WEST HOLLYWOOD—West Hollywood is alerting residents that Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, on Tuesday, September 28,, took action to extend renter protections due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for residential tenants through January 31, 2022.
The County’s action extends protections to residential tenants in WeHo by continuing the residential moratorium for:
1) No-fault evictions (with new, limited exceptions for owner/relative move-ins);
2) Evictions based on nuisances or for unauthorized occupants or pets whose presence is necessitated by or related to the COVID-19 emergency; and
3) Evictions based on denials of entry except to remedy a dangerous condition or prevent substantial damage to the unit.
According to a news release from the city of West Hollywood, in addition to the limited allowance for owner/relatives to move into a unit, an eviction may be authorized when a tenant’s occupancy is a threat to public health and safety as determined by a court of law.
While the action broadens the scope of properties available for owner/relative occupancy evictions, the Los Angeles County extension retains the protections currently in place that are unrelated to non-payment due to COVID-19 related financial impacts.
Under state law, neither LA County nor West Hollywood has the power to extend non-payment of rent protections to residential tenants. That decision lies with the state government, and there is no indication that an extension of the moratorium for non-payment of rent is forthcoming. Residential tenants who are behind in rent from the pandemic or are continuing to struggle to pay rent may be eligible for non-payment of rent protection provided they apply to the state rent relief program, Housing is Key.
Under the state rent relief program, a landlord is eligible for 100 percent of unpaid rental debt of eligible households accumulated after April 1, 2020. The expanded program includes financial assistance for prospective rent payments for eligible households. To receive payment, the landlord must give up the right to evict an eligible tenant based on COVID-19 rental debt. Landlords and residential tenants who previously partook in the program may still be eligible to recover any remaining unpaid rent.
Between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, courts will only enable an eviction case based on non-payment of rent for COVID-19 related reasons if the landlord attempted to obtain rental assistance to cover the unpaid amount and the application has been denied or more than 20 days passed without any indication that the tenant will cooperate in the application process.
Information regarding the Housing is Key rent relief program and links to applications for landlords and tenants may be found at housing.ca.gov.
For more details about West Hollywood and residential eviction protections, contact Jonathan Holub, Rent Stabilization and Housing Manager, at (323) 848-6301 or at email@example.com.
West Hollywood approved a Temporary Moratorium on Commercial Evictions in April 2020. The temporary moratorium on evictions for commercial tenants was revised throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and in June 2021 was extended by way of an Urgency Ordinance through September 30, 2021. Under state law, the city does not have the authority to extend non-payment of rent protections to commercial tenants beyond September 30, 2021. Accordingly, the local Temporary Moratorium on Commercial Evictions expired on September 30.
Starting October 1, commercial tenants in West Hollywood should pay monthly rent in full and a portion of the deferred rent amount.
Under the West Hollywood Ordinance, commercial tenants with 20 or fewer employees are provided twelve (12) months to repay all deferred rent, while commercial tenants with 21 or more employees are provided six (6) months to repay all deferred rent. During the repayment period, commercial tenants are protected from eviction if they are paying their monthly lease obligations and a portion of the deferred rent owed.
With state and county guidelines permitting businesses to operate at full capacity, and with a variety of creative ways to address current needs such as the City’s OUT Zones program, which allows for temporary outdoor expansions to provide commercial space in the public right-of-way, West Hollywood encourages landlords and tenants to work together to find repayment plans that will work for their businesses, potentially agreeing to extend the terms of repayment to a time period that best suits both parties.
The city created template repayment plans for use by local businesses and partnered with the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to provide free mediation services to tenants and landlords to help both parties reach mutually agreeable settlements on how to structure rent deferral and reductions or other lease amendments. To sign up for free mediation services, visit www.wehochamber.com/mediationservices.
For more details about West Hollywood and commercial tenant concerns, as well as free landlord/tenant mediation and template repayment plans, contact Janet Jimenez, Assistant to the City Manager, at (323) 848-6376 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.