Last updated: September 18, 2023
Do you rent your home in the City of Los Angeles? As renters — or, tenants — you have rights and protections against certain rent increases, evictions, and more.
The landscape is constantly changing, and it can be confusing to know what protections apply to you — but we’re here to help.
Important Dates for Renters
On August 1st, 2023 all COVID rent debt accrued from March 1, 2020 through September 30th, 2021 is due in full.
On February 1st, 2024 all COVID rent debt accrued from October 1st, 2021 to January 31st, 2023, is due in full.
*If you are unable to pay back your rent in full, the City is here to help! See resources below.
Helpful tip: For all payments made toward rent debt, it is very important to secure a receipt of some kind for your payments.
Emergency Renters Assistance Program
From September 19, 2023 at 8am through October 2, 2023 at 6pm, the City of Los Angeles United to House Los Angeles (ULA) Emergency Renters Assistance Program will be open for applications. The program will provide up to six months of rental arrears to low-income residential renters who are at risk of homelessness due to unpaid rent as a result of COVID-19 or other financial hardship. For more information, please visit housing.lacity.org.
To be eligible, a renter household must meet the following requirements:
- Be a resident of the City of Los Angeles, regardless of immigration status. To verify you live in the City of LA, click HERE.
- One or more individuals within the household have experienced a loss of employment, reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship between March 2020 to present.
- Have unpaid rent due to their current landlord for any month(s) between April 2020 to present.
- The current household income is at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI).
How Do I Apply?
- To apply online, click HERE 24/7 until the program closes
- By phone: 888.379.3150 Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
- In-Person: click HERE for application intake office locations
For more information, click HERE!
*Please also note: Beginning on October 23, 2023, at 8:00 a.m. applications can be filed by Small Landlord Providers who own 12 or fewer units.
New Renter Protections
In January this year, City Council passed the strongest tenant protections in the more than 40 years since the Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
PROTECTIONS AGAINST ILLEGAL RENT INCREASES
Annual rent increases for rental units subject to the City of LA’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) are prohibited through January 31, 2024.
If you receive an illegal rent increase please report it to LAHD and contact your council office.
Helpful tip: to find out what type of unit you live in click HERE!
UNIVERSAL JUST CAUSE
*All* units in LA now officially have “just cause” protections, meaning a landlord cannot evict a tenant without declaring a cause from a designated list.
In non-RSO units, these protections kick in after six months or at the end of the first lease term, whichever comes first. If you’ve already been in your apartment for six months today, you’re protected.
PROTECTIONS FOR TENANTS WITH PETS & UNAUTHORIZED OCCUPANTS
Your landlord CANNOT evict you for adding an additional person or pet to your household during Covid, or up to January 31, 2024.
THRESHOLD FOR EVICTION
City Council approved a minimum threshold for evictable rent debt, which means tenants who owe less than one month of rent cannot be evicted.
The threshold is one month Fair Market Rent – currently $1,747 for one-bedroom units and $2,222 for two-bedroom units in Los Angeles. Please refer to LAHD’s website for full information.
For example: If a tenant rents a 1-bedroom unit and owes $1,500, the landlord cannot evict the tenant because the rent owed is less than the FMR for a 1-bedroom unit ($1,747).
Tenants who receive a rent increase of more than 10% within 12 months and are unable to afford the rent increase have the option to receive relocation assistance to move out of their rental unit.
This means that if landlords enact large rent increases – raising rent by more than 10% in a year or by the current level of inflation plus 5%, whichever is lower – they must pay relocation assistance equal to three months fair market rent plus moving fees to tenants. The relocation amount is based on the bedroom size of the rental unit.
All landlords of residential properties must provide a Notice of Renters’ Protections to tenants who begin or renew their tenancy. This notice must also be posted in an accessible common area of the property.
Click HERE to download the Protections Notice.
FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR LANDLORDS
For all “at-fault” evictions, landlords must file with LAHD within three business days, including stating legal reasons for eviction.
For all “no-fault” evictions, landlords must file with LAHD, submit required fees, and pay the tenant relocation assistance.
What To Do If You Receive an Eviction Notice
1. DO NOT SELF-EVICT
- Stay in your unit and reach out to the City immediately to help navigate what your options are.
2. Call the Los Angeles Housing Department Hotline: 866-557-7368
3. Identify what kind of notice you received. Here is a breakdown of common types of notices:
- 3-DAY NOTICES: If you receive a 3-day notice you are typically not required to file an answer but you should reach out to LAHD. In order for the eviction process to be initiated after a 3-day notice, you will still need to receive an Unlawful Detainer (UD) notice. You should not self-evict if you receive a 3-day notice. Please be on the lookout for a UD, which does have a five-day deadline to respond.
- UNLAWFUL DETAINER (UD): If you receive a UD, you MUST file an answer within 5 days. If you respond late you can automatically lose your case. You should not self-evict if you receive an UD, but it is important that you read all notices very carefully and seek legal advice. Please be attentive to any deadlines.
- Stay Housed LA has resources that walk tenants through how to respond to UDs, how to represent themselves in court and will also connect low-income tenants to free legal services. If you don’t qualify for the free legal services, please refer to the list of other legal resources available to tenants at the bottom of this page.
- ANY OTHER TYPE OF NOTICE: Please refer to LAHD resources. If you live in an RSO unit, file an RSO complaint in order to get an RSO investigator to review the case and to create a paper trail for the City. The State of California also has a helpful breakdown of these processes and explanations of different types of eviction notices.
*Reminder: If you don’t respond to formal notices, you can automatically lose your case. Going through the eviction process in court can take 30 days or longer and provides time to access additional resources available to you.
4. Reach out to StayHoused LA
- If you received a UD, use the StayHoused LA step-by-step guide to respond.
- Check whether you qualify for legal assistance.
- If you don’t qualify for legal assistance through StayHoused LA, please review their resources for representing yourself in court and refer to a list of other resources such as the Tenant Power Toolkit, Eviction Defense Network’s comprehensive video series, and workshops and clinics hosted by a variety of community-based organizations.
5. Contact your Council Office
What To Do If You Are Experiencing Harassment From Your Landlord
Renter harassment can take many forms, including refusal to complete required repairs, threatening physical harm, or asking about immigration status.
*To see a full list of what qualifies as renter harassment in the City of LA, click HERE.
What To Do If You Are Experiencing Harassment From Your Landlord
More information on the City’s Covid Renter Protections:
- LA Housing Department COVID-19 Emergency Renter Protections Page
- Los Angeles City Attorney Covid Protections
- City of Los Angeles “Safer at Home” Emergency Declaration
Legal Resources for LA City Renters
Stay Housed LA
Stay Housed LA is a partnership between the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, and local community and legal service providers. The Stay Housed LA website explains current renter protections, hosts renter workshops, and refers renters facing eviction to legal service providers.
Los Angeles Housing Department Legal Resources
List of agencies providing a variety of assistance on landlord/tenant issues, rent stabilization, code enforcement, housing matters, and evictions.
Los Angeles Tenants Union Locals
The LA Tenants Union is a diverse, tenant-led movement. Locals organize against landlord harassment, mass evictions, and displacement.
Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) Renters’ Rights Clinics
CES hosts weekly virtual clinics to advise on COVID protections, evictions, rent control, getting repairs, security deposits, and more.
Tenant Power Toolkit
The Tenant Power Toolkit is a collaborative effort between The Debt Collective, The LA Tenants Union, The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, anti-eviction lawyers and legal service providers. The toolkit is designed to keep people in their homes, fight evictions, fight rent debt, and build the collective power of tenants.
California Courts Self-Help Guide
The State offers a clear breakdown of the eviction process for tenants, including step-by-step guides for how to represent yourself in court
Eviction Defense Network Video Series
Comprehensive series covering EDN’s Tenant Empowerment Program intended to prepare people for more in-depth webinars and resources.