As long as the city remains in a state of emergency, Glendale landlords can’t boot tenants unable to to pay rent because of financial difficulties related to the coronavirus, according to an order enacted Thursday afternoon.
Effective immediately, the order is meant to mitigate potential negative economic impacts of the virus on residents, such as being laid off work or facing increased healthcare bills. It also applies to commercial tenants. There are currently four confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Glendale, according to the most recent report from county health officials.
Los Angeles on Tuesday enacted eviction protection for tenants affected by the virus, and discussed implementing a broader measure.
Glendale’s residential tenants will still have to pay any rent they missed or were late on, but they will have a six month period to do so, according to the recent order.
Landlords can still issue a three-day notice to tenants who miss or are short on rent, but they are prohibited from pursuing an eviction in court through an unlawful detainer suit.
If a landlord does file the suit, the tenant can use the city’s emergency ordinance as a defense.
“Hopefully, landlords will understand the order, and they won’t be taking that action,” Mayor Ara Najarian said.
When the city declared a local state of emergency on Monday and enacted a host of measures intended to curb the spread of the virus, Najarian asked to hold off on adopting a provision that would have allowed evicted tenants to use coronavirus-related financial difficulties as a defense in court.
At the time, he felt that the language of the provision was too ambiguous.
The city’s emergency period is currently slated to end March 31, but Najarian said it’s likely to be extended.
“Things can change. There might be a vaccine or some kind of breakthrough,” Najarian said, adding he did not expect a major breakthrough to come before the end of the month.
The city has enacted several other measures over the past week intended to mitigate potential negative impacts of the virus on residents, including temporarily halting water and power shutoffs due to missed payments, waiving late fees for all city services and suspending some street-sweeping restrictions.