Los Angeles extends moratorium on eviction despite pleas from landlords

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Despite pleas from frustrated landlords, the Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to extend the city’s emergency declaration, allowing the moratorium on eviction to continue.

The council voted 11-1 to keep the statement, with council member John Lee the sole survivor.

“Set a date, a date they can look forward to and plan for the future,” Lee said, referring to a moratorium end date at a press conference ahead of the council meeting. “This deportation moratorium must end.”

A large group of landlords described by Lee as “mommy and pop owners” attended the event. It was originally supposed to take place outside City Hall, but a demonstration by members of the social justice group Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment urged the landlords to bring their press conference inside.

AACE member Elizabeth Hernandez addressed the city council and urged them to keep the pandemic protection in place.

“A lot of people still haven’t been able to pay the rent and will become homeless,” Hernandez told Eyewitness News.

But landlords are frustrated with the eviction moratorium, which has been in place for more than two years.

They want the city council and mayor to end the emergency declaration that prevents rent increases and allows many residents to live rent-free under pandemic protection.

“You can’t walk into your neighborhood grocery store and say, ‘Because food is a necessity, I’ll go out without paying,’” said Cheryl Turner, board president of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, which represents landlords. “But we are criticized for asserting our rights to collect our rent.”

Landlords say they’re just ordinary people sitting in the middle and stuck with a bill they can’t afford.

“I have two mortgages, two insurance policies, two HOAs and repairs for two houses,” explains a landlord. “There’s no way I can do it.”

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