Eviction moratoriums extended in U.S. — Californians were already protected. What you need to know

Written by MLHA Team

August 11, 2021

The federal eviction moratorium received a two-month extension from the Biden administration Tuesday after an earlier moratorium expired Sunday.

Statewide and locally, moratoriums on evictions issued by the state and separately by Los Angeles County are still active but are set to expire soon unless extended again. Here’s what you need to know.

Renters are eligible for protection from eviction for nonpayment depending on the time period during which they were unable to pay their rent and whether they were able to fulfill the qualifications for the declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress form.

If you were unable to pay your rent between Sept. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021:

Although the moratorium protects you from being evicted, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay your rent. Starting Nov. 1, 2021, landlords can begin taking tenants to small claims court for outstanding rent payments.

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For Angelenos, protections are also expiring at the end of September.

In L.A. County, you cannot be evicted, unless when necessary “to protect public health and safety,” for the following reasons:

To be protected under the moratorium, you must file a declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress form with your landlord within seven days of when rent was due.

Again, this doesn’t mean you’ll never have to pay your rent. If you were unable to pay your rent for qualifying reasons between March 4, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020, you must pay it back by Sept. 30, 2021. For any past due rent accrued between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, the county defers to the rules of the state’s eviction moratorium.

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Los Angeles opened applications for its rent-relief program, which aims to help tenants and landlords with debt stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remember: If you live in California, the eviction moratorium has not expired.

Statewide, landlords can evict their tenants only for legally valid reasons until Oct. 1, 2021. After that, tenants may start to see evictions for unpaid rent — unless the moratorium receives another extension. As it’s written now, the moratorium doesn’t allow rental payment deferment past May 21, 2023.

If your landlord attempts to lock you out, shuts off the utilities or removes your property in an attempt to evict you rather than going through a court process, they may face a fine between $1,000 and $2,500.

There is financial assistance for landlords and tenants through the county and state, Singh said, that can cover up to 100% of the costs associated with nonpayment of rent. For those eligible for rent relief, you’ll be protected from eviction for nonpayment after the Oct. 1 expiration date of the moratorium.

Residents of the city of Los Angeles are also afforded extra protections under the city’s anti-harassment ordinance.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with an eviction or rent, you can try these resources:

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