LAMC 165.03: Restricting Non Payment Evictions in the City of LA

Los Angeles Eviction Attorney for Non Payment of Rent

Under a proposed law that is likely to pass city council and take effect soon, landlords will be prohibited from beginning a non-payment of rent eviction case against their LA city tenant until the tenant owes more than one month of the fair market rent in Los Angeles.

LA City Tenants Cannot be Evicted for Non-Payment of Rent Until They Owe More than One Month of the Fair Market Rent in Los Angeles

Historically, landlords have been able to move forward with an eviction case against a tenant as soon as the tenant falls behind in the rent. This makes perfect sense — if a tenant owes rent, they need to pay or a landlord should be able to evict. The city of LA thinks differently, unfortunately.

Once it becomes law, LAMC 165.03 will prohibit landlords in the city of Los Angeles from pursuing a non-payment of rent eviction case until the amount of past-due rent exceeds one month of fair market rent for the Los Angeles metro area set annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for an equivalent sized rental unit.

A landlord in the city of LA will not be able to evict for non-payment of rent until the tenant owes more than one month of the fair market rent.

When the Los Angeles city landlord serves the tenant with a non-payment of rent “3 Day Notice,” the notice must state the number of bedrooms in the tenant’s rental unit. This is a new rule.

How will LA City Landlords Calculate the Fair Market Rent?

The calculation of the Fair Market Rent will be based on the “fair market rent for the Los Angeles metro area set annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for an equivalent sized rental unit as that occupied by the tenant.”

It is important to note that this amount is likely NOT the amount that the tenant pays the landlord each month. To put it another way, the monthly rent amount that the tenant pays to the landlord is NOT necessarily the amount of the fair market rent. As of the time of this writing, here are the Fair Market Rent numbers for the LA area:

  • Efficiency: $1,534
  • One Bedroom: $1,747
  • Two Bedroom: $2,222
  • Three Bedroom: $2,880
  • Four Bedroom: $3,170

The above numbers are for example purposes only. This article will not be updated to reflect current numbers.

If the tenant owes less than the Fair Market Rent, based on an equivalently-sized unit, the landlord will not be able to begin a non-payment of rent eviction case in the city of LA.

Example: If a landlord is renting a two bedroom unit for $2,000 per month, the landlord will not be able to begin an eviction until the second month of past-due rent, because the fair market rent for a two bedroom unit is $2,222.

Landlord Tip: Make sure the monthly rent you charge your tenant is at least the Fair Market Rent. Otherwise, you could be in a position whereby you won’t be able to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent until they owe more than the Fair Market Rent.

Additional Information

* It is important for landlords to understand what jurisdiction the rental property is located in, and whether or not there are any special tenant protections or rent control applicable to the property.

Last Minute Changes?

As of today (February 6, 2023), this new policy has not been signed into law. The final version could be different.

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog are not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions.

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This article is courtesy of the Law Office of David Piotrowski, a California law firm representing landlords with eviction matters.

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The Law Office of David Piotrowski

represents California landlords.

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