The LAPD reported a 300% jump in landlord-tenant disputes this month. Tensions run high as some (actually a minority) of tenants were unable to pay rent for April 1. The Eastsider LA has an interesting article “LAPD Reports of Landlord-Tenant disputes jump 300% amid stay-at-home orders.”
For landlords and tenants that are experiencing disputes amongst themselves, there are a few issues both parties should be aware of.
First, a landlord or tenant who feels the harassment is on-going or there are there are threats of physical violence, should consider a civil restraining order. Information as to how to obtain a civil restraining order can be found here. Most courts have limited openings and scheduling issues at the moment, but civil restraining orders are still available.
Second, if there is dispute, both parties should document what is going on in writing either by e-mail, text message, or correspondence. Not having a written record, particularly if the COVID-19 pandemic lasts several months will not help either side as memories fade as to particular events.
Third, landlords and tenants should work with each other to determine a payment plan, if one is possible. Although at the moment, neither party needs to enter into a payment plan, discussing one might be appropriate to see when a payment or partial payment can be made.
At the moment, due to the Judicial Council’s decision along with a number of local decisions, most evictions will be on hold during the COVID-19 state of emergency. However, all rent due during the COVID-19 state of emergency will be due at some point in the future, along with whatever rent will be due at the time. As a result, landlords and tenants should work together for a resolution.
If you have questions regarding a landlord-tenant dispute, please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at 818-839-5220.