Commercial tenants still protected from eviction; Residential tenants may seek protection through state rent relief program

Today, LA County Supervisors extended COVID-19 eviction protections for non-payment of rent for commercial renters, and extended limited renter protections for residential tenants through January 31, 2022.

In compliance with current state law, LA County does not have the authority to extend non-payment of rent protections to residential tenants. That authority lies with the state government. The state is not expected to extend its eviction moratorium which expires in three days on September 30, 2021. Residential tenants who fell behind in their rent during the pandemic may be eligible for non-payment of rent protection provided they apply to the state rent relief program.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of today’s motion, said, “Unfortunately, the County no longer has the authority to extend non-payment of rent protection to local residential tenants. Today’s motion extends non-payment of rent protections to commercial tenants, and extends limited protections to residential tenants as permitted by law. I hope that LA County residents who fell behind on their rent during the pandemic act quickly to apply for the state’s Housing Is Key rent relief program in order to secure protection from eviction while the state processes the applications.”

Today’s motion extends previously enacted County protections against tenant harassment and retaliation. It also expands permissible owner move-ins, a policy change introduced in June as part of the County’s effort to gradually lift COVID-related rental market restrictions.

“Los Angeles County’s temporary tenant emergency protections have served as a safety net for both residential and commercial renters of the same communities that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why we must continue to provide protections for those who are struggling to pay rent and on the verge of falling into homelessness,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “I am proud to join my colleague, Supervisor Kuehl, in co-authoring today’s motion on extending protections for tenants to January 31, 2022. While our temporary emergency protections are for only certain matters where we are not preempted by the State of California, this motion will allow us to provide robust harassment protections to keep our families safe and to give them peace of mind. This pandemic has not affected everyone equally and to that end, I am focused on meeting the needs of our community to stabilize households and mitigate the detrimental effects of disruptive displacements across the County.”