We have already advised as to the ferociously uphill legal battle it is to evict a tenant just under California’s Statewide Eviction Laws. These laws are further complicated in jurisdictions with local rent control ordinances such as San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles. Let’s take a look specifically at Los Angeles Eviction Laws.
In Los Angeles all tenancies are essentially “life tenancies” when a property is covered under rent control. Not all Los Angeles properties are covered under rent control, such as single family residences or multi-family units so long as their certificate of occupancy was issued after 1978. Further, Los Angeles Rent Control is not county wide, but only within the City of Los Angeles. This term can be confusing as certain Los Angeles neighborhoods are still considered as being a part of the City of Los Angeles. Among these are Chatsworth, Encino, Granada Hills, La Brea, Panorama City, Sylmar and Van Nuys to list a few.
If a property in the City of Los Angeles is covered under rent control you must pay registration fees yearly and post Required Rent Control Notices on the property at all time and serve copies on all tenants. Failure to do this will result in a complete legal inability to rent your property, let alone evict someone from it.
When completing evictions in Los Angeles a landlord may be required to pay relocation assistance to their qualified tenants if their rental unit is rent controlled and if they are evicting for specific reasons, such as when the landlord simply wants to move his family or himself into the unit. In some instances, you cannot evict for these reasons at all, such as if the tenant has been in the property for over 10 years and is over the age of 62 or disabled.
You can evict tenants in rent control units for cause in any and all instances when compliant with all applicable rent control statutes. This would, for instance, be if the tenant has failed to pay the rent, or violation of some other covenant, like getting an unauthorized pet or sub-tenant.
Evictions in Los Angeles are also notorious for the various tenant advocacy groups who work the system by encumbering the eviction process with unnecessary discovery demands, frivolous motions, fraudulent answers and demands for jury trials. These tactics are simply a way of forcing the hand of the Landlord and making the idea of paying the tenants to vacate more appealing.
Needless to say, evictions in Los Angeles are a handful and fraught with peril to the landlord. It is never advisable for a layman to prosecute and eviction in California, but to attempt to prosecute an eviction in Los Angeles without legal eviction expertise is, simply put, asinine.