The City of Los Angeles has temporarily barred landlords from evicting tenants in rent-regulated apartments to convert them to condominiums under the Ellis Act.
It’s the city’s latest measure to soften the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on renters, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“This is necessary to protect additional tenants from being displaced from their homes at the exact same moment we’re asking them to stay at home,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Last week, Garcetti instituted a six-month moratorium on residential evictions and a three-month moratorium on commercial evictions. The City Council wants to extend both of those moratoriums to one year.
The Ellis Act was adopted by the state in the 1980s. It offers landlords a handful of ways to leave the rental business. Critics contend that landlords abuse the law to raise rents to market rate. Around 25,000 Ellis Act evictions were recorded in the city of L.A. between 2001 and 2018, but officials believe there were likely many more.
There have been numerous attempts over the years — by lawmakers at both the state and city level — to amend the Ellis Act to better favor renters.
Garcetti’s eviction moratoriums last week came the same day he ordered bars, clubs, restaurants, and other high-traffic businesses to temporarily close to help halt the spread of COVID-19.