Residents, Renters|

Background

Approximately 60,000 evictions are filed annually countywide, of which an estimated 30,000 are filed in the City of Los Angeles. Tenants who cannot afford a lawyer often do not contest an eviction notice, even if the notice is unlawfully issued. As a result, approximately 40% of unlawful detianers in Los Angeles County end in default judgements. Evictions not only impact a tenant’s short term housing stability but can have a negative impact on a household’s ability to remain stably housed. For nearly the past two years, LAHD has conducted extensive research and held numerous meetings with various stakeholders including working closely with the Mayor’s Office, L.A. County, City Council offices, the CLA, the Office of the City Administrative Officer (CAO) and the City Attorney’s Office. On August 17, 2018, the City Council directed LAHD to work with the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) and the City Attorney to develop recommendations, including prospective costs and funding sources, for a City of Los Angeles “Right to Counsel” ordinance and/or a program to ensure that tenants have access to the information and representation when facing landlord harassment, rental agreement and lease issues, and eviction. On September 23, 2020, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a one (1) calendar year Covid-Reponse Eviction Defense Program (EDP) to assist tenants impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

What is the Eviction Defense Program?

The COVID-19 Response Eviction Defense Program (EDP) is a city of LA program designed to promote housing stability by offering services to assist City of LA tenants. Our EDP is set to launch July 1, 2021. The City of LA contracted with the Legal Aid Foundation Los Angeles (LAFLA) to provide comprehensive eviction prevention services. The framework of these services include the following key components:
  • Education and Multilingual Public Awareness Campaign
  • Eviction Prevention Interventions
  • Emergency Legal Assistance
  • Rental Assistance
  • Ongoing Support Services for Tenant Stability

Overview of the EDP Framework

  • Education and Public Awareness (Landlords and Tenants)
    • Multilingual “Know Your Rights” workshops, outreach and education via the Stay Housed LA webpage at: https://www.stayhousedla.org/
    • Targeted education to landlords, particularly small operators that may require more direct assistance from the City to prevent the issuance of illegal Unlawful Detainers (UDs) and three-day notices;
    • Outreach efforts
    • Identify landlords that continually engage in illegal practices and proactively conduct outreach to tenants living in at-risk buildings.
  • Eviction Prevention Interventions (Landlords and Tenants)
    • Tenants with an eviction or anticipate a three-day notice will be able to access services and/or referrals at a variety of entry points including LAHD offices, the LAHD hotline, the office of legal service providers/community organizations, and through designated tenant clinics;
    • Serve 80% AMI or below – income requirement to receive services
      • Assistance filing and monitoring complaints (RSO, code enforcement, and fair housing); legal assistance negotiating agreements with a landlord;
      • Assistance responding to a three-day notice, unlawful detainer, etc.
      • Tenant Stability Planning – including financial coaching (administered by the Family Source Centers); and
      • Emergency or ongoing-rental assistance
    • Legal service providers will be asked to provide, as necessary, referrals to landlords that may need legal assistance or representation to resources such as the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
  • Emergency Legal Assistance
    • Limited legal services may be provided within clinics, via hotlines, or by direct appointments at https://www.stayhousedla.org/. The services include assistance completing COVID-related declarations, submitting a formal response to a notice of termination of tenancy, formal response to a UD, and requests for reasonable accommodations.
    • Income eligible tenants who have been served with a UD would be able to access full-scope legal representation. Legal service attorneys would represent impacted tenants throughout the pre-eviction and eviction process in settlement negotiations through trial, if necessary. Tenants living in subsidized housing would also have access to full-scope legal representation for other cases such as administrative hearings. You can get legal help at: https://www.stayhousedla.org/referral.
  • Rental Assistance
    • Emergency rental assistance that is needed to prevent or resolve an eviction, will be administered by the legal service providers and consist of a negotiated one-time payment to pause or stop the eviction process;
    • Rental assistance is defined as: funding to cover the whole or part of the cost of rental arrears and regular rental payments for a time-limited period, which must be paid directly to the landlord, not the tenant; and
    • Tenants will be eligible for rental assistance at any stage of the eviction process (i.e., before a notice, after a notice, and after a UD).
  • Ongoing Support Services for Tenant Stability
    • The City’s Family Source Centers (FSCs) will provide a myriad of ongoing services to ensure tenant stability, to include, but not limited to the following: case management services (including financial coaching) with the legal service provision, ongoing rental assistance (for up to three months), and supportive services.

In the City of Los Angeles, tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent during the City’s Emergency Declaration, and for twelve months after its expiration. The City’s Emergency Declaration is still in effect and will continue until further notice.

Are you unable to pay 25% of all rental payments due from September 2020 through June 30, 2021?

If you are experiencing COVID-19 financial stress and cannot pay rent, the City’s ordinance still allows you to defer paying rent during the City’s Emergency Declaration period to avoid eviction. The City’s Emergency Declaration is still in effect and will continue to be effective until further notice. The City’s ordinance does not require that you pay 25% of rent to be protected from eviction. However, if you pay the 25% (rent owed September 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021) by June 30, 2021, the landlord can never evict you for failing to pay the balance under state law. You are responsible to pay all the rent due, and the landlord can sue you in court and obtain a judgment for the balance owed. If you want to pay the 25% and get the added benefit under the State’s law, you must give your landlord a declaration stating your inability to pay rent due to Covid-19 financial stress.

Stay Housed LA Service

If you received or experienced any of the following, get legal help immediately at www.stayhousedla.org or call 888-694-0040

    • Summons or Complaint for “Unlawful Detainer” or
    • A “Notice to Vacate” from the Sheriff’s Department or
    • Illegal Lock-Out

If you received an eviction notice, verbal threat of eviction, a rent increase, reduction of service, or requesting that your landlord make necessary repairs, you can report violations by calling LAHD Hotline: 1-866-557-RENT (7368) or online at housing.lacity.org/residents/file-a-complaint

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