The city of Los Angeles has expanded renter protections. The new protections now cover ALL RENTALS, including condominiums and single family homes in the City of L.A.
NEW LAWS AND PROCEDURES
Renter Protections Notice
All residential rental property owners must provide a “Notice of Renters’ Protections” to tenants who begin or renew their tenancy on or after January 27, 2023. This notice must also be posted in an accessible common area of the property.
All eviction notices issued to tenants in the city of Los Angeles must be filed with the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) within three (3) business days of service on the tenant.
NOTE: AOA has posted these notices for your convenience on www.aoausa.com under the forms section. A cover sheet with the address of the LAHD is included to send with your 3-Day Notice.
NON-PAYMENT OF RENT
Tenants must have paid their full monthly rent beginning February 1, 2023. However, low-income renters who cannot pay rent due to COVID-19 financial impact, continued to have protections through March 31, 2023. Renters must have notified their landlord within seven days of the date the rent was due and provided proof of income level. Eligible tenants then have until March 31, 2024, to repay their unpaid rent for February and/or March 2023.
EVICTIONS FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT – FMR
Effective March 27, 2023, landlords may not evict a tenant who falls behind on rent unless the tenant owes an amount higher than the Fair Market Rent (FMR). The FMR depends on the bedroom size of the rental unit. For example, if a tenant rents a one bedroom unit and the rent is $1,500, the landlord cannot evict the tenant since the rent owed is less than the FMR for a one bedroom unit.
(Editor’s Note: So … to make it clear, because the first missed rental payment is less than the Fair Market Rent, you cannot evict. When the second month becomes due as well, the amounts will total more than the $1,500 so an eviction would then be allowed.)
Effective January 27, 2023, all renters in the city of Los Angeles have eviction protections, which means that landlords must provide a legal reason for eviction. Tenants in rental units not subject to the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) are protected at the end of their first lease, or six months after the commencement of their initial lease, whichever comes first.
Allowable at-fault eviction reasons include:
- non-payment of rent;
- violation of a lease/rental agreement;
- causing or permitting a nuisance;
- using the unit for an illegal purpose such as drugs & gangs;
- failure to renew a similar lease;
- denial of access into the rental unit;
- being an unapproved subtenant at the end of the tenancy; and
- failure to comply with an approved Tenant Habitability Plan (THP).
Eviction protections for unauthorized pets and additional tenants due to COVID-19 continue through January 31, 2024.
NO-FAULT EVICTIONS INCLUDE:
- for occupancy by the owner, family member, or a resident manager;
- compliance with a government order;
- demolition or permanent removal from the rental housing market; or
- to convert the property to affordable housing.
Note: Landlords are required to submit a Declaration of Intent to Evict to LAHD for all no-fault evictions for all rental units, submit required fees, and pay the tenant relocation assistance.
Relocation Assistance is required for tenant no-fault evictions for all residential units.
Relocation assistance for tenants who rent a Single Family Dwelling (SFD) is one month’s rent if the landlord is a natural person who owns no more than four residential units and a SFD on a separate lot.
Note: A landlord can deduct a tenant’s unpaid rental debt from the relocation assistance payment.
Rental property owners of RSO properties cannot raise rents until February 1, 2024. No banking or retroactive increases are allowed. Beginning April 1, 2023, landlords may collect new LAHD-approved cost recovery surcharges*, provided a 30-day written notice is served to the tenant.
*For more information on the cost recovery surcharges, visit https://housing.lacity.org/rental-property-owners/cost-recovery-programs.
COVID-19 RENTAL DEBT
Unpaid rent due to COVID-19 financial impact must be repaid by the following dates:
- Rent owed from March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021 is due by August 1, 2023.
- Rent owed from October 1, 2021 to January 31, 2023 is due by February 1, 2024.
(More than a ten percent (10%) rent increase)
Effective March 27, 2023, tenants who receive a rent increase of more than ten percent (10%) within 12 months and are unable to afford the rent increase, have the option to receive relocation assistance to move out of their rental unit instead. The relocation amount is based on the size of the bedroom(s) of the rental unit. Relocation assistance for tenants who rent a single family dwelling (SFD) is one month’s rent if the owner is a natural person who owns no more than four residential units and a SFD on a separate lot. An owner can deduct a tenant’s unpaid rental debt from the relocation assistance payment.
For more information, or to obtain the new forms, visit: https://housing.lacity.org. They have forms, webinars and more information on eviction, rental arrears and rental increases.
Patricia Harris is Senior Editor of the AOA News and Buyers Guide.