Though California renters are partially protected from coronavirus-related evictions, thousands of evictions have been carried out statewide since last summer.
Sheriff’s departments in 56 of the state’s 58 counties enforced at least 7,677 lockouts from July 2020 to March 2021, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. L.A. County accounted for more than a third of that total.
The pace of evictions picked up at the start of this year. There were 4,002 evictions in the second half of 2020 and 3,675 in the first quarter of 2021 alone, according to the report.
The state, along with the city of L.A., L.A. County and several jurisdictions implemented eviction moratoriums at the beginning of the pandemic. The state this week again extended its measure through the end of September.
Most moratoriums were designed to prevent evictions for non-payment of rent as a direct result of the pandemic, and they still allow certain types of evictions. Tenants can be evicted if they commit a crime on the property or are deemed a nuisance, along with other reasons.
Evictions ordered before the moratorium took effect could also be enforced. Orange County, for example, resumed pre-pandemic evictions in May 2020.
Lorraine Lopez, senior attorney at the Western Center of Law and Poverty, said that landlords were “looking for other reasons to evict folks.”
She said her group saw more nuisance evictions for reasons that before the pandemic were rarely used to move people out of a unit, such as storing things illegally in a parking spot.
[LADN] — Dennis Lynch