Know your rights: How eviction moratoriums work in LA amid COVID-19 crisis

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- People across Southern California are grappling with the widespread effects of the novel coronavirus health crisis and that includes how they will pay for rent.

"We knew that a lot of people were going to be losing their jobs and especially some of the most vulnerable," said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who pushed forward a measure that places a moratorium on evictions of residential and commercial tenants at least until May 31. "Also for businesses because we know that it's the same thing for them."

The executive order that applies to unincorporated areas of the county states that no residential or commercial landlord can evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent, late charges or fees, if the tenant demonstrates the inability to pay due to COVID-19 financial impacts.

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Some examples include: substantial loss of household income due to a business closure, loss of payable work hours layoffs, extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses, financial impact due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or caring for someone with COVID-19, child care needs arising from school closures or compliance with a recommendation from the county health officer to stay home.

The tenant must notify the landlord within seven days after the rent was due, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Tenants will have six months following the executive order termination to pay the landlord, and they're encouraged to work out a payment plan. Protections may vary depending on where you live, but Solis said this executive order is also meant to encourage other municipalities to do the same.

"The city of L.A. has already instituted a moratorium," said Solis. "I think that there definitely should be an attempt by other cities to follow our ordinance."

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