COVID-19 Landlord Update
Coronavirus Eviction Moratorium
The mayor of Los Angeles has enacted a set of protections against evictions. The mayor’s order makes it illegal for landlords to evict residential tenants who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These circumstances may include loss of income or reduced hours due to COVID-19, loss of income or childcare expenditures due to school closures, health care expenditures stemming from COVID-19, or reasonable expenditures stemming from government ordered emergency measures.
Tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent. However, tenants may not be evicted for failure to pay rent due to COVID-19. Tenants will have up to 12 months following the expiration of the local emergency to repay any back rent due. Please click here for more information: https://www.lamayor.org/mayor-garcetti-orders-halt-rent-increases-rent-stabilized-units
Some Evictions Are Not Covered Under the Moratorium
The eviction moratorium applies to the following:
Evictions stemming from failure to pay rent when the tenant is unable to pay the rent as a result of loss of income related to COVID-19.
All no-fault evictions - if any member of the household is ill, in isolation, or under quarantine. No-Fault evictions means those not based on an alleged fault of the tenant and include evictions for owner occupancy or installation of a resident manager.
All Ellis Act evictions. Tenancies may not be terminated under the Ellis Act until 60 days after the expiration of the Emergency Order. Note, currently the Emergency Order expires on April 19, 2020.
This Order applies to nonpayment eviction notices, no-fault eviction notices, and unlawful detainer actions based on such notices, served or filed on or after the date on which the local emergency was proclaimed.
For more information on the eviction moratorium, please read: https://hcidla.lacity.org/covid-19-eviction-moratorium
Landlord Letter Template to Tenants About COVID-19 and Rent
If you’re interested in communicating with your tenants about COVID-19, we created a sample letter template that we’re happy to share with you. If you would like to view the template, please see below. To receive the template as a Word Document, please click here.
LANDLORDS: What You Can Do if Your Tenant Doesn’t Pay Rent
Landlords should communicate with their tenant and ask them why they haven’t paid rent. If the reason is COVID-19 related, the landlord should ask for written proof (a letter from an employer is an example). If the reason is COVID-19 related, the landlord should be aware that the tenant has 6 months following the expiration of the local emergency to repay any back rent due and that they may mutually work out a payment schedule or arrangements for repayment of rent.
Financial Assistance for Landlords Who Suffer A Loss of Income
Landlords may be able apply for a disaster loan related to economic damage from the COVID-19 crisis through the Small Business Administration. For more information, please visit: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
The city of Los Angeles has implemented the Small Business Emergency Microloan Program that provides financing needed to strengthen small business enterprises that have been affected by the COVID-19. For more information, please visit: https://ewddlacity.com/index.php/microloan-program.
LA County Offers Penalty Waivers for Late Property Taxes
Los Angeles County property owners affected by COVID-19 may have late penalties waived if they are unable to pay property taxes before the April 10 deadline. People unable to pay on time due to COVID-19 related reasons can submit a request to cancel their late penalty online starting April 11.
TENANTS: What You Should Do if You Can’t Pay Rent Due to COVID-19
Tenants should communicate immediately with their landlord in writing and explain why they are unable to pay rent. If you are unable to pay rent due to a COVID-19 related reason, you should provide proof to your landlord (a letter from your employer citing COVID-19 as a reason for termination or reduced work hours, or employer paycheck stubs, medical bills, etc.). You should communicate with your landlord so that you can work together to come up with a future payment plan for the payment of the rent.
Order Suspending RSO Rent Increases
The mayor signed an order halting rent increases on occupied rental units that are subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. For more information, please visit: https://www.lamayor.org/COVID19Orders
For More Information, Resources and FAQs about Multifamily Properties & COVID-19, please visit:
Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles: https://aagla.org/
Apartment Owners Association of California: https://aoausa.com/index.php
Sample Landlord Letter Template To Tenants About Rent and COVID-19
[Insert Landlord/Property Manager Name]
[Insert Landlord/Property Manager Address]
RE: [Insert Property Address]
Dear Valued Tenant,
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe at home. I want to take this opportunity to reach out to you, primarily to make sure that you are well, and secondly to give you information and resources related to the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic that we are all currently navigating together.
As a courtesy, I would like to share with you the current guidelines for the City of Los Angeles, as it relates to residential rent payments during the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Tenants are still obligated to pay rent.
If these circumstances apply to you, you may qualify to DEFER your rent payment:
Loss of income due to workplace closure or reduced hours due to COVID-19
Loss of income or childcare expenditures due to school closures
Health care expenditures stemming from COVID-19 infection of the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household who is ill with COVID-19
Reasonable expenditures stemming from government ordered emergency measures
Tenants will have up to six (6) months following the expiration of the local emergency to repay any unpaid rent.
If you foresee that you are unable to pay rent on time, please notify us within one week of this letter. You will need to provide thorough documentation, such as a letter from your employer citing COVID-19 as a reason for termination or reduced work hours, or employer paycheck stubs, medical bills, etc. It is requested that you provide the most recent three months of your bank statements showing that your accounts are insufficient to pay the rent. For more information on this emergency order, please visit the LA Housing Department’s website at: https://hcidla.lacity.org/covid-19-eviction-moratorium
Additionally, we would like to share some resources with you that you might find helpful.
For information on how to schedule a COVID-19 test, please visit: https://lacovidprod.service-now.com/rrs
For information on unemployment insurance and disability insurance as it relates to COVID-19 , please visit: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
LAUSD opened Grab & Go Food Centers across Los Angeles, providing families 60 sites where they can pick up food for their children. To see the list of centers, please visit: https://achieve.lausd.net/resources
Finally, please be aware that Mayor Garcetti has implemented a “Safer at Home” emergency order — ordering all residents of the City of Los Angeles to stay inside their residences, and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs. The Order is currently set to expire on April 19, 2020. The duration can be either shortened or extended by the Mayor. Please visit https://corona-virus.la/faq for more information on the “Safer at Home” order.
If you need to contact me, call me at [insert phone number here] or email me at [insert email here].
[Insert Landlord or Manager’s Name Here]
If your tenant says that they cannot pay rent, here are a few points that you may want to discuss with your tenant:
If you are unable to pay rent due to a COVID-19 related circumstance, you must submit the requested documents (a letter from your employer citing COVID-19 as a reason for termination or reduced work hours, or employer paycheck stubs, bank statements, medical bills, etc.).
Deferred rent must be paid no later than six months after the emergency declaration is terminated.
If you and roommates are on the lease, each is liable for the full rent. If one or more of the roommates is dealing with a COVID-19 related circumstance that prevents them from paying the rent, documents should be submitted for each of those roommates, along with an explanation for the reduction in the portion of rent that the roommate normally pays.
The security deposit cannot be used to pay ongoing rent obligations.
Once you provide the requested documents, we will review your request and provide you with an agreement for your signature that will permit deferred rent.
For a sample payment plan agreement, please visit the Apartment Owners Association of California website: http://www.aoausa.com/magazine/sample-payment-plan/