LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass released information to assist renter households impacted by the February 1 deadline to repay owed rent between October 1, 2021, and January 31, 2023, as well as the rent increase of 4%, and up to 6% if the property owner pays utilities, for housing units under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO).
“In order to confront this crisis, we must do all that we can to prevent people from falling into homelessness in the first place,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “Together with locked arms, we will continue our work to provide resources for the people of Los Angeles.
“Over the past year, we have worked closely as a City to reshape and transform our current system into one that proactively supports vulnerable tenants to stay housed,” said Councilmember Nithya Raman, Chair of the City Council’s Housing and Homelessness Committee. “With the landscape for renters changing once again on February 1st, it is imperative that we ensure that Angelenos know their rights and that the City is here to help them."
"Tenants should know that there are protections in place to help them stay in their homes," said Ann Sewill, General Manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department. "I encourage all Angelenos to know their rights and to stay informed. The LAHD hotline can offer assistance at (866) 557-7368."
"In the same way Mayor Bass has established programs to meet people where they are and move them from encampments to permanent shelter, the Mayor's Fund is meeting people where they are to help prevent evictions," said Conway Collis, President and CEO of the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles. "We launched We Are LA to connect people in danger of eviction with all the important resources available to help them stretch their money further and navigate the legal process, and we've already assisted thousands. With the Feb. 1 deadline to pay back rent, it's more important than ever for the tens of thousands of people potentially at risk to seek help."
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
No Evictions Without Cause
Tenants cannot be evicted without cause because of actions taken by the City Council. All residential rental units in Los Angeles now officially have “just cause” protections, meaning a landlord cannot evict a tenant without declaring a legal reason for eviction. For more information about “just cause” protections, click here. In non-RSO units, these protections take effect after six months or at the end of the first lease term, whichever comes first.
Los Angeles tenants facing evictions due to rent accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic should remain in their homes and call Stay Housed LA at 1-888-694-0040 to seek assistance with options, including responding to an Unlawful Detainer. More information here.
In addition to calling Stay Housed LA, tenants can also seek assistance from:
The Los Angeles Housing Department has public counters available Citywide for direct assistance. In addition, virtual appointments are available. To see a full list of locations and make an appointment, click HERE or call (866) 557-7368.
Contact your local representative in the City Council. Find your Council District here.
If you are a tenant and receive an eviction notice:
Read their paperwork carefully and file an answer within five days.
Reach out to the LA Housing Department.
Reach out to StayHoused LA.
Reach out to your local Council Office. Find more information here.
If you are a tenant experiencing harassment from your landlord:
Click here for information from the Los Angeles Housing Department
Find more information about your local Council Office here.
Renter harassment can take many forms, including refusal to complete required repairs, threatening physical harm, asking about immigration status, and more. To see a full list of what qualifies as renter harassment in the City of Los Angeles, click here.
The Los Angeles Housing Department has this video training available to Angelenos about tenant protections in Los Angeles.
If you applied for the Measure ULA Emergency Rental Assistance Program between September 2023 and October 2023 and your status on the Portal is “Tenant Eligibility Under Review,” submit all requested documentation as soon as possible.
If you are threatened with eviction after an unlawful detainer has been filed, visit the StayHousedLA website to receive support and resources. Stay Housed LA is a partnership between the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, and local community and legal service providers. The Stay Housed LA website hosts renter workshops and refers renters facing eviction to legal service providers.
Los Angeles Housing Department Legal Resources: List of agencies providing assistance on landlord/tenant issues, rent stabilization, code enforcement, housing matters, and evictions.
MORE INFORMATION FOR RENTERS
Under previous tenant protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, tenants had until February 1, 2023, to pay any missing rent due between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. For rent due between October 1, 2021, and January 31, 2023, tenants have until February 1, 2024, to pay rental arrears.
Even though back rent is due on February 1, 2024, tenants who followed certain protections under state law cannot be evicted for the past due rent. If one of the below applies, the landlord can collect the rental arrears in Court as consumer debt but cannot evict the tenant for this debt:
The tenant provided their landlord a Declaration of COVID-19 hardship form within 15 days of rent due for rent owed from March 1, 2020 through August 2020.
The tenant provided their landlord a Declaration of COVID-19 hardship AND paid 25% of their rent for rent owed from September 1, 2020, through September 20, 2021. The City Council and Mayor approved a minimum threshold for evictable rent debt, which means tenants who owe less than one month of back rent (as set by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department Fair Market Rent for L.A.) cannot be evicted based on late rent.
The City Council approved a 4% rent increase for properties subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) from February 1, 2024 through June 30, 2024. If the landlord provides gas and electric service, 1% for gas and 1% for electronic service can be added. Landlords must provide an advance 30-day written notice for all rent increases of less than 10%.
ALL residential rental units in Los Angeles now officially have “just cause” eviction protections, meaning a landlord cannot evict a tenant without declaring a legal reason for eviction. For more information about “just cause” protections, click here. In non-RSO units, these protections kick in after six months or at the end of the first lease term, whichever comes first. If you’ve already been in your apartment for six months today, you’re protected.
Tenants who receive a rent increase of more than 10% within a 12-month period and are unable to afford the rent increase have the option to receive relocation assistance to move out of their rental unit.
For all at-fault evictions, landlords must file notice with the Los Angeles Housing Department within three business days, including stating legal reasons for eviction. For all no-fault evictions, landlords must file notice with the Los Angeles Housing Department, submit required fees, and pay the tenant relocation assistance. Tenants may use the failure of a landlord to file a notice as an affirmative defense in an eviction action in court. For more information about relocation assistance, click here.
All landlords of residential properties must provide a Notice of Renters’ Protections to tenants who begin or renew their tenancy. Landlords must post this notice in an accessible common area of the property. For more information, click here.
INFORMATION FOR LANDLORDS
The City of Los Angeles made available five rounds of funding for direct payments to landlords and tenants to cover unpaid rent throughout the pandemic.
In 2020, the City offered the Emergency Rental Assistance Subsidy (ERAS) program, which provided a rental subsidy of $2,000 per household to approximately 49,000 low-income households impacted by the pandemic. The funding available for ERAS totaled approximately $100 million.
In 2021, RCCB administered the first round of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP1), which distributed $221 million to approximately 18,000 households, with an average payment of about $12,000 per household.
In September 2021, to ensure City renters had access to additional State money, the City elected to partner with the State’s Housing Is Key Program to disburse ERAP2 funding. To date, this program has paid $1.4 billion on behalf of approximately 132,000 renters in the City of Los Angeles.
In 2022, LAHD administered a $5 million Rental Aid Program in Council District 13, which has the highest number of multi-family rental units in the City. This program focused on small landlords and paid landlords $5,000 on behalf of renters.
More recently, in September 2023, the City launched the ULA Measure Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which will provide $30 million in emergency rental assistance on behalf of renters who have experienced financial hardship. The Program does not restrict assistance to pandemic hardship. On October 23, 2023, the program opened applications from Small Housing Providers (defined as City landlords with 12 or fewer rental units). This Program will pay landlords up to 6 months of rental arrears on behalf of eligible tenants.
Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) Cost Recovery Programs
In order to incentivize reinvestment in their housing stock, the RSO offers several cost recovery programs, including capital improvements, primary renovation, and seismic work.
Each of these allows landlords to obtain approval for a passthrough to tenants for the cost of certain upgrades and replacements to their rental units or the common areas of the rental property.
In addition, the RSO provides an option for a “Just and Reasonable” rent increase, which allows landlords to apply for an unlimited rent increase when their operating income is insufficient to keep up with expenses—information and seminars on how to apply for a J & R adjustment are available from the Los Angeles Housing Department. More information about specific programs is available on the LAHD website at housing.lacity.org or by calling the LAHD Hotline at (866) 557-7368. LAHD also offers monthly workshops and webinars to provide information on all rental housing programs and is available for presentations for community groups or housing industry providers.
PUBLIC INFORMATION CAMPAIGNS
The Mayor’s Office and the Los Angeles Housing Department launched a public information campaign to get the word out about new protections and resources for Angelenos:
Audiences were targeted in high-risk zip codes as identified through Stay Housed LA in a range of different languages. Smaller landlords and renters in newly protected units, including post-1978 construction and single-family homes, were also a part of the campaign outreach.
Paid advertisements about protections are running on the radio and in community papers. Languages included English, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean and Cantonese.
The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles — an independent nonprofit that works across the private and philanthropic sectors to support Mayor Bass’ vision for L.A. — continues their focus on committing its resources to the critical work of homelessness prevention.
The organization’s “We Are LA” program, a coordinated, community-wide effort to reach and help at-risk Angelenos stay housed, supplements government efforts and integrates community-led intensive outreach and casework with access to all services Angelenos may be eligible for and access to available legal services, so that we can meet people where they are, with the help they need the most. To get connected with a caseworker and sign up for services that can help you stay housed, call the We Are LA Hotline at 213-584-1808.
Outreach teams have connected with nearly 190,000 Angelenos and linked nearly 19,000 Angelenos with services.
In the coming weeks, the program will reach tens of thousands more Angelenos and will work to connect them with the critical services they need to stay housed.