While LA County rental properties now require tenants to pay rent due from this point on, the City of Los Angeles has its own set of rules to follow.
The City’s ordinance applies to non-payment of rent and no-fault eviction notices served or filed after March 4, 2020. The CITY ordinance ends when the emergency ends. That means that tenants can continue to defer rent payments until the end of the local emergency. EXCEPT that state law requires the repayment period for rent due between March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021 to begin on May 1, 2022, unless the emergency is lifted earlier.
So, if you have a property in the City of LA, tenants can continue to defer rental payments until the Governor lifts the state of emergency BUT tenants will have to start repaying arrears on May 1, 2022, and have it paid in full by May 31, 2023.
What about rent that is due October 1, 2021 through the end of the emergency?
City of LA tenants will have 12 months from the date the emergency is lifted to repay the rest of the rent.
There is no action necessary by the tenant to be protected like that in other matters.
It is noted that the protections are only available if there is a reasonable belief that the tenant has suffered a financial distress by either returning a declaration, providing other notice, or there is any other information that the landlord may have that the tenant has suffered a financial distress.
The tenant would need to raise the issue as an affirmative defense and PROVE that they indeed suffered a financial hardship due to COVID-19 which means the Court would make the tenant prove that they could not pay the rent.
Landlords must understand these laws and issues have not yet been raised and tested in the Courts, so it is unclear on how the Courts will deal with these cases.
So, when can you evict a tenant for non-payment of rent?
LA County: October 1, 2021 – if the 15-Day Notice was served for rent due between September 1, 2020 to September 31, 2021, and the resident returned a declaration but did not pay 25% of the missed rental payments.
LA City: June 1, 2023 for rents due between March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.
If the tenant returns the declaration and pays 25% of rent due, they are protected from eviction and the 75% owed to the landlord becomes consumer debt that must be collected in court as a money judgment.
Be sure to contact us for help before you proceed with an eviction
The laws change frequently and this article may not reflect current rules. Please do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Kendall Law continues its commitment to monitoring ongoing changes at the Federal, State and Local levels regarding the eviction moratorium. Reach out to Kendall Law to set a consultation regarding your particular matter before taking any action.
Kendall Law is here to help. Contact us or call (310) 619-4941.