L.A.’s Eternal Eviction Moratorium
By this spring, nearly all the eviction moratoriums imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic had ended, either because courts blocked them or because legislators repealed them or allowed them to expire. One conspicuous exception was Los Angeles, where tenants were still protected from eviction by the city’s ongoing state of emergency.
L.A.’s moratorium, one of the strictest and most open-ended such policies in the U.S., is a major headache for landlords. David Greenhut is an owner of eight rent-stabilized properties in Los Angeles, totaling 221 units. As of late March, Greenhut says, he had 40 tenants who were not paying rent. He also complains that he is not allowed to evict tenants who blare music or who won’t allow pest control into their homes.
The city’s moratorium bars eviction for nonpayment or nuisances, provided either is related to COVID-19. It allows those tenants to self-certify that they have been affected by the pandemic. Landlords therefore have few means of removing people who game the system.
“If there is fraud, there’s noth
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