “Without swift action from the Board of Supervisors, the homelessness crisis could have been exacerbated by job and wage losses.”
The moratorium has been looked at by the Board of Supervisors on a month-to-month basis, and can be extended again. Currently, there is a statewide moratorium on evictions in effect, which will expire 90 days after Governor Gavin Newsom declares an end to the current COVID-19 state of emergency.
Landlords Oppose Ordinances
The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the city of Los Angeles, saying City Council’s eviction ban and rent freeze provided “no protection” to landlords and property owners.
The AAGLA went on to say that the city’s moratorium went further than the regulations state imposed and will “very likely expose the city to hundreds of millions of dollars in liability (if not more) to landlords and property owners throughout the city.”
Under the order, landlords have not been allowed to raise rent, charge late fees or charge interest for unpaid rent. Landlords must also accept a tenant’s self-certification as a valid form of notice, no later than seven days after the rent due date.