WeHo City Council Will Consider Extending Eviction Moratoriums to Sept. 30

The West Hollywood City Council on Monday will consider extending to Sept. 30 the city’s moratorium on evictions of residential and commercial tenants who aren’t able to pay their rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The eviction moratorium that currently is in place is scheduled to expire on July 31. Extending the moratorium will require the votes of four of the five Council members.

The proposal to extend the moratorium contains a requirement that tenants as of Aug. 1 will have to document their inability to pay their rent because of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has forced a majority of businesses to close and has raised unemployment levels to highs unprecedented since the Great Depression.

“While financial impacts may have been difficult to document at the beginning of the pandemic, tenants now have months of financial information that could be utilized to justify reliance on the eviction protection moving forward,” says a memo accompanying the agenda item. The memo also notes that it is net income (for a business, that is income after expenses) that is considered in determining whether a tenant can afford to pay the rent. The city has encouraged tenants to make partial payments even if they can’t afford to pay the full amount due. A tenant can use the rent security deposit to make the rent payment if desired but must replenish that deposit when the moratorium expires. Once the moratorium expires, commercial tenants have six months to pay back rent and residential tenants have 12 months.

It isn’t clear how residential tenants can document their inability to pay their rent. The memo states that 75% of the city’s residents are renters, and many apartment leaseholders in West Hollywood share apartments with others with whom they split the rent. It is unclear whether the inability of a roommate who is not a leaseholder to pay his or her share of the rent should be considered a factor by a landlord or whether bank statements or paycheck stubs must be submitted as proof of income.

The ordinance clarifies that a tenant should notify a landlord of an inability to pay as soon as possible in advance of the rental due date, but no later than 30 days after the rent is due.

The city has contracted with the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to provide mediation services to negotiate deals between commercial landlords and tenants unable to pay their rent.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council’s meeting can only be attended virtually. The city advises that residents “may view the City Council meetings from your computer, tablet or smartphone. City Council meetings are broadcast live on WeHoTV on Spectrum Ch. 10 in West Hollywood and AT&T U-verse Ch. 99 in Southern California, and are streamed live on the City’s website at www.weho.org/wehotv and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/wehotv. WeHoTV programming is also available on multiple streaming platforms, including Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku. Digital streaming platform viewers can easily find programming by searching for ‘WeHoTV’ within the search functions of these services.”

Anyone wanting to comment on an item on the Council’s agenda, which can be downloaded by clicking here, is asked to submit the comment by 4 p.m. on Monday using a form found online here www.weho.org/councilagendas. Those comments will be forwarded to Council members.  Those who wish to call in an comment during the meeting are asked to email City Clerk Yvonne Quarker at yquarker@weho.org no later than 4 p.m. on Monday to be added to the speaker list.  Include your name, telephone numbers and the item you want to speak on.  Then, 10 minutes before the start of the meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m., dial (669) 900-6833 and enter meeting I.D. number 924 5862 2275# to be put on hold until the relevant agenda item comes up for discussion.

  1. The problem is people cannot afford rents even at the current state. Rent control and dwelling units that are designated are only protecting those that have occupied for many decades that’s if a job, social security or unemployment checks can cover back rents in the tens of thousands over the course of 5-6 month period. Remember the average rent in Weho is anywhere from $1500-2400 on the east side and $2500-4,000 west of Fairfax. My estimation even with units built before 1979 with vacancy de-control, the rent increases can reflect market rates or what
    is called what the market can and Weho is one of those cities that has more demand for housing that it has supply.

  2. How would a tenant provide proof they have been affected financially by Covid & are unable to pay their rent? Pretty simple:
    If the tenant has been diagnosed with Covid & is unable to work, a signed letter fro their physician stating exactly that;
    If the tenant is unable to work because they are the primary caregiver to a Covid patient, a letter from the patient’s doctor stating that;
    If a tenant has lost their job, show proof of termination/layoff–an e-mail or letter from your employer. If the tenant was a gig employee, show their bank statements (with non pertinent information redacted) prior to Covid that proves their prior income & then show bank statements (again, redact anything that’s not pertinent) that shows diminished or no income,. Really pretty simple.
    While as a landlord I have heard of some tenants who are gaming the system (one with a trust fund that was not impacted; one on permanent disability that wasn’t impacted and one who’s husband previously was responsible for the entire rent & who’s income was not affected)–I think most who aren’t paying, really can’t. It’s not to much to ask to “prove up” to your landlord.

  3. The city council should only extend the eviction moratorium for RESIDENTIAL tenants.

    It is in the best interest of commercial businesses and commercial landlords to work out a deal among themselves, and the issues that present themselves with residential tenants simply don’t exist. We cannot kick people out of their homes during this time, but by taking away the landlord’s right to evict, we are taking away their only means to bring for-profit businesses to the negotiating table.

  4. I pay my rent so why should I have to deal with rude tenants that are not paying their rent. A lot of tenants are abusing this extension and are just unruly, and ghetto and trifling because they’re being spoiled with these government handouts instead of working like every responsible person has to.

  5. After reading about the COVID-19 virus and noting the uptick in infections in Los Angeles County,I think the city council should seriously consider extending the rent moratorium to the end of the year.This virus is not going away and is not taking the summer off like some people were speculating at the beginning of the pandemic.

    It is no longer possible to think a month at a time with this virus.You need to go long-range and think six to nine months ahead.I realize landlords will go nuts at this suggestion,but there is no stopping reality.

  6. Great. Bankrupt landlords so they have to sell their buildings to developers who will turn them into condos so EVERYONE can be out on the street.

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