By David Piotrowski, Esq., Law Office of David Piotrowski
Now that October 1, 2021, is in the rearview mirror, there are some updates on the eviction moratoriums in California, Los Angeles County, and Los Angeles City. This article will provide insight into some of the biggest changes to these three eviction moratoriums.
- California Eviction Moratorium – Statewide
California’s statewide eviction moratorium applicable to residential rental properties expired on September 30, 2021, after having been in effect for just over a year and a half. This means, if the residential rental property is not subject to any other eviction protections at the local or state level (for example, Assembly Bill 1482 at the state level, or local rent control such as the City of Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (LARSO)), landlords will again be able to commence evictions without just-cause , typically beginning with the serving of a 30- or 60-day notice to terminate tenancy. For areas that my law firm services, the allowances for no-cause evictions are primarily limited to Ventura County and Orange County (and for members of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, also limited to San Bernardino County), since as of this writing, Los Angeles County and the cities of Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Beverly Hills, among others, still restrict no-fault evictions as will be discussed below. If you are a landlord in Ventura or Orange county and want to pursue a no-cause eviction, schedule a call with an attorney to discuss possible representation. One of the most popular no-cause evictions are tenancies that are currently month-to-month, and the landlord simply no longer wishes to rent the property to the tenant any longer because the landlord has other plans for the property.
California law still places special, additional restrictions on non-payment of rent cases. These special restrictions will be in effect from October 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022. Beginning October 1, 2021, landlords will be able to utilize 3-day notices to pay rent or quit when demanding rent that became due from October 1, 2021, and beyond, instead of the 15-day notice that was required through September 30, 2021. However, landlords cannot simply go back to using the pre-COVID 3-day notice to pay rent or quit.
Here are some of the main points for 3-day notices to pay rent or quit, beginning on October 1, 2021, and extending through March 31, 2022, which can be found in Civil Code 1179.10:
- For rent due between October 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, the landlord can use a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit. This is not the “normal” 3-day notice that landlords used prior to COVID. Additional requirements must be followed between October 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022.
- The amount of rent demanded and the date each amount became due must be clearly itemized on the 3-day notice.
- A special notice from the State of California must now be included on the 3-day notice and must include the telephone number and internet website address of the pertinent government rental assistance program.
(The Apartment Association now offers this new, “3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit” in its Legal Forms Library.)
If the rent demanded is for rent prior to October 1, 2021, the landlord must still use a 15-day notice to pay rent or quit and follow the rules that were outlined in previous California legislation, even if the 15-day notice is created and served after October 1, 2021. The controlling factor is the time period that the rent is demanded under the notice. In other words, if the landlord is serving a notice that is for rent that became due prior to October 2021, the landlord should use a 15-day notice. If the landlord is serving a notice that is for rent that became due in October 2021 or later, the landlord should use the special 3-day notice. If the landlord is seeking unpaid rent for a combination of months before and after October 2021, then two separate notices (a 15-day and a 3-day) must be served and can be served simultaneously.
If the tenancy commenced on or after October 1, 2021, meaning the tenant did not move into the property or become your tenant until October 1, 2021, or later, the landlord can serve a regular 3-day notice to pay or quit, without any special requirements. A “regular” 3-day notice to pay rent or quit can only be used if this is a new tenancy that commenced no earlier than October 1, 2021. If the tenancy commenced prior to October 1, 2021, the landlord would have to utilize the new 3-day notice rules, even if the landlord is only demanding rent from October 2021 forward.
These special 3-day notice to pay rent or quit rules will be in effect until March 31, 2022, unless modified or extended. In addition to these new requirements for 3-day notices to pay rent or quit, landlords will be unable to get a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer that is based on non-payment of rent unless the landlord takes affirmative action to apply for the government renter assistance program. See Civil Code 1179.11. There will be a new court form incorporating these new rules that will need to be filled out by the landlord and submitted to the court.
The details surrounding these rules are complicated and landlords wanting to learn more are encouraged to schedule a paid informational phone call with us.
- Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium
The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium applies in all unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County, plus cities that do not currently have their own eviction moratorium. The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium was set to expire at the end of September 2021. However, at a meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on September 28, 2021, the Supervisors voted to extend the Los Angeles County eviction moratorium all the way through January 31, 2022.
With respect to non-payment cases, Los Angeles County refers to the state rules.
Under the Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, most no-fault evictions are 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. You just don’t want to rent the property to the tenant anymore? Too bad. Have other plans for the property, want to sell it, or remodel it? Too bad. Los Angeles County gives landlords no right to evict for any of these no-fault reasons. One small exception to the no-fault ban is if the reason for the eviction is owner or owner family-member move in, a landlord can evict if certain restrictions are satisfied.
The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium also prohibits evictions based on nuisance or for unauthorized occupants or pets whose presence is necessitated by or related to COVID. A residential tenant protected under the Los Angeles County eviction moratorium can even deny the landlord entry to the property except in very limited cases. It’s almost as if the owner doesn’t own the property anymore but still has the requirements of paying all the taxes, insurance, and under some leases, the utilities, and responding to any needed repairs! It is not a good time to be a landlord in Los Angeles!
For more information on the Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, schedule a paid consultation with us and review the county website.
- City of Los Angeles Eviction Moratorium
There’s been no change to the City of Los Angeles’ eviction moratorium. Landlords are still severely restricted when it comes to terminating a tenancy in the city of Los Angeles. No-fault evictions are not permitted. The City of Los Angeles eviction moratorium will remain in effect until the Mayor of Los Angeles declares the local emergency period over.
For more information on the City of Los Angeles eviction moratorium, schedule a paid consultation with us and review the city website.
Attorney David Piotrowski has been representing landlords / plaintiffs by filing eviction cases against tenants. He is admitted to practice law in all California courts and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He is a highly respected eviction attorney and is a frequent referral source for landlords, real estate agents, real estate brokers, and other attorneys. Mr. Piotrowski received a B.A. from UCLA and a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. For more information, go to: www.AttorneyDavid.com.