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Los Angeles County Moratorium Updates (Jan 2022)

Rent due sign in the planner and keyAs an update to the Los Angeles County Moratorium, on January 25, 2022, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors elected to extend the eviction moratorium as it relates to residential tenancies with the ultimate intention of phasing it out in three stages which would end by June 30, 2023. The vote on January 25 only implemented the first two phases, Phases 1 and 2 which are set to expire at the end of 2022.

(Note: The following rules and criteria have been simplified for this email. There exist additional restrictions and requirements. Please schedule a consultation with our office for further information).

Commercial Eviction Restrictions Expire
The biggest news was that the restriction protecting Commercial tenants from eviction will expire on January 31, 2022. This means that rent must be paid as usual on February 1, 2022. The moratorium does still require certain procedures for providing notices to commercial tenants. It also allows tenants who owe rent from March 2020 through January 2022 six months to a year to repay the rent (depending on the number of employees the tenant employs and whether the tenant complied with notice requirements). Those tenancies that had expired and are on a month-to-month basis, may now be terminated with a 30-day notice to quit.

Residential No-Fault Evictions
Protections for No-Fault evictions on residential units (evictions where the cause of termination is due to “no fault” of the tenant – i.e., removal from the rental market, selling the property vacant, substantial remodel/demolition, etc…) are set to expire at the end of the year, December 31, 2022.

Owner Move-In
Currently, the moratorium does allow for a landlord to terminate a tenancy for an owner move-in pursuant to the rules adopted by the County’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, but with two added restrictions: 1) the property must have been purchased prior to June 30, 2021, and 2) the tenants could not have suffered any financial hardship due to CoVID-19. These two added restrictions will expire on May 31, 2022.

Effective June 1, 2022, and running through December 31, 2022, an owner may elect to terminate a month-to-month tenancy to move in provided that:
1) The owner occupies the premises for 36 consecutive months
2) If the Tenant is any one of the following, then the owner (or person moving in) must match these criteria “like for like”:
a. Tenant is elderly (over the age of 62)
b. Tenant is low income
c. Tenant is disabled
d. Tenant is terminally ill
3) Landlord provides relocation assistance pursuant to the County’s RSO (ranges from $7,654 to $21,411 depending on the makeup of tenants and bedroom count)

The owner move-in restrictions listed above will expire along with the other No-Fault restrictions on December 31, 2022.

Residential Non-Payment of Rent Protections
Until March 31, 2022, the protections for tenants regarding non-payment of rent are governed by the State’s moratorium (AB 832). Some municipalities in Los Angeles contend that their own moratoria preempt the State’s, however, the County cedes this protection to the State until March 31, 2022, when it is set to expire. (LA CITY has different rules)

Upon expiration of the State’s moratorium, effective April 1, 2022, and going through December 31, 2022, no tenant shall be evicted for non-payment of rent provided that the tenant has notified the landlord of a COVID related hardship no later than 7 days after the rent is due. This will then allow the tenant up to one year to repay the rent after the protection expires. However, starting June 1, 2022, tenants who are making more than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) will not be eligible for these protections.

Residential Nuisance
Protections from eviction for certain violations of a lease agreement, namely unauthorized occupants or pets, or from certain nuisances (where such violations or nuisances are related to the CoVID-19 emergency) shall expire at the end of the year, December 31, 2022.

Denial of Entry
Effective June 1, 2022, tenants shall no longer be protected from eviction if they deny entry to their landlords (unless such entry constitutes harassment).

Rent Freeze
The moratorium on rent increases shall remain in effect throughout the county through December 31, 2022. This only applies to those properties which lie within the unincorporated areas of LA County subject to the existing RSO.

 

It is important to remember that, though LA County’s moratorium covers the entire county, if your property is in a jurisdiction which has its own moratorium or other rental restrictions, you must verify which restrictions apply to your property. By way of example, Los Angeles city does not allow for terminations based on owner move-in.

Clearly, the moratorium will continue to burden the Landlords of LA County for the remainder of the year, but for the time being, the County is at least taking steps towards loosening its stranglehold on commercial property owners and discarding some of the residential restrictions as well.

As always, Real Property Management Fairmate is committed to helping you navigate the ever-changing landscape of Landlord-Tenant law. Should the need arise, do not hesitate to contact our office to arrange for a consultation.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.