Letters to the Editor: An eviction apocalypse looms for California, but not in L.A. Here’s why

Protesters hold signs reading "Housing is a human right" and "End rent now" at an anti-eviction protest in Valley Village
Demonstrators participate in a housing rights and anti-eviction protest in Valley Village on May 5.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I agree with columnist Erika D. Smith about the desperate need to prevent more renters in California from being evicted, but she omitted one very important fact for Angelenos: The Judicial Council of California’s vote to end its emergency rules on eviction on Sept. 1 does not impact the city’s COVID-19 tenant protection ordinances.

Earlier this spring, the Los Angeles City Council adopted ordinances that prevent landlords from evicting tenants during the local emergency period if loss of income is attributed to COVID-19, as long as the tenant notifies the landlord in writing each month. Our ordinance also prohibits “no fault” evictions.

This and other protections will be in place after Sept. 1. The city of Los Angeles has enacted some of the strongest renter protections in the state, and they will remain in place until the local emergency order is lifted.


The state can and should take action too. In fact, the last bill standing in Sacramento, Assembly Bill 1436, introduced by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), is modeled after action taken by the Los Angeles City Council.

In the meantime, we will continue exploring all options at the city level while we push for comprehensive relief at the state and federal level.

Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles

The writer is a member of the Los Angeles City Council.


To the editor: For the record, landlords like me, a senior living on rental income, have gotten absolutely nothing out of state’s temporary moratorium on evictions, so why is it time “choose the renters”?

Is it the supermarket’s duty to feed people for free during the pandemic? Of course not, and it should not be the landlord’s duty to house the needy for free either. It is the role of government and not private property owners to take care of citizens who have had their income affected by COVID-19.


Meanwhile, the city of Los Angeles’ protections are so loosely written that they have enabled the hustlers and cheats among us to simply stop paying rent regardless of their situation.

Richard Klug, Los Angeles