On September 30, time ran out on those tenants who were benefitting from eviction protections as the California State Legislature ended its session without extending rent relief. A recent analysis found that about 753,000 families were behind on their rents and owed a cumulative $2.8 billion.
Beginning October 1, landlords can file evictions for nonpayment of rent. There are, however, things financially strapped renters can do.
Within 15 days of receiving an eviction notice, renters must return to their landlord a declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress form. (Landlords are required to provide the form to you). Supporting documentation may be required if your annual income is more than 130% of the median household income in L.A. County and is more than $100,000.
Even with the form, you will have to have paid at least 25% of your monthly since September 1, 2020 or the entire past due amount by September 30, 2021.
People making less than 80% of their area median income who were financially affected by COVID-19 can still apply of missed rent and stave off eviction. They can also apply for an additional three months of rent moving forward as well as utility bill assistance. (Visit housing.ca.gov for more information).
Keep in mind that it is against the law for your landlord to lock you out or shut off the utilities, without going through the court process and would face hefty fines.
Effective August 6, 2021, a new Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance that prohibits landlords from engaging in certain conduct that is intended to force a tenant to vacate their home. The ordinance provides tenants with the ability to sue their landlord for violations and makes violation a criminal offense.
Those in need of assistance may also tap into the following resources:
- Tenants Together: www.tenantstogether.org
- State of California: www.courts.ca.gov/documents/Tenant_Rights_and_Responsibilities.pdf
- L.A. County: 211la.org/lacounty/rentrelief
- Need Help Paying Bills: https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/
- Stay Housed L.A.: www.stayhousedla.org