Tens of thousands of tenants in Los Angeles are in dire straits because of the pandemic, which has put them in financial difficulty.
Due to the loss of work and wages as a result of the economic shutdown, about 7% of renters in LA County paid no rent at least once between May and July, according to a joint report. report published Monday by the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. About 2% of tenants are three full months behind on rent, which means nearly 40,000 households are in a deep financial hole.
About 22% have paid their rent late at least once from April to July, and about 16% of renters report paying their rent late each of those months.
The new statistics put into perspective the new and growing crisis facing tenants and landlords. A state at scale the moratorium on evictions was due to expire today, but state legislators approved a new measure on Monday evening this would extend tenant protections until January 31.
Among LA County tenants who have not paid rent, in whole or in part, about 98,000 have been threatened with eviction, while another 40,000 said their landlord has already started eviction proceedings against them.
Most evictions across the state were halted in April by the California Judicial Council. The moratorium on evictions was due to expire in June, but the expiration was pushed back to September 1 to give local and state lawmakers more time to draft legislation.
Most tenants still pay rent during the pandemic. Professor Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center and co-author of the study, said one of the main concerns for landlords at the start of the pandemic was that tenants weren’t going to pay their rent if they knew they were they wouldn’t be. deported, but researchers saw no evidence of this.
However, the study also found that renters suffered significantly more than owners from anxiety, depression and food shortage. One-third of households with difficulty paying rent go into debt with a credit card, and about 40% use emergency payday loans.
Rent payment issues are looming across California as mitigation efforts to curb the pandemic threaten the stability of many households. But it’s particularly damaging to LA, which is grappling with a years-long housing and affordability crisis, as well as a growing homeless population.
“Even before the pandemic, renters in LA, especially low-income tenants, were struggling,” said Michael lens, deputy director of the faculty of UCLA Lewis Center. “And while most of the renters who lack rent have some type of repayment plan, they’re not out of the woods yet.”
Pandemic is also exacerbating long-term housing and affordability issues, with metro LA in crisis 30 percent drop in multi-family development compared to 2019.
A report released earlier this month by Marcus & Millichap showed that rents averaged $ 2,264 per month in LA County in the second quarter.
Homeowners and owners have also warned of massive bankruptcies and huge losses for their business. The Greater Los Angeles Apartment Association filed a lawsuit to end LA’s moratorium on evictions, which lasts much longer than the state’s and gives tenants a lot more time to pay off rent. The group argues that the city and state are not providing enough assistance to owners of family homes, who risk losing their livelihoods for good.
The apartments association hopes to significantly change the proposed new eviction regulations, but the group argued that rental property owners are forced to bear the interest-free rent debt of their tenants without any help other than limited foreclosure protections for small homeowners.