May 10, 2020
The Los Angeles City Council last week voted to prolong its COVID-19 related rent freeze by more than a year, and likely much longer. Under the council’s decision, the rent freeze, which applies to locally rent controlled housing, will remain in place for one year following the expiration of the local COVID-19 emergency.
But as the California Apartment Assn. (CAA) points out, the coronavirus pandemic emergency lacks a definite end date.
The council also updated its eviction moratorium to give tenants a private right of action against a landlord, a move CAA expects will create a cottage industry of lawsuits against property owners. The private right of action allows tenants to bring a lawsuit against their landlords for violating the moratorium.
The CAA succeeded, however, in securing a right for landlords to cure any alleged violation. The right to cure means tenants must notify their landlord and give an opportunity to correct the alleged violation before taking the matter to court.
CAA also defeated a proposal to treat rent as consumer debt – a move that would have removed eviction as an avenue for collecting the unpaid rent – although a similar proposal is still being considered by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.
CAA’s Fred Sutton urged members not to grow discouraged. He says, “We greatly appreciate the companies that distributed the action alerts and proactively lobbied City council on the above issues. Although these items passed, immense grassroots push-back took place. CAA is continuing to grow our grassroots efforts to fight these items as they unfold. It is crucial we get more bodies and involvement.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser