SoCal landlords file court injunction to end LA’s eviction ban

Apartment Association of Greater LA argues property owners don’t have same financial protections as their tenants

City Attorney Mike Feuer, and Dan Yukelson
City Attorney Mike Feuer, and Dan Yukelson

Southern California’s largest and most influential landlord advocacy group wants to end Los Angeles’ residential eviction moratorium now.

The Apartment Association of Greater L.A. said it had filed for a preliminary injunction in federal court to stop the moratorium, Commercial Observer reported. The AAGLA sued the city to end the ban on evictions last month.

The moratorium has been in place since the beginning of the pandemic. Renters who lost income because of Covid-19 have up to 12 months after the end of California’s state of emergency to pay back rent.

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The City Attorney’s office said L.A. would “vigorously fight” the move to fight the injunction, which could temporarily end the moratorium while the AAGLA and the city battle it out over a more permanent decision in federal court.

Even if a judge grants the injunction, renters still have some form of eviction protection through California’s recently-passed moratorium. That measure bars evictions until Feb. 1 as long as renters pay 25 percent of their rent. Back rent is then converted to consumer debt and cannot be used as grounds for eviction.

The Apartment Association argued in its lawsuit that the city is freeing tenants of their obligations under their leases but isn’t providing similar relief to landlords, many of whom are still on the hook for their mortgages.

The group’s executive director, Dan Yukelson, said in June that collections were down 20 percent in some buildings in May, and that “the buildup of uncollected revenue over time has really begun to take its toll on many rental housing providers.” [CO]Dennis Lynch