Fact Sheet and FAQ -- Eviction Protections and Other Assistance for Angelenos during the COVID-19 Pandemic

City Hall

The City Council has passed a number of laws to ensure Angelenos can stay in their homes, during and after the pandemic. Here are some of the recent measures:

  • Renters who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can stay in their homes: Following the recent emergency declarations, the City Council and the Mayor took action to provide renters with COVID-19 related eviction protections.  

    • Barred landlords from evicting residential and commercial tenants who are unable to pay rent due to --and during-- the emergency period

    • Barred no-fault evictions during the local emergency period

    • Through the Mayor’s emergency order, the Council acted to halt Ellis Act evictions for 60 days after the emergency order is lifted

    • Waived late fees and allowed residential tenants to pay back their rent for up to 12 months, or 3 months for commercial tenants (subject to change), after the emergency order is lifted.

Here are some frequently asked questions that our office receives on renter and mortgage holder protections.

WHAT IS MITCH DOING TO PROTECT RENTERS?

In addition to the measures mentioned above, Mitch has taken the following actions to protect renters:

  • Mitch allocated $1 million from his Council Office AB1290 Discretionary Funds into the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Subsidy (ERAS) Program. The program, which is administered by the City’s Housing + Community Investment Department, will provide a subsidy toward rent payments for residents in the 13th District  due to COVID-19 related income losses.

  • Won Council support for his resolution calling on Governor and State Lawmakers to enact an Emergency Suspension of the Costa-Hawkins Act to  lift certain restrictions on the state law. This will  allow cities to freeze rent increases for all rental units and not just units subject to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO).  

  • Voted to prohibit RSO Rent Increases - ordinance prohibits rent increases for 12 months after the COVID-19 Emergency Orders are lifted, for all Rent Stabilized Ordinance (RSO) units.
  • Voted unanimously to waive late fees on rent

  • Prohibited evictions for additional tenants and guests

  • Extended the payback period to 12 months for residential units (three months for commercial). The ordinance pertains to all Angelenos, regardless of immigration status. The Mayor also announced a freeze on rent increases in all Rent Stabilized Units.

  • Approved amendment to COVID-19 related renters protections that allows tenants a Right of Action to sue landlords who egregiously and maliciously violate any of the city’s protections during the pandemic.

  • Won unanimous support for his resolution that calls on Congress to include rent and mortgage relief paired together in the next federal relief package, including extending payment or forgiveness assistance to renters and property owners impacted by COVID-19.

  • Instructed a review of all federal and state legislation pertaining to emergency aid, with the goal of providing additional assistance by the City to ‘fill the gaps’ in aid for immigrant and undocumented Angelenos.

WHY DID MITCH VOTE NO ON THE “BLANKET BAN” ON EVICTIONS?

Councilmembers Mike Bonin and David Ryu introduced an emergency motion for the City Attorney to draft an ordinance on a moratorium on evictions NOT related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The City Attorney immediately flagged this action as exceeding the City's enforcement powers and a misinterpretation of what Governor Newsom’s Emergency Declaration allowed cities and counties to do. The members proposed ordinance would not be able to withstand a challenge in court because it would be unconstitutional. 

  • A blanket ban would have prohibited evictions for: 

    • Nuisance activity on the property

    • Substantial damage to, or destruction of, the property

    • Interfering with the safety or enjoyment of others on the property

    • Non-payment of rent for reasons unrelated to COVID-19

    • Lease violation that remains uncorrected after notice has been given

    • Or because the owner seeks to demolish, substantially rehabilitate or remove the unit from the rental market. (Mayor Garcetti already ordered a halt on such Ellis Act evictions for 60 days)

Because of this, Councilmember O’Farrell voted against instructing the City Attorney to draft an ordinance for a moratorium on all evictions unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHY DIDN’T THE CITY COUNCIL VOTE ON A RENT FREEZE?

  • There was no proposal nor a vote taken to enact a rent freeze or suspension.

  • There was a proposal introduced requesting the City Attorney  to draft an ordinance to freeze rent increases.

  • While Mitch supports freezing rent increases during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is preempted by the State’s Costa Hawkins Act and is legally unable to place rent increase controls on non-rent stabilized units. Councilmember O’Farrell introduced this resolution requesting the Governor and State Legislature to suspend or lift restrictions to enable cities to exert rent control on all residential units. 

  • Mitch is supportive of a freeze on rent payments tied to a freeze on mortgage/loan payments. These freezes must happen together, so that non-payment of rent does not result in a default on the property itself, which could result in further economic chaos and the evictions that Mitch is trying to prevent. We need the partnership of our state and federal governments as well as the private sector to make this happen. Here’s a letter that Mitch sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the resolution that he introduced in support of assistance from the federal government.

WHAT IS MITCH DOING TO PROTECT RENTERS?

  • Mitch supports rent and mortgage forgiveness paired together. There must be a balance to a program where both renters and property owners do not face further uncertainties--such as foreclosure-- which hurts everyone. This is not something the City Council can do alone. We need the partnership of our state and federal governments as well as the private sector. Mitch has been vocal and active about the need for these partnerships, and will continue to fight for them. Those who support rent and mortgage forgiveness paired together should reach out to their state and federal  representatives and let them know.

  • Mitch is committed to doing more. COVID-19 protections for all Angelenos will be an ongoing conversation for the Council, as we learn more about the economic impacts of the pandemic in the City of Los Angeles.

  • State and Federal unemployment benefits. You can continue receiving income during the pandemic! The Federal relief package recently signed into law provides unemployment benefits, combined with the state, up to 100% of a worker’s current weekly pay through the end of July.  Please visit edd.ca.gov for information on how to file an unemployment claim.

WHAT IS MITCH DOING TO PROTECT “MOM AND POP” LANDLORDS/PROPERTY OWNERS?

  • Mitch supports rent and mortgage forgiveness paired together.  As previously mentioned, there must be relief for renters and property owners, otherwise we risk foreclosures that could result in mass evictions causing much more harm. This is not something the City Council can do alone. We need the partnership of our state and federal governments as well as the private sector.  Please reach out to your state and federal representatives and let them know you support rent and mortgage forgiveness.

WHAT IS OR ISN’T ALLOWED UNDER THE CITY’S COVID-19 RELATED EVICTION MORATORIUM?

  • Mitch amended the ordinance to exclude large corporations, multinational and publicly traded companies from the deferred payment of rent in commercial properties. This amendment was unanimously approved by his colleagues. 


The City’s Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) has put together a list of frequently asked questions regarding the Mayor’s eviction protection order.  Please refer to the HCIDLA website for more information. [LINK]