After a marathon hearing yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to end its COVID-19 eviction moratorium on January 31, 2023, putting an end date in sight for a safety net that has been in effect since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.
Likewise, the Council will move forward with new ordinances for permanent tenant protections which are not tied to the coronavirus, including an expansion of just cause for evictions beyond rental units covered by the city's rent stabilization ordinance. Additionally, an existing rent freeze is to remain in place through January 31, 2024, after the Council voted down a motion to sunset its provisions early.
Per a news release from City Council President Nury Martinez, key dates to remember moving forward include:
- End Date: Eviction Moratorium ends on January 31, 2023
- Self-Attestation: Starting December 1, 2022, tenants are only protected if they provide attestation that they were economically impacted by COVID.
- No-fault evictions (for unauthorized pets and/or tenants): Can only be enforced after February 1, 2024 and after the landlord has provided a 30 day notice for the tenant to remedy the situation.
- Repayment of Debt: Tenants must repay their COVID rent debt by February 1, 2024.
- Just Cause: Restrict evictions of all non-RSO rental units to times that the renter is at-fault or to 14 specified “no-fault” reasons. Require relocation assistance to be paid in all no-fault cases; Require payment for relocation services and monetary relocation assistance for all “No-Fault” evictions
- RSO Rent Freeze End: 12 months after the end of the eviction moratorium (January 31, 2024)
Among the flurry of amendments and studies requested at yesterday's meeting is a report from the Housing Department on how to ease the transition away from pandemic-era protections, an economic study of the formula for setting allowable rent increase under the rent stabilization ordinance, and a report on a financial or timeliness limit for eviction for non-payment of rent.
“These recommendations ensure that, once the eviction moratorium sunsets, we have a plan in place that protects our residents’ housing and preserves their financial well-being,” said Martinez in a statement. “We must put in place long-term, permanent protections for tenants, while still preserving the livelihoods of our local mom-and-pop landlords.”
The end of the eviction moratorium came to the chagrin of renter advocates, although they also evinced support for the expansion of just cause.
“We’re not happy about the date for ending protections”, said Carla De Paz of Community Power Collective in a news release. “But we are excited about universal just cause and a report back for limiting eviction for folks who can’t pay rent. The pandemic exacerbated an already existing housing crisis, and we said from the beginning that we were not going back to a pre-pandemic status quo. Today we saw some important proposals for permanent protections thanks to the tireless grassroots advocacy from our people, and we’ll be back to make sure they’re adopted.”