By Jack Witthaus CoStar News September 29, 2022 | 3:56 P.M.
A Los Angeles City Council committee is recommending the city bring its long-running COVID-19 eviction moratorium on apartment renters to an end. Los Angeles is among a small group of cities, mostly in California, that still have moratoriums in place that largely prevent landlords from evicting residents who claim hardship because of the pandemic. The recommendation by the Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment, which calls for ending the eviction moratorium at the end of January 2023, must be approved by the full council, which has not set a date to consider the action. Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, whose district includes the Hollywood, Echo Park and Silver Lake neighborhoods, supported the measure and said in the meeting that the city has done more than most U.S. cities to offer resources to renters in need. "In addition to the burden on renters, we have to recognize the hardships faced by mom-and-pop landlords," O’Farrell said. "We run real risks of losing these small mom-and-pop businesses as well as property owners who are invested in their communities." Ending the eviction moratorium is broadly supported by landlords who say that some tenants have been taking advantage of the moratorium so they don't have to pay rent. Still, Daniel Yukelson, executive director of industry group Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, cautioned that the measure is merely a recommendation and it's unclear how council members will vote. "Property owners have some hope now that there's going to be an end to this thing," Yukelson said. Most cities and states have ended similar protections, with the Illinois COVID-19 eviction moratorium ending in October 2021, New York state's moratorium ending in January, and Seattle removing its eviction moratorium at the end of February. In California, statewide tenant protections for renters expired in July, but some cities have continued other protections. San Francisco enacted legislation preventing landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent that came due on or after July 1 because of the pandemic, according to a city statement. Los Angeles County voted in September to end its eviction moratorium by the end of the year. Roughly 63% of Angelenos are renters, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, because of the city's high cost of living and limited supply of for-sale housing. That said, roughly 75% of L.A. households surveyed are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of household income on rent and utilities, according to the University of Southern California. Greater Los Angeles has the 19th-highest market rent in the U.S. at $2,183 per month, according to CoStar data. San Francisco's multifamily market tops the list at $3,035 per month, while San Jose ranks second with $2,984 per month. New York is third at $2,981 per month.