Tenant advocates call for cancellation of rent outside Garcetti's home

Tenants rights advocates held a protest outside of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti's home to demand he cancel rent amid the coronavirus crisis.

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Monday, April 20, 2020
Protesters call for rent cancellation outside Garcetti's home
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Dozens of vehicles streamed past Mayor Garcetti's home as activists call for him to immediately cancel rent.

HANCOCK PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Despite issuing moratoriums on evictions and freezing rent payments, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is coming under fire from some groups who say he has not done enough to protect tenants.

Dozens of vehicles streamed past the mayor's Hancock Park home Sunday. A coalition of groups held a protest in their cars. Activists want the mayor to immediately cancel rent.

Unemployment numbers have skyrocketed during the coronavirus crisis. Protesters say L.A. residents who are already struggling may find it nearly impossible to pay rent.

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The mayor banned evictions of those impacted by COVID-19 and issued a temporary rent freeze, but activists say that's not enough.

"We're here to support Los Angeles Tenants Union and their push to have the moratorium extended to not paying it because we don't want to see the problem of homelessness worsen," said protester Rita Dunn.

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Raymond Hovsepian, an attorney representing renters and property owners, says some landlords are also in debt.

"Landlords are also having a tough time," said Hovsepian. "Some landlords can't pay their property taxes, some can't pay their mortgages."

Protesters are also demanding that vacant hotels be used as emergency housing and say landlords who harass or mislead tenants should be penalized.

"I think officials have to strike a balance where rent is also delayed until we get through this situation and have this worked out over a period of time," said Hovsepian.