Los Angeles COVID Eviction Moratorium Videos

 

The Los Angeles COVID eviction moratorium is complex and difficult to understand. To help demystify the LA COVID eviction moratorium, the Law Office of David Piotrowski has created several videos to help landlords understand both the LA city eviction moratorium and the LA county eviction moratorium.

The videos on this page focus on the LA city and LA county COVID-19 eviction moratorium. The most recently published videos appear first, with our oldest video on the LA eviction moratorium showing up last.

LA County Owner Move-In Evictions During the COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium

This video discusses an exception to the LA county eviction moratorium ban on no-fault evictions for landlords who need to evict a tenant for owner or owner family member move-ins.

When Does the LA City and LA County Eviction Moratorium End?

This video answers the question that many landlords have: When does the LA eviction moratorium end?!

Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium Denial of Entry Rules

During the LA eviction moratorium, a tenant can deny a landlord access to the rental property except in limited circumstances. But the rules are changing in June 2022. Learn about the denial of entry rules in the LA county eviction moratorium.

Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium Extension for 2022

LA county created a 3-phase system to eventually end the eviction moratorium. Find out about the LA county eviction moratorium and how it works in 2022.

California and Los Angeles Eviction Moratorium Updates for October 2021

LA city and LA county continue to take property rights away from landlords.

Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium Extended to September 30, 2021

LA city and LA county decided to extend the eviction moratorium.

Still Have Questions?

Landlords can always schedule a consultation with us to discuss specific questions and situations relating to California landlord/tenant law.

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog is 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. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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Civil Code 1950.5: Security Deposits in California Residential Tenancies

 

Civil Code 1950.5 is the California law that discusses security deposits in California. Read this FAQ to learn about security deposits in California.

Security Deposit FAQ

What is the maximum amount of a security deposit in a California residential tenancy?

For an unfurnished unit, the maximum security deposit is 2x the monthly rent. For a furnished unit, the maximum security deposit is 3x the monthly rent. These amounts are in addition to any rent for the first month paid on or before the initial occupancy. Civil Code 1950.5(c)(1).

What are the proper uses of a security deposit?

Security deposits can be used for the following: (1) The compensation of a landlord for a tenant’s default in the payment of rent. (2) The repair of damages to the premises, exclusive of ordinary wear and tear, caused by the tenant or by a guest or licensee of the tenant. (3) The cleaning of the premises upon termination of the tenancy necessary to return the unit to the same level of cleanliness it was in at the inception of the tenancy. (4) To remedy future defaults by the tenant in any obligation under the rental agreement to restore, replace, or return personal property or appurtenances, exclusive of ordinary wear and tear, if the security deposit is authorized to be applied thereto by the rental agreement. Civil Code 1950.5(b).

Must a landlord notify the tenant of the right to an initial move-out inspection?

Yes, except when the termination of tenancy is due to CCP 1161(2), 1161(3), or 1161(4). Civil Code 1950.5(f)(1).

What is the purpose of an initial move-out inspection?

The purpose of the initial inspection shall be to allow the tenant an opportunity to remedy identified deficiencies in order to avoid deductions from the security deposit. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(1).

Is an initial inspection required?

No. An initial inspection is optional. It is required only if the tenant requests one. However, in most cases, the landlord is required to inform the tenant of the right to an inspection. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(1).

Does a tenant need to be present for an initial inspection?

No. If an inspection is requested, the parties shall attempt to schedule the inspection at a mutually acceptable date and time. The landlord shall give at least 48 hours’ prior written notice of the date and time of the inspection if either a mutual time is agreed upon, or if a mutually agreed time cannot be scheduled but the tenant still wishes an inspection. The tenant and landlord may agree to forgo the 48-hour prior written notice by both signing a written waiver. The landlord shall proceed with the inspection whether the tenant is present or not, unless the tenant previously withdrew their request for the inspection. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(1).

Does a landlord need to notify the tenant of problems found during the initial inspection that could result in a deduction from the security deposit?

Yes. Based on the inspection, the landlord shall give the tenant an itemized statement specifying repairs or cleanings that are proposed to be the basis of any deductions from the security deposit the landlord intends to make. The statement shall be given to the tenant, if the tenant is present for the inspection, or shall be left inside the premises. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(2).

Can a tenant fix the items identified during the initial inspection?

Yes. The tenant shall have the opportunity during the period following the initial inspection until termination of the tenancy to remedy identified deficiencies. Civil Code 1950.5(f)(3).

After a tenant vacates a residential property, how long does the landlord have to account for the deposit?

21 calendar days. Within 21 days, the landlord must provide an itemized statement along with documentation supporting any deductions. Within the same time frame, the landlord must refund any remaining security deposit balance to the tenant. Civil Code 1950.5(g).

Where should a landlord send the itemized statement and refund of the security deposit?

These documents should be sent to the address provided by the tenant. If the tenant does not provide an address, mailings should be sent to the address that was vacated. Civil Code 1950.5(g)(6).

Can a landlord deduct from the security deposit for ordinary wear and tear or for pre-existing conditions?

No. A landlord cannot charge a tenant for ordinary wear and tear or for preexisting conditions that existed prior to the tenancy. Civil Code 1950.5(e).

Can part of the security deposit be “non-refundable?”

No. No lease or rental agreement may contain a provision characterizing any security as “nonrefundable.” Civil Code 1950.5(m).

Are there penalties if a landlord violates the security deposit rules?

Potentially yes. The bad faith retention of the security deposit may subject the landlord to statutory damages of up to twice the amount of the deposit, in addition to actual damages. Civil Code 1950.5(l).

Security Deposit Videos

Still Have Questions?

Landlords can always schedule a consultation with us to discuss specific questions and situations relating to California landlord/tenant law. We also wrote an article on “Returning the Security Deposit in California.”

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog is 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. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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California Landlord/Tenant Videos

 

This page will provide links to a number of our uploaded landlord/tenant videos. We encourage landlords to watch these videos to learn and become educated about various landlord/tenant rules relating to California residential tenancies. Landlords can always schedule a consultation with us to discuss specific questions and situations.

The page is divided by video topic. The date the video was first published is next to the video name in parentheses.

Note that some videos may be outdated by new and subsequent laws, so do not rely on the videos when making important decisions.

For a more extensive list of our landlord/tenant videos, visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to the channel to be notified when we upload a new video.

Overview/General Information

COVID

Security Deposits

AB1482 – Statewide Rent Control

Terminating the Tenancy

Other Topics

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. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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LA County Extends the Eviction Moratorium Again

 

The “temporary” LA county eviction moratorium has been extended again and this time, many parts of the moratorium will remain in effect for all of 2022 and even into 2023! The Board of Supervisors has expanded the eviction moratorium and encouraged incorporated cities to create permanent rent control that would take over once the “temporary” LA county eviction moratorium expires. The Board has created a three-phase plan to end the protections unless the Board decides to extend/modify the moratorium again in the future. Read on to learn more.

Where Does the LA County Eviction Moratorium Apply? Does Your Rental Property Fall Within its Jurisdiction?

The LA county moratorium applies in unincorporated areas of LA county, and, effective September 1, 2020, it also applies in incorporated cities if the city does not have its own moratorium that is at least as restrictive as the county moratorium. The LA County moratorium is meant to provide uniform, minimum standards protecting tenants. The moratorium applies to all residential rental properties regardless of whether the property is a single-family residence, duplex, apartment complex, etc.

LA County Eviction Moratorium Three-Phase Plan

The LA County Board of Supervisors decided to create a three-phase plan dealing with the eviction moratorium and how it will eventually end. Critical dates are outlined directly below and will be discussed in more detail throughout this article.

  • Phase I: February 1, 2022 through May 31, 2022
  • Phase II: June 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022
  • Phase III: January 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023

Yes, you read that correctly. Parts of the LA county eviction moratorium has been extended through June 30, 2023! This, despite the economy and businesses being open. Landlords must continue to pay their taxes and bills and make timely repairs to their rental property. The many landlord obligations do not end.

In Phase I, existing protections will remain as-is, except non-paying tenants will gain more protections beginning April 1, 2022, as discussed below. In Phase II, landlord will get some additional rights to terminate tenancies for owner move-ins (expanding on existing owner move-in evictions), but strict requirements for owner move-in evictions must still be satisfied and will be discussed below. Evictions for the tenant denying access can move forward during Phase II. Under Phase II, a landlord may still not evict a tenant for nuisance, unauthorized occupants, or pets. For non-payment cases, the protections are limited to households with income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, but tenants can self-certify their income level and do not need to provide any proof to the landlord. In Phase III, non-payment protections for tenants at or below 80% of the AMI will continue, but all other eviction protections will be lifted, “unless the Board considers options for extending eviction protections for tenants who have had to house unauthorized occupants or pets.”

Non-Payment of Rent

Update April 2022: It appears the self-certification for non-payment of rent (discussed below) is on hold, due to AB 2179.

Tenants will continue to be protected from eviction for failure to pay rent if the reason is COVID-related (no proof of COVID impact is needed). Non-payment protections for tenants are being increased (yes, increased!) beginning April 1, 2022, when state law protections expire. LA county has decided to increase tenant protections, despite the economy and businesses being open. No similar protections apply at the state level or in other nearby counties. It’s not a good time to be a landlord in LA county and many landlords have decided to stop being landlords in the county for this very reason, which will ultimately result in long-term disadvantages to the county economy and housing generally.

Between February 1, 2022, and through March 31, 2022 (the first part of Phase I), the county follows the state rules relating to non-payment of rent.

Beginning April 1, 2022, and through May 31, 2022 (the second part of Phase I), a tenant in LA county may not be evicted for non-payment of rent, late charges, interest, or any other fees accrued if the tenant shows an inability to pay due to COVID-19, and the tenant has provided notice to the landlord within seven days after the date that the amount became due, unless extenuating circumstances exist, that the tenant is unable to pay. The tenant’s “proof” of inability to pay is nothing more than a self-certification. As you can see from the italicized language, it is very easy for a tenant to be untruthful and there is little to nothing that a landlord can do about it. Even though the language says a tenant is supposed to notify a landlord that they cannot pay due to COVID within seven days of the rent being due, in actuality that is not the case. A tenant need only claim an extenuating circumstance for not notifying the landlord of their inability to pay, and then the tenant is excused from this requirement. Further, landlords are required to accept a tenant’s self-certification that the reason for not paying is due to COVID. A landlord is barred from requesting documentation/proof and must take tenant’s word for it. These “outs” have provided and continue to provide tenants with the ability to easily misuse the LA county eviction moratorium. These non-payment protections apply to all residential renters regardless of income.

Beginning June 1, 2022, and through December 31, 2022 (Phase II), the non-payment protections found in the LA county eviction moratorium are slightly reduced. A residential tenant whose household income is at 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or below and who is unable to pay due to COVID is protected from eviction if the tenant provides notice to the landlord as discussed above and self-certifies 1) their income level, and 2) their financial hardship. Again, the tenant is not required to provide any documentation or proof to establish either their income level or their financial hardship and how it is related to COVID. If the household income is above 80% of the AMI, the non-payment protections will no longer apply after June 1, 2022. However, and to reiterate, a tenant need only self-certify their income and the landlord cannot ask for proof.

During Phase III, non-payment protections, including self-certification, for renters earning 80% of the AMI or below will continue, but all other eviction protections would end at the end of Phase II.

No-Fault Evictions

Under the LA county eviction moratorium, most no-fault evictions continue to be banned. This means a landlord has no right to terminate a month-to-month tenancy for any type of no-fault reason, with very limited exceptions. Just don’t want to rent the property to the tenant? Too bad. Have other plans for the property, want to sell it, or remodel it? Too bad. LA county gives landlords no right to evict for any of these no-fault reasons. The exception to this rule has to do with owner or owner family-member move-ins.

Until May 31, 2022 (Phase I), the existing owner move-in requirements must be met that were put into law last year. These requirements included provisions such that an owner could only avail themselves of the owner move-in exemption if the tenant had been and is able to pay rent and does not have financial impacts due to COVID, and the owner purchased the property on or before June 30, 2021.

These two requirements (the purchase date requirement and the requirement that the tenant can only be displaced if the tenant has not been impacted by financial impacts related to COVID) are going away for Phase II beginning June 1, 2022.

Many other requirements for the owner move-in exemption that was previously enacted will remain throughout Phase II, effectively making it nearly impossible to evict for owner/family member move-in. Some of the requirements remaining in effect during Phase II include 1) the landlord/family member must first seek to occupy a vacant unit if there are 3 or more units on the property and if there are no vacant units, the tenant being evicted has to be the most recent tenant, 2) the landlord must be a natural person and possess legal title to at least 50%, 3) the landlord may only terminate a tenancy if the landlord/family member is “similarly situated” to the tenant. Similarly situated means, for example, if the tenant or a household member is at least 62 years old, the landlord/family member must also be at least 62 years old. Another example of similarly situated is if the tenant or a household member has a disability, the landlord/family member must also have a disability. These are just two examples of “similarly situated.” The landlord must also provide the tenant with a 60-day notice to terminate tenancy and must also provide notice to LA county. The landlord/family member must move into the property within 60 days of the tenant vacating the unit and must live in the unit for at least 36 consecutive months. The landlord must also pay relocation assistance to the tenant. This is not an exhaustive list of landlord requirements for owner move-in, so you can see that the requirements to meet this exemption to no-fault evictions are very strict and rigorous.

Nuisance, Unauthorized Occupants, or Pets

These tenant protections are not changing. As crazy as it sounds, a landlord is not permitted to evict a tenant in LA county for nuisance or for unauthorized occupants or pets whose presence is necessitated by or related to the COVID-19 emergency. These protections will persist during Phase I and Phase II. There are always exceptions. It would seem that a nuisance case based on health or safety issues would be grounds for eviction. Further, if the pet was vicious and a danger to others, that would likely be grounds for an eviction. Even during “normal” times, cases based on nuisance, pets, etc., can be difficult, and that is even more true now.

Denial of Entry

During Phase I, a tenant can continue to deny access to the rental unit except 1) if the landlord is remedying a condition that substantially endangers or impairs the health or safety of a residential tenant or other persons in or around the rental unit, or 2) the tenant is causing or threatening to cause substantial damage to the rental property. These protections expire at the end of Phase I.

What this means is that during Phase I, a landlord is still not allowed to enter the rental unit except in the very limited reasons stated above and cannot use the denial of entry as grounds for an eviction. At the beginning of Phase II, however, a landlord can evict if the tenant denies the landlord lawful entry.

Tenant Certification

Earlier in this article, it was stated that the landlord must accept a tenant’s self-certification of income and/or financial hardship. This bears repeating…the landlord cannot ask for proof/evidence but must take the tenant at their word if the tenant says that their income is 80% or below the AMI and/or says that they can’t pay due to financial impacts related to COVID-19.

Repayment of Money Owed to Landlord

What happens to all the money owed to the landlord if the tenant stops paying rent or other financial obligations? A residential tenant who fails to pay rent incurred from April 1, 2022, through May 31, 2022, has until May 31, 2023, to repay the debt, unless extended by LA county. Yes, you heard that correctly. May of 2023! But it doesn’t end there. If the tenant’s self-certification says they are at/below 80% of the AMI and therefore are protected during Phase II/III, the tenant will have 12 months after that time to repay the debt, unless extended by LA county.

Rent Increases

Rent increases in unincorporated parts of LA county continue to be prohibited through December 31, 2022. For properties that are outside of the unincorporated areas, landlords must look to see if there are any other local restrictions on rent increases. If there are no other local restrictions, the rent can be raised, subject to any state or other laws, and with proper notice.

Other Aspects of the LA County Eviction Moratorium

The landlord and the tenant can come to a payment plan arrangement. Effective April 1, 2022, a tenant’s inability to pay back unpaid rent under the terms of a payment plan, or at the end of the repayment period, cannot be used as grounds for an eviction. Further, a landlord is prohibited from applying a payment to any rental debt other than to the prospective month’s rent, unless the tenant agrees otherwise, in writing. Pass-throughs and other fees are prohibited.

Harassment and Retaliation

Strict prohibitions against tenant harassment and retaliation remain. Interestingly, there are no reciprocal protections to protect landlords whose tenants harass or retaliate against the landlord.

Remedies

For landlords who violate the LA county eviction moratorium, tenants or any other person or entity acting on behalf of the tenant, can bring a case against the landlord. Civil liability can be up to $5,000 per violation for each day that the violation continues and if the tenant is 65 years old or older, the court may award an additional penalty of up to $5,000 per violation per day. Landlords can also be charged criminally. The eviction moratorium of LA county can also be raised as an affirmative defense in an eviction case.

More Renter Protections to Come?

The “temporary” eviction protections in the extension of the LA county eviction moratorium discussed in this article may not be the end of extra renter protections. The following language appears in the LA county eviction moratorium documentation:

“As we implement this phase-out plan, the County should simultaneously examine our existing permanent protections to determine whether changes and/or additions should be made based on lessons learned over the past two years. Additionally, many incorporated cities that do not have permanent protections and that have relied on the County’s emergency COVID-19 protections have expressed interest in adopting their own. The County should also explore opportunities to share these lessons learned and provide guidance and technical assistance to interested incorporated cities within the County.”

LA County Eviction Moratorium Extension, January 25, 2022

As the law currently stands, there is permanent extra renter protections/rent control in unincorporated LA county and in some incorporated cities such as Los Angeles.

Commercial Evictions

Commercial tenancies are not discussed in this article.

Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium Extension Video

Watch a video discussing an overview of the LA county eviction moratorium extension.

Additional Information

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. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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California Eviction Process Overview

 

The following provides a high-level overview of the California eviction process. Generally, landlords who hire the Law Office of David Piotrowski to represent their interests in an eviction matter can expect 6 stages of an eviction. Landlords who have an ongoing, pending eviction matter can refer back to this page frequently for a reminder of the process and to compare it to the stages of their individual case.


California Eviction Process Overview

  1. Case Review

    We review your paperwork and communicate with you, our client, about your case.

  2. Notice Period

    This is when we create the notice that terminates the tenancy (3 day notice, 30 day notice, 60 day notice, etc.). Our process server will serve your tenant, and then we wait to see whether or not the tenant complies with the notice. During this stage, landlords should not do anything that could be considered a waiver of the notice.

  3. Case Filed and Ongoing

    If your tenant fails to comply with the termination notice, then we will prepare and file your eviction case at court. The process server will then serve your tenant with the actual court documents. Then, we wait to see whether or not your tenant disputes the eviction. Regardless of whether the tenant responds to and fights the case or not, our goal is to try to obtain a judgment for possession of the rental property.

  4. Sheriff Lockout Process

    Assuming a judgment is obtained awarding possession of the property to the landlord, it is now time to begin the sheriff lockout process. We will work to obtain the necessary paperwork needed from the court and will then submit the documents to the sheriff for processing. The sheriff will schedule a lockout date. We will notify you when to meet the sheriff at the property. The lockout date will be the day when the landlord regains actual possession of the rental property and the tenant will have no right to be there anymore.

  5. Money Judgment and Collections

    In this optional step, we may be able to assist with obtaining a money judgment against the tenant. If a money judgment is obtained, and on a case-by-case basis, we may be able to help trying to collect the money from the tenant. The chances of this being successful will depend in part on whether the tenant works/banks in the same county where the case was filed, and if you know where the tenant works and their bank account information.

  6. Case Completed

    Once you have regained possession of your rental property, the eviction case is complete!

The following infographic providing an overview of the California eviction process.

California eviction process overview.

Additional Information

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. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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