LOS ANGELES – Two apartment owner groups filed court papers Monday challenging Los Angeles County’s pandemic-related eviction moratorium, which the Board of Supervisors approved in January and provides extended protections for failure to pay rent beginning next month.
The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles and the Apartment Owners Association of California brought the still unofficial legal action in Los Angeles Superior Court, asking that preliminary and permanent injunctions be issued preventing enforcement of the renewed eviction ban as unconstitutional.
“Quite simply, the renewed eviction ban does not advance, to any degree, any legitimate public purpose,” the apartment owners state in their court papers.
A representative for the county could not be immediately reached.
Starting April 1, landlords with property in the county will no longer be able to evict tenants claiming they are impacted by the pandemic, nor may the property owners challenge a tenant’s self-certification of financial hardship, according to the apartment owners’ court papers.
After May 31, all residential tenants whose household incomes are at or below 80 percent of the area median income can continue to self-certify financial hardship, the apartment landlords state in their court papers.
The Board of Supervisors’ demonstrated its “crusade against landlords” by approving the renewed eviction ban on Jan. 25 even though statewide eviction ban expired in September, no lockdowns or stay-at-home orders are anticipated and both unemployment and hospitalization rates are down, according to the apartment owners’ court papers.
At the time the renewed eviction ban was approved, there had been no “flood of evictions,” according to the apartment owners, who also note in their court papers that on Friday, the county lifted its mandate that masks be worn indoors.
“When compared to the destruction of landlords’ livelihoods at the hands of government officials and opportunistic tenants that has persisted since March 2020, the need to continue commandeering residential properties to house non-paying tenants is non-existent,” the apartment owners state in their court papers.