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Landlord’s dilemma: What to do when renter fails to pay rent.

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2023 | Real Estate Litigation

This issue is not a novel one. Tenants fail to pay rent all the time. Unfortunately, since 2020, the issue has grown, and tenants found themselves benefiting from various legal protections.

Although the idea behind the protections, to help keep people in their homes and business sites during the worst of the pandemic, was noble, the reality was not always as altruistic. Some tenants took advantage of these offerings to avoid paying their rent even when they had the financial capacity to meet their contractual obligation.

What are the protections?

One example was the LA County Eviction Moratorium, which began on March 4, 2020. Lawmakers designed the protections to help keep renters in their homes when it was difficult to pay rent during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can landlords move forward with legal remedies?

The LA County Eviction Moratorium protections ended on March 31, 2023. As of April 1, 2023, landlords could move forward with the expectation tenants make full rent payments for those due on or after April 1. Landlords can now consider eviction options for those who fail to make these payments.

Landlords are also able to consider suing tenants for rent owed. This is allowed even if the tenant paid 25% of the rent due from September 2020 through September 2021.

It is important to note that some local jurisdictions may have permanent tenant protections. Any landlord looking to move forward with eviction action may be wise to seek legal counsel to ensure their actions are within the bounds of the law.