October 25, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

WeHo Spreading The Word About Extended Residential Tenant Protections

County of Los Angeles extension of residential tenant protections will apply to West Hollywood residential tenants through January 31, 2022. 

The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, took action to extend renter protections due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for residential tenants through January 31, 2022.

LA County’s action extends protections to residential tenants in West Hollywood by continuing the residential moratorium for:

No-fault evictions (with new, limited exceptions for owner/relative move-ins);

Evictions based on nuisances or for unauthorized occupants or pets whose presence is necessitated by or related to the COVID-19 emergency; and

Evictions based on denials of entry except to remedy a dangerous condition or prevent substantial damage to the unit.

In addition to the limited allowance for owner/relatives to move into a unit, an eviction may be authorized when a tenant’s occupancy is a threat to public health and safety as determined by a court of law.

Although broadening the scope of properties available for owner/relative occupancy evictions, the LA County extension retains the protections currently in place that are unrelated to non-payment due to COVID-19 related financial impacts. 

Under state law, neither LA County nor the City of West Hollywood has the authority to extend non-payment of rent protections to residential tenants. That authority lies with the state government, and there is no indication that an extension of the moratorium for non-payment of rent is forthcoming. Residential tenants who fell behind in their rent during the pandemic or are continuing to struggle to pay their rent may be eligible for non-payment of rent protection provided they apply to the state rent relief program, Housing is Key.

Under the state rent relief program, a landlord is eligible for 100 percent of unpaid rental debt of eligible households accumulated after April 1, 2020. The expanded program also includes financial assistance for prospective rent payments for eligible households. To receive payment, the landlord must give up the right to evict an eligible tenant based on COVID-19 rental debt. Furthermore, landlords and residential tenants who previously participated in the program may still be eligible to recover any remaining unpaid rent.

In addition, between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, courts will only enable an eviction case based on non-payment of rent for COVID-19 related reasons if the landlord has attempted to obtain rental assistance to cover the unpaid amount and the application has been denied or more than 20 days has passed without any indication that the tenant will cooperate in the application process.

Information regarding the Housing is Key rent relief program and links to applications for landlords and tenants may be found at housing.ca.gov.

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