10 Million Americans Could Be Protected From Eviction for Another Year
- The federal eviction ban that ran out last year has put many people at risk of homelessness.
- In Los Angeles County, a host of protections have been extended that could prevent such a crisis.
One county is expanding protections for renters in a very big way.
Up until mid-2021, there was a federal eviction ban in place that barred landlords from evicting tenants on the basis of non-payment. To be clear, a landlord could evict a tenant for violating another rule -- for example, smoking indoors when that practice is banned -- but tenants who simply couldn't pay had to be allowed to stay.
In some parts of the country, eviction bans were extended at the local level to offer residents even more relief. Recently, Los Angeles County voted to extend certain protections that should make a world of a difference for local renters.
Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors recently extended countywide eviction protections through the end of 2022. The board also put a ban on rent hikes for some tenants.
Not surprisingly, local landlords were not happy with this decision. To be fair, many have been struggling to pay their own bills and mortgages since the start of the pandemic, so it's understandable these new rulings serve as a blow.
One thing Los Angeles County tenants must know is that extended protections will phase in and out at different times, so there are some important dates to keep in mind.
April 1, 2022
Starting on this date, eviction protections will return for tenants who can't pay their rent. Since October 2021, landlords have been able to pursue evictions on the basis of rent non-payment, but only in cases where tenants have not applied for rental assistance. Come April 1, landlords won't be able to pursue any evictions for non-payments for two months.
June 1, 2022
Beginning on this date, the April 1 eviction protections will only apply to tenants earning up to 80% of Los Angeles County's median income. In Los Angeles, that's $94,560 per year for a family of four. Tenants will need to self-certify they meet the income requirement to keep their personal eviction bans in place.
Rents will be frozen, too
In addition to extended eviction protections, Los Angeles County is instituting a freeze on rent hikes for tenants living in rent-controlled units within unincorporated parts of the county. Tenants covered by this ruling will not see their rent go up until at least 2023.
A lifeline for struggling renters
Although the U.S. economy is now in far better shape than it was when the federal eviction ban expired, a lot of people are still struggling to regain their financial footing. And the loss of the boosted Child Tax Credit (at least for now) isn't helping matters. The fact that Los Angeles County is extending its protections is a good thing for renters in need -- even if the unfortunate reality is that some landlords will inevitably get hurt along the way.
In fact, in an ideal world, the aforementioned protections would include financially vulnerable landlords, too. Though mortgage forbearance was an option earlier on in the pandemic, for many borrowers, it's already run out. It'll be interesting to see if lawmakers take any steps to help mom-and-pop landlords cope with the impact of extended eviction bans.
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